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Coping with your Period During Ramadan

The last ten nights of Ramadan are upon us and I am sure all of us are aware of the virtues of these blessed nights. Here is a list of some actions Prophet Muhammad (SAW) used to partake in during these last nights as a reminder to all of us because Allah (SWT) says in the Holy Qur’an: “And remind for verily, the reminding benefits the believers.” (51:55)

  • Etiquette of the Prophet (SAW) in the last ten nights: abstain from sexual desires, practice i’tikaaf, and even seclude himself from his wives.
  • Al-Bukhari and Muslim record from Aisha (RAA) that during the last ten days of Ramadan, the Messenger of Allah (SAW) would wake his wives up during the night and then remain apart from them (that is, being busy in acts of worship.)
  • A version in Muslim states: “He would strive [to do acts of worship] during the last ten days of Ramadan more than he would at any other time.”

During this time we are constantly reminded to engage in voluntary salaat comprising of long standing at night and increase our recitation of the Qur’an. But for some of us, this might be a time when we are going through our menstrual cycle (or post-natal bleeding).

Naturally, it is not easy to stay positive at times, especially when we see the world around us rushing to mosques for taraweeh prayers, indulging in i’tikaaf, and reciting the Qur’an. This might lead us to feeling deprived of the reward of these blessed nights and decrease our spirituality rather than increase it.

In this article, I hope to highlight some practical ways in which you can make the best of the last ten nights of Ramadan while going through your menstrual cycle (or post-natal bleeding), without feeling “left out”.

First and foremost, realize that our menstrual cycle is part of Allah’s (SWT) creation and something that is ordained by Him (SWT) .

Allah (SWT) tells us in the Holy Qur’an that He has created us in the best of molds (95:4). We are also told in the Qur’an that Allah (SWT) has “appointed a due proportion” (65:2-3) for everything and that “for every matter there is an appointed time given” (13:38).

Thus, we must remember that this experience is in the divine Wisdom of Allah (SWT) .

Some women think it is more virtuous to fast even though they are on their menses. In their ignorance they make this exception in the month of Ramadan. But, rather, they need to realize that it is more virtuous for them to comply with the Command of Allah (SWT) . It is more rewarding for them to do as they are told by Allah (SWT) i.e. not pray or fast while they are on their menses.

Also realize that there are many other ways of achieving spirituality while we are on our menses besides prayer, fasting, and i’tikaaf.

Prophet Muhammad (SAW) is reported to have said that, “Dua is the very essence of worship.” The Prophet (SAW) said, “Allah is in the assistance of [His] servant, as long as the servant aids his brother.” He (SAW) also said, “Whoever feeds a fasting person will have a reward like that of the fasting person, without any reduction in his reward.”

Listed below are few suggestions that a muslimah can do while she is not fasting due to menstruation or post-natal bleeding.

Wake up at Fajr time

  • Repeat after the Fajr (morning) call to prayer
  • Make supplication between the Fajr call to prayer and iqama (call to prayer immediately before prayer begins)
  • Make supplication for intercession of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) after the call to prayer
  • Make Fajr adhkar:
  • Say the morning adkhar
  • Read an English translation of half a juz (section) of the Qur’an

Enjoining Good: Encourage your Family to Pray Salaat al Duha
Prophet Muhammad (SAW) called it the prayer of the obedient. Reported by Imam Ahmad in his musnad: Abu Hurayrah (RAA) narrated that the Prophet (SAW) would never miss Salaat al-Awwabin, which is another name for Salaat al Duha.

Duhr Time

  • Repeat after the Duhr call to prayer
  • Make supplication between the call to prayer and iqama
  • Make supplication for intercession of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) after the call to prayer
  • Engage in more dhikr and supplication

Asr Time

  • Repeat after the Asr call to prayer
  • Make supplication between call to prayer and iqama
  • Make supplication for intercession of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) after the call to prayer
  • Engage in more dhikr and supplication
  • Read an English translation of half a juz of the Qur’an

Maghrib Time

  • Repeat after the Maghrib call to prayer
  • Help people break their fast by passing out dates and water
  • Make supplication between the call to prayer and iqama
  • Make supplication for intercession of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) after the call to prayer
  • Engage in more dhikr and supplication

