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What Are Acts of Worship a Menstruating Woman Can Engage In?

Answered by Ustadha Umm Ihsan

Question: Assalam ‘aleykum

What are acts of worship a menstruating woman can engage in?

Answer: Assalamu alaykum

AlhamduLlilah, it’s very inspiring to hear that sisters are concerned about continuing acts of worship during their menstrual cycles.

Menstruation Is Not A Punishment

The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said about menstruation, “Verily this is a matter Allah has written upon the girls of Prophet Adam (Allah bless him)…” [Bukhari]

Those who claim that menstruation is like a punishment because one cannot perform acts of worship are severely mistaken. On the contrary, there are many forms of worship that a woman can do while menstruating aside from what is legally prohibited.

Allah says in the Quran, “He who obeyeth Allah and His messenger, and feareth Allah, and keepeth duty (unto Him): such indeed are the victorious.” [Nur: 52]

Allah Most High has commanded menstruating women and women in a state of lochia (post-natal bleeding) to refrain from the ritual prayer and ritual fasting. Thus, if a menstruating woman fulfills this command with the intention to submit to Allah’s order, she is actually worshipping Allah the entire time that she refrains from the ritual prayer and ritual fasting. As one of my teachers in Damascus said, “Her praying while pure is worship (ibada) and her refraining from prayer while menstruating is worship. All of it is worship”

Therefore, there’s nothing dreadful or awful about menstruation or lochia (post-natal bleeding), rather it is a person’s attitude towards it.

Suggested Acts of Worship During Menstruation

These suggestions also apply to women in a state of lochia (post-natal bleeding).

1. Listen to the Quran

“The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Qur’an, a guidance for mankind, and clear proofs of the guidance, and the Criterion (of right and wrong).” [Baqara: 185]

She should listen to the Quran as much as possible, while simultaneously pondering about its deep meanings. She should cry when she hears about the eternal punishment, hoping that Allah will save her from its blazing flames. She should feel happiness and joy when hearing about the bounties of Paradise and desire that Allah will make her of those that will be honored to experience its bliss. If she cannot cry, then she should force herself to cry, allowing her entire soul to express its complete pleasure of being from those who follow the truth and are rightly guided.

In the Hanafi madhhab, it is prohibited to actually touch the mushaf (bound Arabic Quran), including its insides, its page margins and its cover (if it is attached to the mushaf). It is also prohibited to recite the Quran, which means to move one’s lips while producing sound. [ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar] It is sinful to touch a translation or a tafsir of the Quran while menstruating.

It is permissible to read the Arabic script or its translation with her eyes, such as on a computer screen or other electronic devices. [ibn Abidin, Manhal al-Waridin] She can also read the Quran in her heart.

2. Make Much Remembrance (Dhikr) of Allah

“…and men who remember Allah much and women who remember – Allah hath prepared for them forgiveness and a vast reward.” [The Confederates: 35]

She should use every free moment to exalt the Lord of the Worlds. There are many related dhikrs that a woman can recite. She should buy a supplication (dua) book and recite its invocations as it will strengthen her relationship with her Lord and draw her nearer to Him with each word uttered.

If the invocations include Quranic verses that contain the meanings of supplication, praise, remembrance, or protection, it is permissible to say these during a state of menstruation upon the condition that it is read with this intention. [Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah; Tahtawi, Hashiyyat al-Tahtawi] Some examples are reading Surat al-Ikhlas, Surat al-Falaq, Surat al-Nas, Surat al-Fatiha, and Ayat al-Kursi with the intention of supplication, not reciting the Quran.

In the Hanafi madhhab, it is an overall recommendation that a menstruating woman make ablution (wudu) for each prayer time, sit in her usual place of worship, and make dhikr for the time it takes for her to normally pray so that she does not lose her habit of worship while in this state. [ibn Abidin, Manhal al-Waridin]

3. Send Blessings on the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace)

Allah says in the Quran, “Lo! Allah and His angels shower blessings on the Prophet. O ye who believe! Ask blessings on him and salute him with a worthy salutation.” [The Confederates: 56]

She seeks the tremendous benefit of sending blessings and praise (salawat) upon the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) because it is an act that increases her love for him (Allah bless him and give him peace). She reflects upon his nature and expresses her gratitude to Allah for sending mankind such a wonderful example of mercy and piety. She longs to meet him and to drink from his pond (hawd) on the Day of Judgment. She intends to follow him and emulate his character (Allah bless him and give him peace).

