Menstruation and spirituality
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How do you balance menstruation(periods) and spirituality?

We don’t usually have conversations around menstruation and spirituality but then, I know it’s an issue that confronts us as Muslim women. As Muslim women, we have been exempted from observing salat by Allah (SWT) when we are menstruating.

But then, during these 3 to 7 days, what happens to our Imaan( faith/spirituality)? Because we don’t pray during periods, keeping up with acts of Ibaadah/spirituality can be tasking. But should our spirituality be put on hold because we are menstruating? Apart from establishing salat, what other ways can we connect with Allah during these times?

For sometime now, I’ve tried reading around this subject area and I’ve learnt some few tips on how to “manage” menstruation and spirituality.

1. Maintain your usual morning routine:

This routine may involve waking up for Fajr, reading the Quran and reciting your morning Azkar . Often times when we are on our periods, we sleep through Fajr and wake up in the morning. Starting your day without Allah can affect your spirituality throughout the day.

So what can we do in the mornings when we are menstruating?

You may not wake up for Fajr but you should make it a point to wake up early. Be in a state of mindfulness and recite the morning Azkar. This is definite way to begin your day with Allah when menstruating.

2. Acknowledge prayer times:

Just like Fajr, acknowledge the times of prayer during the day. During Zhur, Asr, Maghreb, Isha, engage in some kind of spiritual act. It could be reciting some simple Azkar, or reciting istigfar.

Intend that you’re staying away from prayers as an act of obedience to Allah. As in, be conscious of the intention. That way for every salah that passes in shaa Allah, you are engaging in some acts of worship while respecting the boundaries Allah placed on women. Periods are not a break from salah, it can be an opportunity to ponder on the creation of the female.

3. Read Islamic Materials:

One of the sure ways to keep one’s Imaan in check during periods is to read materials on Islam. Islam encourages us to seek knowledge and being on our periods should not prevent us from doing so. Plan to read books which will increase your knowledge of the Deen during your salah times.

4. Maintain a Qur’an routine:

Reading from the Mushaf (original copy of the Quran) is not allowed during your period. Scholars explain that, a woman is allowed to use a copy of the mushaf if the recitation is for learning purposes. Alhamdulillah for the blessing of technology which provides a digital Quran. You can simply use a digital Quran to practice your memorization of the Quran or for your revision.

Menstruation is Allah’s own way of cleansing the female body of toxins. While we may not actively be observing salat, we can do our best to still have a relationship with Allah when we are menstruating.

5. Embrace your femininity

There are times we try to rush our period to return to prayer. Trust me, I know this first hand. However, it is essential to rethink our relationship with our bodies. There is nothing wrong with your body and you are not missing out on worship during this time. While it is not easy to let go of the guilt we feel especially during Ramadan, let us learn to appreciate the wisdom behind this religious exemption. By understanding that your body needs to go through this cycle to cleanse itself, you learn to embrace it from a better view. That Allah, the fashioner made you this way. And by the will of Allah, you get rewarded as your body goes through this change.

Menstruation is not a bad thing and it can be a time to improve your spirituality.

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