By Amina Salau
Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem
The menstrual period can be a great challenge for many women. In addition to dealing with various degrees of physical discomfort during this period, some of us also face a disruption in our pattern of worship and salah. This can cause our level of faith to fluctuate. When we stop some activities for a while, resuming at the same level that we used to be can be a struggle.
However, the menstrual period does not have to be a hiatus in worship. It can also be a time in which to intensify other areas of worship we’ve always wanted to improve upon. Aisha (ra) related that when her menstrual cycle began during the hajj, the Prophet (sa) encouraged her to continue and complete the other rites of hajj except for the circumambulation of the Kabah. In this same hadith, the Prophet (sa) calmed Aisha, who was crying in frustration at her condition, by reminding her that the cycle is, “something that Allah has ordained for the daughters of Adam.” (Bukhari)
This is a good example that shows us that the period of menstruation shouldn’t cause a dip in our eemaan. Once we know how to make best use of those days, we can continue our worship seamlessly and resume salah effortlessly afterwards. To achieve this, the following tips can be helpful during this period:
It is highly advisable to make use of these periods to intensify dhikr, seek forgiveness, and recite small but beneficial supplications. If you already engage in a lot of dhikr, see these periods as your opportunity to do more.
Allah mentions in the Qur’an: “…Unquestionably, by the remembrance of Allah hearts are assured.” (ar-Ra‘d 13:28)
Listen to the Qur’an
Pick a different chapter everyday and listen to as much recitation as you can. You can even try and memorize some chapters just by listening to them. If you have already memorized certain chapters, now is an excellent time to revise them.
Spend Your Time Productively
Some women are tempted to use their periods as an excuse to spend a lot of time watching TV, sleeping, or being on the internet. The disadvantage of engaging in such activities is that we relax our worship to the extent that once periods are over, it may not be easy to resume worship at the same level as before. Engage more in activities that directly benefit your eemaan. From personal experience, I have found the following useful:
- Reading beneficial Islamic books.
- Volunteering at the local mosque for activities like cleaning or organizing that do not require entrance into the main prayer area. You can offer to babysit while other women attend prayers.
- Learning, or practicing the Arabic language.
- Sharing knowledge with other people through writing or organizing community projects to invite others to Islam.
May Allah (swt) help us turn on our eemaan on our off days! Ameen.
Amina Salau is a freelance writer who is passionate about women’s issues in Islam.
© IIPH 2015