4. Give Generously In Charity

She should reach into her pocket and give whatever she can without hesitation. She longs to give to those in need, and she thanks Allah for bestowing upon her the financial ability to help others. She refrains from praising herself for the charity she offers but rather, she donates her wealth out of pure submission to the Divine.

5. Be Kind to Others, Including Spouses & Family Members

She uses this time to rebuild and mend any broken relationships. She showers her loved ones with words and acts of gentleness, compassion, consideration, patience, and love. She doesn’t use her menstruation as an ‘excuse’ to wrong others and resort to bad temper. She forgives those that have mistreated or offended her. She prays that Allah will forgive her if she wronged others. She keeps the company of the righteous and those who will increase her in piety.

6. Make Dua for the Ummah

She supplicates for the entire ummah—praying for their forgiveness, their well-being, and Allah’s mercy upon them. She can say a dua related by the scholar al-Khurkhi:

Allahumma Aslih Ummat Muhammad. Allahumma Farrij ‘an Ummat Muhammad. Allahumma Irham Ummat Muhammad

“O Allah, improve the community of Muhammad. O Allah, relieve the community of Muhammad. O Allah, have mercy on the community of Muhammad.”

[al-Asbahani, Riyada al-Abdan]

7. Make Much Repentance

She asks Allah to pardon her, cover her sins, and save her from the Hell-fire. She begs for forgiveness and realizes her absolute neediness to His mercy. She wakes up in the middle of the night, even though she is menstruating, and repents in a time when Allah promises to forgive.

8. Feed Fasting People

The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) also said, “…Whoever feeds a fasting person in (the month of Ramadan), for him is the forgiveness of his sins and freeing his neck from the Fire…” [Sahih ibn Khuzayma; Sayuti, al-Jami’ al-Kabir; Bayhaqi, Shi’b al-Iman]

She hosts her relatives, friends or community members for iftar. She tries to accommodate her guests in the best manner possible but avoids excessiveness. She realizes that feeding fasting people is an act of worship and it is not an opportunity to seek compliments for her cooking and hospitality.

9. Show Allah Goodness

She utilizes her free time to help and assist others with their needs. She is a means for them to achieve benefit in this great month. She wakes her family up to perform worship in the night and encourages them to do extra works of obedience. She sacrifices her own time to volunteer at her Islamic community center or local charities. She helps babysit a mother’s child so that the mother can attend tarawih. She does whatever she can to aid the believers in completing the good with excellence.

She avoids looking at and listening to what is unlawful. Instead, she directs her eyes, ears, and spirit to that which is advantageous for her Hereafter. She attends classes, webinars, and lectures given by recognized scholars in an effort to surround herself with people of sound religion. She seeks beneficial knowledge and aims to implement what she’s learned in her own life. She actively pursues furthering her understanding of Islam and affirms her faith every time the wisdom of this great religion touches her heart.

Please see also: Is Menstruation Shameful in Islam? and: Acts Prohibited During Menstruation and Their Proofs and: Making Up Fasts Missed Due to Menstruation and: Why Can’t A Menstruating Woman Touch the Qur’an? Islam’s Perspective on Menstruation

Barak Allah fikum

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Umm Ihsan is a female student of Islamic knowledge from the US. She studies with leading Hanafi scholars from Syria and elsewhere.

Why Can’t A Menstruating Woman Touch the Qur’an? Islam’s Perspective on Menstruation

Answered by Ustadha Umm Ihsan

Question: I was hoping that perhaps you could help me understand why a menstruating women is not allowed to touch a Qur’an, or I suppose more so why a menstruating women is deemed “impure.” Somehow it has been bothering me that all women would be considered impure for so many days a month, such that they are too impure to touch Allah’s book. Even the verse that talks about nobody touching the Qur’an except the pure ones makes one feel so dirty to have no way at times of becoming part of the pure ones. I suppose it reminds me too much of the Hindu and Christian concept wherein a menstruating women is dirty. Is there wisdom that you have that would provide some comfort?

Answer: Bismi Llahir Rahmanir Rahimi

Thank you for your question. This is an important topic that needs to be addressed as many others may share similar sentiments.

It is understandable why these types of feelings may develop, especially if one is not familiar with Islam’s position on menstruation. Islam does not consider menstruation to be a punishment towards women, and it would be a grave error to compare this great religion to other faiths who do view menstruation in this horrible, derogatory manner. Islam’s perspective is that menstruation is normal and it is natural.

