I know that as Muslim women, we can sometimes feel like we’re missing out when it’s that time of the month during Ramadan; you feel like, I can’t pray, I can’t fast, and you’d really like to reap the barrakah and reward of this blessed month, yet you…’can’t’. This is particularly true of the last ten nights, I think, where the nights are blessed and thus, one has a heightened desire to worship Allah and draw nearer to Him.
So with this ‘missing out’ feeling that some sisters may experience in mind, I thought I’d share a completely different way to look at not being able to pray/fast during some portion of Ramadan. I was watching a lecture entitled ‘The Halftime Report’ a week or so back, where Sh. Omar Suleiman and Ustadh Nouman Ali Khan were presenting a lecture on Ramadan, and taking questions regarding this blessed month, too. I think a sister asked about what she could do if she was on her menses during the last ten nights of Ramadan. And although they answered this and gave her some ideas of ibaadat that she could do, what I found particularly lovely and hope inducing was the different and refreshing way to look at not being able to pray or fast during these nights.
Ustadh Nouman (hafidhahullah) narrated that an Imam said that not only can a woman *not* pray and fast during Ramadan if it’s that time of the month – but, rather, she is *prohibited* from doing so. And that her abiding by this specific prohibition of Allah is actually an act of *ibaadah* for her. Subhan’Allah. And isn’t this true? Subhan’Allah, think about it: she is obeying Allah by not praying, not fasting, so she is worshipping Him through abstaining from this prohibiton. How beautiful! 🙂
So let’s have husn-adh-dhann billah (good expectations from Allah), and reap the rewards of not praying and not fasting when we are prohibited from doing so, insha’Allah 🙂
And by way of analogy, in Islam, the sick person gets the rewards of the good deeds he used to do before he was unable to due to getting ill. So, insha’Allah, the woman who wanted to fast, wanted to pray in some portion of this month but couldn’t due to Allah’s decree – we ask Allah to reward her according to what she normally would’ve done. Ameen. Furthermore (yep, there’s more khair!), we know that actions are judged by their intentions, so she will also, insha’Allah, get the reward of what she had *intended* to do. Truly, Allah is al-Kareem, Ar-Ra’uf, Ar-Raheem.
To end, I will jot down some ideas regarding what the menstruating woman can do, in terms of worship. I will list what comes to mind, insha’Allah, so these suggestions are by no means exhaustive. This list can also be useful to the nursing or pregnant woman who is not fasting. Here goes:
– She can make du’a
– She can do dhikr – at all times of the day, but specific adhkaar too, such as the adhkaar of the mornings and evenings
– She can learn new du’as and memorise portions of the Qur’an
– She can read tafseer; this I find to be particularly helpful for when one does pray as it can increase khushuu and concentration
– She can have a niyyah to please Allah in all that she does that is pleasing to Allah e.g. looking after her family, attending to her parents, being kind to others, making iftaar for others
– She can try her best to give the fasting people in her family the food to break their fast at iftaar time, thereby performing an act of kindness and service, but also, securing the reward for their fast, without diminishing theirs, insha’Allah. Win-win 🙂
– Super important during the last ten nights, this one: she can recite the lailatul qadr du’a = Allahumma innaka ‘afuwwun tuhibbul ‘afwa fa’fu ‘annee (Oh, Allah, You are the Pardoner, you love to pardon, so pardon me). Here is a youtube vid of the du’a: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJnxCVNXd6o
– She can recite portions of the Qur’an from memory
– She can give sadaqah (money, time, or effort, to a good cause, insha’Allah)
May Allah accept from us what we do in this month, and beyond, multiply its reward, and forgive us our shortcomings – ameen.
Please share with others, if you found this beneficial. Baarak’Allahu feekum
– © Umm Isma’il, 2014.