Aug 3, 2012

Maximize your Ibadah during your Period

By An Ghela


Bismillah 

Do you remember the days when after finishing a long year at school we finally got a couple of months of vacation? There was so much anticipation for it and the first thing we wanted to do was NOTHING! We knew that although we had homework or projects or we just needed to brush up in some subjects we all just wanted to curl up in bed without having to worry about waking up early the next day. However if we kept doing this for all our vacation we realized that when we went back to class we had become rusty. We’ve neglected on stimulating our brain, now that we needed to get back to our studies we found it more difficult than ever.

Sometimes something similar happens when we get our period. We’ve been doing all our Salahs on time, our fasting and our Qu’ran reading but as soon as we get our period we fall into this “vacation” mode that makes us fall into this false idea that we cannot do anything during these days so might as well just “chill”. But here we err; this could be the best time for a Muslimah to increase her good deeds and her learning of the deen.

'Aisha narrated : Allah's Apostle said, "Do good deeds properly, sincerely and moderately and know that your deeds will not make you enter Paradise, and that the most beloved deed to Allah's is the most regular and constant even though it were little" (Sahih Bukhari

The previous hadith indicates that our Lord has great love for deeds that are constant and regular; this means that there is really no “off-time” for men or women from doing that which is right. Even while we cannot move or speak just thinking about the attributes of Allah can count as Ibadah.

Now it is important for us women to understand that our menstruation is not a problem or a barrier that stops us from reaching a higher state. Often we are plagued with misconceptions, sometimes cultural baggage or societal representations that show this monthly cycle as more of a burden than a blessing. Yet as Muslimahs we know that everything sent from above is good and Allah does not burden a soul, instead He has sent us this deen to ease our burden. If we think about it, this monthly gift (as we sometimes sarcastically refer to) it is indeed a gift. If it weren’t for it we wouldn’t have the joy of becoming mothers or of being healthy women. So in order to better deal with this we have to restructure our way of thinking towards menstruation, this way we can pass this positive influence to other women in our life.

So now that we have accepted this as a blessing and not an impediment, how can we make the best of these couple of days? Well below are some of the many things we can do to maximize our Ibadah during our period:

1) Seeking forgiveness (Istaghfar): Let’s be real, most of us have probably spent the week before our period becoming a female Muslim version of the incredible Hulk (after all green is a very Islamic color). It is known that hormonal changes before menstruation paired with sensitivity in the body and water gain are the perfect combination to turn us into snapping, oversensitive sometimes sad, mad, glad adorable beings. So now is the perfect time to seek forgiveness to Allah for all those wrong actions we may have involved ourselves and to all those we wronged in the process. My favorite Istighfar dua’a is :

اللّهـمَّ أَنْتَ رَبِّـي لا إلهَ إلاّ أَنْتَ ، خَلَقْتَنـي وَأَنا عَبْـدُك ، وَأَنا عَلـى عَهْـدِكَ وَوَعْـدِكَ ما اسْتَـطَعْـت ، أَعـوذُبِكَ مِنْ شَـرِّ ما صَنَـعْت ، أَبـوءُ لَـكَ بِنِعْـمَتِـكَ عَلَـيَّ وَأَبـوءُ بِذَنْـبي فَاغْفـِرْ لي فَإِنَّـهُ لا يَغْـفِرُ الذُّنـوبَ إِلاّ أَنْتَ .
O Allah, You are my Lord, no one has the right to be worshipped except You, You created me and I am your servant and I abide to your covenant and promise as best as I can, I take refuge in you from the evil of which I committed. I acknowledge your favor upon me and I acknowledge my sin, so forgive me, for verily no one can forgive sin except you.’

2) The healing properties of Listening to the Qu’ran: When we have our menses especially the first few days most women suffer from cramps caused by the contraction of the uterine muscles. These could be trying times for any Muslimah but Alhamdulillah we have the best medicine at our reach. “And We send down of the Qur'an that which is healing and mercy for the believers, but it does not increase the wrongdoers except in loss” (Surah Al-Isra 17:82). Even though women who have their period cannot touch or read the Qur’an we can still benefit from listening to its beautiful verses. These verses would calm the tension in our bodies and at the same time help us reflect on the bounties of our Lord thus helping us endure any pain or discomfort. Some verses and ayahs to focus are Surah al Fatiha, Ayah-ul-Kursi and the last two verses of Surah al Baqarah.