Additionally, a menstruating woman is not dirty, but rather from a legal perspective, she is ritually impure for the duration that she is menstruating. This has legal consequences and not spiritual consequences. As such, she is instructed by Allah to stop certain forms of worship, and every second that she obeys these commands, it is worship if done for Allah’s sake.

Furthermore, the Quran is revelation; it deserves to be exalted and Allah teaches us how to do so. The Quranic ayah of the ‘pure ones’ does not only refer to menstruating women, but to any person in a state of ritual impurity, whether minor or major, male or female.

Finally, women must work hard at establishing good habits of worship during their menstruation, as well as maintaining them when ritually pure. There are many acts of worship that a menstruating woman can perform that will gain her the pleasure of her Lord. These emotions of feeling ‘left out’ are an obvious result of not persisting to engage in habitual practices of devotion while menstruating. Most certainly, if one is in a constant state of remembering Allah, one will never feel far from Him.

Allah says in the Quran, “And when My servants question thee concerning Me, then surely I am nigh. I answer the prayer of the suppliant when he crieth unto Me. So let them hear My call and let them trust in Me, in order that they may be led aright.” [al-Baqara: 186]

Islam’s Perspective on Menstruation

There is nothing in Islam that says menstruating women are ‘dirty.’ Rather, menstruation is viewed as a natural process that normal, healthy women experience throughout their lifetime.

A Syrian scholar once wrote a letter to his young daughter clarifying the details of menstruation to her. He gently explained to her, “…it is a healthy blood. Indeed, menstruation has a natural, physical connection with a woman’s body to enable pregnancy. Allah is most exalted in His wisdom. He made menstruation a means for pregnancy….Verily, the uterus is preparing itself to welcome (the ability for) pregnancy with this blood and whenever pregnancy does not occur, this blood exits from the uterus to the vagina…”  [Fathi Ahmad Safi; Ahkam al-Hayd wa al-Nifas]

Medically-speaking it is impossible for a woman to become pregnant if she cannot menstruate, which is the case for young children and post-menopausal women. The blessing of being able to menstruate is quite clear for the one who reflects. The first time a girl sees menstrual blood in her life her body is signaling to her that she is growing into a young woman. She is now physically able to start conceiving. In fact, only by the occurrence of menstruation is a woman given the opportunity to begin and nurture a righteous family. For most women, Allah gives them this chance once a month for a series of years to attempt conception and enjoy the blessing of raising pious children. Surely, the wondrous joys experienced during parenthood would never be possible without first encountering menstruation.

Examples From the Prophet’s Life of How to Treat Menstruating Women

Furthermore, there are many examples in the Prophet’s life (Allah bless him and give him peace) instructing the believers of how to behave with menstruating women.  He (Allah bless him and give him peace) told the Companions (Allah be pleased with them) to interact with menstruating women in their usual manner, with the exception of engaging in sexual intercourse which is prohibited in Islam by consensus. These are a few examples from the Prophet’s life:

1) The Mother of the Believers Aisha (Allah be pleased with her) said, “We left with the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) for the pilgrimage. When we were in Sarif (a place close to Makkah) I began to menstruate. The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) approached me and I was crying. He said, ‘Did you get your period?’ I said, ‘Yes’ He said, ‘Verily this is a matter Allah has written upon the girls of Prophet Adam (Allah bless him). Do all the actions of the pilgrimage except the tawaf.’ [Bukhari]

From this narration, it is quite clear that Allah did not will menstruation for specific individuals, but rather, He chose it to be for all women until the end of time. [Sharh ibn Batal] No healthy woman experiences life without menstrual blood. It’s normal and it’s natural.

The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) also comforted Aisha (Allah be pleased with her) by telling her that it is a ‘matter’ Allah has written for women, which completely refutes the idea that menstruation is a curse, a punishment, or anything else demeaning. This is a clear distinction between Islam and other faiths.

2) The conservative Jews at the time of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) would not go near their menstruating wives. They did not eat with them, drink with them, or remain in the same house as them during their periods. The Companions (Allah be pleased with them) asked the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) about these mannerisms and how should they behave with their menstruating wives. The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Do everything with her except for sexual intercourse.” [Muslim; ibn Hajar, Fath al-Bari]

In another incident, the Companions (Allah be pleased with them) asked the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) about what was permissible to do with a menstruating woman. He responded, “For you is what is above the izar (lower garment).” [Abu Dawud]

These narrations demonstrate that a husband must still act favorably and loving towards his wife regardless if she is menstruating. A man should not ignore his menstruating wife but continue to live with her as companions for the sake of Allah.