Isha Time

  • Repeat after the Isha call to prayer
  • Make supplication between the call to prayer and iqama
  • Make supplication for intercession of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) after the call to prayer
  • Engage in more dhikr and supplication
  • Have family circle time at home
  • Have a male member of the house recite the Qur’an to the rest of the family followed by tafsir (interpretation) of those verses

Before Sleeping

  • Make wudu (this even applies to women with menses)
  • Recite Surah Al-Mulk (67)
  • Ask your parents (or spouse) for forgiveness before sleeping
  • Recite Ayat Al-Kursi (2:255)
  • Make supplication and dhikr

Other Acts that Can Be Done

At the mosque

  • Spread salaams at the mosque
  • Sponsor iftaars at various mosques if possible
  • Volunteer for mosque clean-up afterwards
  • Babysit during Taraweeh so that the mothers (and everyone else!) can pray with concentration, focus, and presence of heart
  • Make a CD of beautiful supplications and Qur’an recitations in MP3 and distribute it to people at the mosque

At home

  • Have a qiyaam (prayer at night) program for other sisters at your house – prepare iftaar and suhoor for them
  • Look for new converts, people who are newly practicing, or people who have lost touch with the community, and invite them over for iftaar and Eid
  • Think of Eid party ideas/gifts for family, parents, spouse, children, neighbors
  • When you’re on the computer, keep the Qur’an playing in the background at all times and think about what you hear

In your own time

  • Memorize verses of the Holy Qur’an
  • Donate everyday – clothes, money
  • Make tawbah and shukr
  • Memorize the 99 Names of Allah (SWT) and their meanings
  • Find out who is sick in your area or in the hospital and go visit them
  • Always keep your tongue moist with the dhikr and remembrance of Allah (SWT) . Say subhanAllah, alhumduLillah, La ilaaha illa Allah, Allahu Akbar, and salaams on Prophet Muhammad (SAW) , while cooking, cleaning, driving etc. and may Allah (SWT) make these words heavy on your scale on the Day of Judgment.

Remember to make ghusl after you are finished with your period!

This post was contributed by user Kanika_HabibiHalaqas. You can read more of her entries at her blog, habibihalaqas.

1. Closed Doors and Opened Eyes: Spirituality for the Non-Fasting by Shazia Ahmad
2. A Muslim Day in Ramadan – Morning till Evening; Ilminar by Sh. Riad Quarzazi

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Amani is the founder of MuslimGirl.net. She is an activist, writer, and spoken word artist... More

  • http://habibihalaqas.blogspot.com Kanika_HabibiHalaqas

    Jazzak Allah khair for putting up my article !

    I’d like to hear more ideas from you all … lets see what you got :)

    Kanika

  • Kenza

    You said to recite some surah-s of the Quran during this period.As far as I know,a woman during her period is not permitted to read,recite or even touch the Holy Quran. So am I wrong???

  • selmoumi

    You can hold the Quran as long as its in English. I’ve been told that by many an Imam and Shiekh. If its in Arabic then you cannot touch it.

    • layla88

      Salaamwailaikum sister, Ramadan al Kareem!
      I never knew about this!! I have a Qur’an with arabic and english translation together. Does that count also? Just wanted to make sure as I am a revert and have many things unsure! Thankyou in advance! Salaam.

  • selmoumi

    Salam!!! Ramadan Mubarak to u too!!! :D As far as i know if it is with arabic then no you can’t use it while on ur period, but if its transliteration its fine :) My favorite Quran thats all in english is English Translation of the Meaning of Al-Quran The guidance for Mankind By: Muhammad Farooq-i-Azam Malik

    Salam hope your Ramadan is a blessed one :D

  • Ifra

    Yes its true that some women think its virtuous to fast even on their menses and my family is one of them. I havent ever asked my mother why we fast even on menses because I thought if they (mother and sister) are fasting then there should be a good reason. Is it right? What am I to do?!

    • Amani

      Maybe you should sit down and talk to her — explain that women on menses should not fast, and it is virtuous to respect and abide by that pardon that God has blessed us with.