3) Improve your relationship with your Husband: As single women we believe that when we get married we will fulfill the duties posed to us by our religion and desired by our society. Yet we don’t realize that after marriage we have just started the road towards fulfilling these duties. While we are not menstruating we are allowed to have physical relations with our husbands but while we are on our period we are mandated to stay away from doing so. This is a great time to explore another phase of relationship with our life partners. Al-Aswad narrated it from 'A'isha (radhiallahu anha) that she observed: I used to wash the head of the Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alayhi wa salam), while I was in a state of menstruation (Sahih Muslim). Even small gestures can count; being in a relationship is about always rekindling that friendship we have with our husbands. After all, paradise may lie on their hands as well. 


4) New life, New Projects: As women Allah has used our bodies as a vessel for His creation. New life is formed in our bodies and we are fortunate to live this incomparable miracle. During our menses our body is internally getting ready to be able to foster life once again. Now even though we might not be married or wanting to get pregnant, we are unconsciously prone to create things during this phase of the month. With the extra time in our hands, during these days we are not praying, we can use it wisely to start a new project. Ever wanted to start a new charity? Maybe your own halal business? Maybe a writing project? Or a Dawah project. The sky is the limit!

5) Increase your love for Dhikr: Abu Huraira reported that the Prophet said, "I love repeating Subhan Allah , Walhamdu lillah , wa La ilaha ill-Allah, wa Allahu Akbar (Glorified is Allah, all praise is due to Allah, and there is no God but Allah, Allah is the greatest) more than all that the sun shines upon.'' (Muslim and Tirmidhi). Often when we have our period we feel like we are missing out on our ibadah since we cannot perform Salah. So a good option would be to keep track of the Salah times and use them to instead perform some dhikr. Our connection with our Lord does not have to suffer any throwbacks but can instead be strengthened during this time. We must remember that the remembrance of Allah can be done at any instance: “Men who celebrate the praises of Allah, standing, sitting, and lying down on their sides, and contemplate the (wonders of) creation in the heavens and the earth, (With the thought): "Our Lord! not for naught Hast Thou created (all) this! Glory to Thee! Give us salvation from the penalty of the Fire.” (Surah al Imran 3:191).

6) Knowledge can come in many forms: Prophet Muhammed salAllahu aleyhi wasallam said: "Whoever follows a path in the pursuit of knowledge, Allah will make a path to Paradise easy for him." (Ibn Majah). In this day and age we have been blessed to have knowledge at our fingertips. No longer must we walk great distances to find a book or attend a class. Intelligently using the many electronics we have we can have access to great books, articles or even watch lectures online. But gaining knowledge is just half of the equation; the other half is sharing the knowledge with the rest. One idea would be hosting a halaqa at your place where you and other sisters can talk about different topics, you can even use this opportunity to educate others about the rules of menstruation and share some tips on how to strengthen your deen on these days.

This is just the beginning please share with us the many other tips that we can use to maximize our Ibadah during our period. Let’s join in the hassanat!


I'd love to hear your views on this topic. Please post in the comments section below! :)

19 comments:

Jazakillah Khair for drawing our attention to a distorted paradigm through which unfortunately many females approach this time. The suggestions were very helpful :).

JazaakAllahukhair sister! A very important topic for women. You have covered the thoughts of a typical women in her periods. Keep up the good writing :)

Totally loved reading this Sistah!!!! please keep them coming! :)

Jazakallah -a v timely article for me! May Allah bless you!

Very inspiring and insightful mashAllah :) Thanks so much for sharing!

Aswrwb, JazakAllah for the fruitfull information . May Allah reward you for this and forgive all the muslims. Ameen

Assalamu alaykum. Thank you for this post! :) I have a question, is it also not allowed to read the qur'an from an electronic device during menstruation? jazaakallahu khair!

"During haiz, (periods) if a woman reads 'Subhanaka astagfirullahullaze laa-ilaaha illa howal hayyul qayyoom' 70 times at the time of every Salaat, then she will get the reward of reading one thousand rakaats salat, 70 of her sins will be forgiven, her status is raised in the eyes of Allah and for every letter of istaghfaar she gets noor and for every vein of the body one Hajj and Umrah is written". ("Masjalisul Abraar Urdu" masjlis No 98 page 698") Plz pass onto all sisters

as far as I know its is not 

A beautiful article. Thanks to the writer.