Additionally, the given responses indicate that it is permissible to touch her, and even to sexually stimulate her, as long as the husband does not directly touch the skin between her navel and knee. The Hanafis allow the husband to touch the area between her navel and her knee upon the condition that there is a barrier covering this specific place, like with the use of a sheet or trousers. [ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]

3) The Mother of the Believers Aisha (Allah be pleased with her) said, “The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) would recline on my lap while I was menstruating and he would read the Quran.” [Bukhari]

She also said in another narration, “I would drink while menstruating, then pass the vessel to the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace). He would place his mouth on the (same) place as my mouth and drink….” [Muslim]

These narrations prove that a menstruating woman is pure (tahira) and not filthy, aside from her being in a state of ritual impurity. [Mulla Ali al-Qari, Mirqat al-Mafatih]

4) The Mother of the Believers Umm Salama (Allah be pleased with her) said, “I was lying down with the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) under a black, wool cover (and) I started to menstruate. I left quietly to put on clothing worn for menstruation. He said, ‘Did you get your period?’ I said, ‘Yes.’ He called to me to lie down again with him under the cover.” [Bukhari]

Ibn Hajar notes that this narration illustrates the permissibility of sleeping next to a menstruating woman in her clothing and lying with her under the same cover. [ibn Hajar, Fath al-Bari] Women wore different clothing during menstruation in order to avoid affecting their everyday garments with filth, which is similar to what women do in today’s times. [ibid]

5) The Mother of the Believers Aisha (Allah be pleased with her) said, “The Messenger of God (Allah bless him and give him peace) said to me, ‘Get me the prayer mat from the prayer area.’ I replied, ‘I am menstruating.’ He said, ‘Verily, your menstruation is not in your hand.’ [Muslim]

The meaning of the phrase ‘not in your hand’ is that there was no filth present on her hand, like blood, that would defile the prayer area. [Nawawi, Sharh Muslim] This narration further indicates that a menstruating woman’s limbs are not filthy but pure. She is only ritually impure. [Mulla Ali al-Qari, Sharh Musnad Abi Hanifa; al-Namari, al-Istidhkar]

6) The Mother of the Believers Maymuna (Allah be pleased with her) related that she would be menstruating and not praying. She would lie next to the Prophet’s prayer area while he would be praying on a prayer mat. She said, “When he prostrated, some of his clothing would touch me.” [Bukhari]

Similar to the narrations previously mentioned, this hadith ascertains that a menstruating woman is not filthy. [Sharh ibn Batal] One can only imagine how close Maymuna (Allah be pleased with her) must have been to the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) in order for his clothes to touch her while in prayer.

Menstruating Women & Lifting Ritual Impurity

Legally speaking, ritual impurity is a state that prevents one from performing certain acts of worship until the state is lifted by either ablution (wudu), the purificatory bath (ghusl), or dry ablution (tayammum). [Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah; Tahtawi; Hashiayyat al-Tahtawi] This criterion has legal consequences and not spiritual consequences.

There are two types of ritual impurity: minor and major. Minor ritual impurity is when one is in a state that necessitates ablution (wudu), whereas major ritual impurity is a state that necessitates the purificatory bath (ghusl). These are both ritual acts of cleanliness that were taught to us by Allah and his Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace).

Based on sound scholarship and clear evidences from the Quran and hadiths, a menstruating woman is of those who fall into the latter category. [Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah] Thus, the only way a menstruating woman can lift her state of ritual impurity is by performing the purificatory bath. However, the purificatory bath is not valid until she stops menstruating within the possible days of menses or her bleeding reaches the menstrual maximum. [Tahtawi; Hashiyyat al-Tahtawi; Hartford, Birgivi’s Manual Interpreted]

Who Can Touch the Quran

Undeniably, the Quran is revelation. It deserves to be exalted. If Allah and His Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) teach the believers that the Quran cannot be touched unless one is in a specific ritual state, then a true servant of Allah only has one thing on their mind: obeying their Master.

Allah says in the Quran, “That (this) is indeed a noble Qur’an. In a Book kept hidden. Which none toucheth save the purified. A revelation from the Lord of the Worlds.” [al-Waqi’ah: 77-80]

There is a difference of opinion of what is meant by ‘save the purified.’ Some scholars declare that Allah is referring to the angels because they are free from all sins unlike humans. But most tafsir scholars agree that it is referring to someone who is free from ritual impurity. [ibn Abidin; Radd al-Muhtar]

There are other supporting evidences. For example, the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Only a pure person may touch the Quran.” [Abu Dawud; al-Bayhaqi] In another narration he said, “Do not touch the Quran unless you are a pure person.” [al-Tabarani] The phrase ‘pure person’ means someone who is ritually pure. [al-Munawi; Fayd al-Qadir]

Therefore, in terms of touching the Quran, the same ruling applies for a man and a woman in a state of minor or major ritual impurity. Namely, neither of them can touch the Quran without first removing this state. However, lifting the state of ritual impurity may be done quicker for some than for others. For example, a woman who merely needs to perform ablution will relieve this state quicker than a menstruating woman.

Yet, there is nothing wrong with her if she takes a longer time. Allah has willed menstruation for her, alhamduLlilah, and He appoints its number of days for each woman. Glory be to Allah, every second that the menstruating woman obeys His command, she is rewarded if she does so for His sake. The Most Generous is never cheap with His generosity.

Being of the Pure During Menstruation

Feeling ‘left out’ is an obvious result of not striving to continue with other forms of devotion while in this state. Indeed, there are many acts of worship that a menstruating woman can perform. Menstruation is not an excuse that justifies vacation time from worship.

Allah says in the Quran, “I created the jinn and humankind only that they might worship Me.” [al-Dhariyat: 56]

In the Hanafi madhhab, it is an overall recommendation that a menstruating woman make ablution (wudu) for each prayer time, sit in her usual place of worship, and make dhikr for the time it takes for her to normally pray so that she does not lose her habit of worship while in this state. [ibn Abidin, Manhal al-Waridin]

Thus, menstruation is a prime time to establish good habits and demonstrate the strength of one’s faith to one’s Creator. The following are a few suggestions.

A menstruating woman can:

1) Listen to the Quran, ponder about its meanings, and cry.

2) Buy a supplication book and make constant dhikr.

3) Send blessings on our beloved Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace).

4) Spend time with her family and loved ones for the sake of Allah.

5) Attend religious lectures and classes.

6) Read about the righteous and pray to be of them.

7) Supplicate for whatever she wishes.

8 ) Beg for forgiveness and the pardon of her sins.

9) Get involved in her local community and help others.

10) Reflect about her life and thank Allah for all her blessings.

Though these acts may seem simplistic, no one knows how Allah will weigh one’s works on the Day of Judgment. Surely, a deed that is done with an open heart and presence of mind for WHO one is worshipping is most deserving of reward.

May Allah make us of those who are constant in worship and obedience to Him.

Barak Allah fikum

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Umm Ihsan is a female student of Islamic knowledge from the US. She studies with leading Hanafi scholars from Syria and elsewhere.

Worship in Ramadan For a Menstruating Woman

Originally published on: Aug 29, 2010

Answered by Ustadha Umm Ihsan

Question: If a sister is unable to fast the last 10 days of Ramadan, what are somethings she is permissible to do since those last ten 10 are sacred?

Answer: Assalamu alaykum

Ramadan Mubarak.

AlhamduLlilah, it’s very inspiring to hear that sisters are concerned about continuing acts of worship during their menstrual cycles.

Menstruation Is Not A Punishment

The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said about menstruation, “Verily this is a matter Allah has written upon the girls of Prophet Adam (Allah bless him)…” [Bukhari]

Those who claim that menstruation is like a punishment because one cannot perform acts of worship are severely mistaken. On the contrary, there are many forms of worship that a woman can do while menstruating aside from what is legally prohibited.

Allah says in the Quran, “He who obeyeth Allah and His messenger, and feareth Allah, and keepeth duty (unto Him): such indeed are the victorious.” [Nur: 52]

Allah Most High has commanded menstruating women and women in a state of lochia (post-natal bleeding) to refrain from the ritual prayer and ritual fasting. Thus, if a menstruating woman fulfills this command with the intention to submit to Allah’s order, she is actually worshipping Allah the entire time that she refrains from the ritual prayer and ritual fasting. As one of my teachers in Damascus said, “Her praying while pure is worship (ibada) and her refraining from prayer while menstruating is worship. All of it is worship”

Therefore, there’s nothing dreadful or awful about menstruation or lochia (post-natal bleeding), rather it is a person’s attitude towards it.