Really luved this Article,it has opened me up to making good use of the time when I'm on my period,I've always wondered what I cld do when on my period,JZk sis

https://www.facebook.com/QR.Blog/posts/10152980546550696

Q. CAN I READ THE QURʾĀN DURING MY MONTHLY PERIOD?

A. YES! YES YOU CAN! NOW SHOO, GO AND READ!

Explained:

For the past few days my phone has been blowing up with people asking, after the due Ramaḍān Mubāraks, whether they can read Qurʾān during the monthly cycle. I kid you not when I say I’ve spent a good few hours replying to these messages. So here’s a summary of the ruling pertaining to reading Qurʾān during the monthly cycle (something I should have written up earlier!)

Though there is a difference of opinion in the matter amongst our scholars, may Allāh have mercy on them all, this is the opinion that stands evident after studying and dissecting all the different opinions of all the five schools of thought. And this is the one that I vouch for.

There is no sound Ḥadīth that prevents the woman from reading Qurʾān during her monthly period. Period.
And the aṣal (principle) is that reciting Qurʾān is allowed. So a clear, sound evidence is needed in order to negate this aṣal. And in the case of a menstruating woman, none is to be found and thus the original principle holds: she is allowed to recite whatever she wishes to recite of the Qurʾān.

Some scholars use qiyās (deductive analogy – a tool for deriving rulings) and compare the case of the menstruating woman to the person in the state of janābah (post sexual impurity) – both are the states of major impurity. The person in the state of janābah cannot recite Qurʾān with the exception of a few adhkār such as: bismillāh, alḥamdulillāh, etc. Thus they conclude that the menstruating woman cannot read the Qurʾān. BUT, the flaw in this analogy is that the person in the state of janābah *has* the option of doing ghusul (ritualistic bath) to remove him/herself from his/her state and recite Qurʾān. A woman on her period does not have this option for a large number of days.
Thereby, she is deprived of rewards of reciting Qurʾān and if she is a student of Qurʾān, she risks forgetting what she has memorised.

To conclude, the evidence for the permissibility of reciting Qurʾān during the monthly period is stronger.

HOWEVER, a Muslim not in the state of Ṭahāra (i.e. without Wuḍū) cannot touch the Muṣḥaf (physical copy of the Qurʾān). The evidence for this is in the āyah, {None may touch it, except the purified} al-Wāqiah:79
And a sound ḥadīth: “No one should touch the Qurʾān except one who is pure”
Both these indicate that a Muslim cannot touch the Muṣḥaf if not in the state of purity.

In the tafsīr of the āyah, many scholars have suggested that “The purified” is actually referring to the believer as opposed to a person in the state of purity. But this tafsīr is linguistically far removed because nowhere in the Qurʾān OR the sunnah has a believer been called a ‘Ṭāhir’ and in accordance to the principles of tafsīr one may not opt for far removed explanations when the meaning of the āyah is evident.

SO, if you are on your period and you don’t have the Qurʾān committed to memory, you may grab your oven mitts and a Muṣḥaf and recite.

Lastly, my love and respect to all the girls who asked whether they can recite the Qurʾān during the period because there is nothing more beautiful than a Muslim seeking the Truth to act upon it and better their relationship with their Creator. :*

Reference:
Aḥkām al-Fiqhīya al-Khāṣa bil Qurʾān al-Karīm, p. 21

For general reference:
IslamQA.com and alifta.com (are some of the most trusted Islāmic websites on the world wide web)
https://www.facebook.com/QR.Blog/posts/10152980546550696

Jazakallahu khair gr8 article and very thought provoking

you are not supposed to touch or recite the Qur'an in the state of menstruating unless they are ma'mulaat (azkar, Quranic ayahs such as Ayatul Khursi and 4 Surah Quls, Surah Fatiha, etc)...those can be recited with the niyyah of reciting a du'a. Please be very careful. It is not advisable to take oven mitts and hold a Qur'an and start reading. Even for those who are students of Quran or teachers, they have a specific way of pronouncing the Quranic words by breaking the syllables. This is the ruling of the Hanafi Fiqh. My teachers ('ulama of the Shariah Board of America) have taught me this in Darul Uloom. Any other questions, please refer to an 'Alim/'Alimah before guiding others of what to do/not to do. Qur'an is not an ordinary book that we can just pick up and read. You have alternative options of gaining rewards, do zikr or acquire some knowledge of the Deen...make the niyyah and inshAllah you will be rewarded greatly. Baqi, Allahu 'alam.
Ma'salaama....
Your sister in islam

Truly loved this article. Especially the hulk part.

SubhanAllah. Beutiful.

Great article SubhanAllah

Good informative idea's of ibadah...allah bless all muslimahs to follow deen always..ameen

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