Suggested Acts of Worship During Menstruation in Ramadan

These suggestions are not specific to the last ten nights of Ramadan but to the month in general. Furthermore, they also apply to women in a state of lochia (post-natal bleeding).

1. Listen to the Quran

“The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Qur’an, a guidance for mankind, and clear proofs of the guidance, and the Criterion (of right and wrong).” [Baqara: 185]

She should listen to the Quran as much as possible, while simultaneously pondering about its deep meanings. She should cry when she hears about the eternal punishment, hoping that Allah will save her from its blazing flames. She should feel happiness and joy when hearing about the bounties of Paradise and desire that Allah will make her of those that will be honored to experience its bliss. If she cannot cry, then she should force herself to cry, allowing her entire soul to express its complete pleasure of being from those who follow the truth and are rightly guided.

In the Hanafi madhhab, it is prohibited to actually touch the mushaf (bound Arabic Quran), including its insides, its page margins and its cover (if it is attached to the mushaf). It is also prohibited to recite the Quran, which means to move one’s lips while producing sound. [ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar] It is sinful to touch a translation or a tafsir of the Quran while menstruating.

It is permissible to read the Arabic script or its translation with her eyes, such as on a computer screen or other electronic devices. [ibn Abidin, Manhal al-Waridin] She can also read the Quran in her heart.

2. Make Much Remembrance (Dhikr) of Allah

“…and men who remember Allah much and women who remember – Allah hath prepared for them forgiveness and a vast reward.” [The Confederates: 35]

She should use every free moment to exalt the Lord of the Worlds. There are many related dhikrs that a woman can recite. She should buy a supplication (dua) book and recite its invocations as it will strengthen her relationship with her Lord and draw her nearer to Him with each word uttered.

If the invocations include Quranic verses that contain the meanings of supplication, praise, remembrance, or protection, it is permissible to say these during a state of menstruation upon the condition that it is read with this intention. [Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah; Tahtawi, Hashiyyat al-Tahtawi] Some examples are reading Surat al-Ikhlas, Surat al-Falaq, Surat al-Nas, Surat al-Fatiha, and Ayat al-Kursi with the intention of supplication, not reciting the Quran.

In the Hanafi madhhab, it is an overall recommendation that a menstruating woman make ablution (wudu) for each prayer time, sit in her usual place of worship, and make dhikr for the time it takes for her to normally pray so that she does not lose her habit of worship while in this state. [ibn Abidin, Manhal al-Waridin]

3. Send Blessings on the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace)

Allah says in the Quran, “Lo! Allah and His angels shower blessings on the Prophet. O ye who believe! Ask blessings on him and salute him with a worthy salutation.” [The Confederates: 56]

She seeks the tremendous benefit of sending blessings and praise (salawat) upon the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) because it is an act that increases her love for him (Allah bless him and give him peace). She reflects upon his nature and expresses her gratitude to Allah for sending mankind such a wonderful example of mercy and piety. She longs to meet him and to drink from his pond (hawd) on the Day of Judgment. She intends to follow him and emulate his character (Allah bless him and give him peace).

4. Give Generously In Charity

The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “The best charity is that given in Ramadan.” [al-Tirmidhi]

She should reach into her pocket and give whatever she can without hesitation. She longs to give to those in need, and she thanks Allah for bestowing upon her the financial ability to help others. She refrains from praising herself for the charity she offers but rather, she donates her wealth out of pure submission to the Divine.

5. Be Kind to Others, Including Spouses & Family Members

The Companion Salman al-Farasi related that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said about Ramadan in a sermon given on the last day of Sha’ban, “…It is a month of patience and the reward of patience is Paradise…” [Sahih ibn Khuzayma; Sayuti, al-Jami’ al-Kabir; Bayhaqi, Shu`ab al-Iman]

She uses this time to rebuild and mend any broken relationships. She showers her loved ones with words and acts of gentleness, compassion, consideration, patience, and love. She doesn’t use her menstruation as an ‘excuse’ to wrong others and resort to bad temper. She forgives those that have mistreated or offended her. She prays that Allah will forgive her if she wronged others. She keeps the company of the righteous and those who will increase her in piety.

6. Make Dua for the Ummah

The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said about Ramadan, “Verily, Allah frees people (from the Hellfire) in every day and every night and for each Muslim among them is a supplication which will be answered.” [Ahmad]

She supplicates for the entire ummah—praying for their forgiveness, their well-being, and Allah’s mercy upon them. She can say a dua related by the scholar al-Khurkhi:

Allahumma Aslih Ummat Muhammad. Allahumma Farrij ‘an Ummat Muhammad. Allahumma Irham Ummat Muhammad

“O Allah, improve the community of Muhammad. O Allah, relieve the community of Muhammad. O Allah, have mercy on the community of Muhammad.”

[al-Asbahani, Riyada al-Abdan]

7. Make Much Repentance

The Companion Salman al-Farasi related that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said about Ramadan in a sermon given on the last day of Sha’ban, “…It is a month (in which) the first of it is mercy, and the middle of it is forgiveness, and the last of it is pardon from the Fire…” [Sahih ibn Khuzayma; Sayuti, al-Jami’ al-Kabir; Bayhaqi, Shi’b al-Iman]

She asks Allah to pardon her, cover her sins, and save her from the Hell-fire. She begs for forgiveness and realizes her absolute neediness to His mercy. She wakes up in the middle of the night, even though she is menstruating, and repents in a time when Allah promises to forgive.

8. Feed Fasting People

The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) also said in the aforementioned sermon, “…Whoever feeds a fasting person in (the month of Ramadan), for him is the forgiveness of his sins and freeing his neck from the Fire…” [Sahih ibn Khuzayma; Sayuti, al-Jami’ al-Kabir; Bayhaqi, Shi’b al-Iman]

She hosts her relatives, friends or community members for iftar. She tries to accommodate her guests in the best manner possible but avoids excessiveness. She realizes that feeding fasting people is an act of worship and it is not an opportunity to seek compliments for her cooking and hospitality.

9. Show Allah Goodness

The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Ramadan has come to you. (It is) a month of blessing, in which Allah covers you with blessing, for He sends down Mercy, decreases sins and answers prayers. In it, Allah looks at your competition (in good deeds), and boasts about you to His angels. So show Allah goodness from yourselves, for the unfortunate one is he who is deprived in (this month) of the mercy of Allah.” [Tabarani]

She utilizes her free time to help and assist others with their needs. She is a means for them to achieve benefit in this great month. She wakes her family up to perform worship in the night and encourages them to do extra works of obedience. She sacrifices her own time to volunteer at her Islamic community center or local charities. She helps babysit a mother’s child so that the mother can attend tarawih.  She does whatever she can to aid the believers in completing the good with excellence.

She avoids looking at and listening to what is unlawful. Instead, she directs her eyes, ears, and spirit to that which is advantageous for her Hereafter. She attends classes, webinars, and lectures given by recognized scholars in an effort to surround herself with people of sound religion. She seeks beneficial knowledge and aims to implement what she’s learned in her own life. She actively pursues furthering her understanding of Islam and affirms her faith every time the wisdom of this great religion touches her heart.

10. Carry Out Any Righteous Deed

Abu Huraira (Allah be pleased with him) reported that Allah’s Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “When the month of Ramadan starts, the gates of the heaven are opened and the gates of Hell are closed and the devils are chained” [Bukhari, Muslim]

She realizes that now is the perfect time to carry out any act of good. The devils are chained and there is nothing to hold her back from committing herself to absolute slavehood to her Lord.

Barak Allah fikum

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Umm Ihsan is a female student of Islamic knowledge from the US. She studies with leading Hanafi scholars from Syria and elsewhere.

The Qur’an & Menstruation

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: What are the rulings related to the Quran and a woman in the state of menstruation?

Answer: Walaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

1. It is permitted for women to read Qur’anic verses for protection, dua, and the intention of dhikr, even if out loud. However, it would not be permitted with the intention of Qur’anic recitation itself.

2. It is permitted to look at the Qur’an, and to touch it with a barrier (e.g. a cloth one is not wearing). It is permitted to read the Qur’an, with the intention of Qur’anic reading itself, without pronouncing the words, without actually reciting it.

3. It is recommended in the Hanafi school for women in their periods to sit making dhikr in the place they normally pray, in order to keep up their good habits.

4. It is not disliked for women in their periods to recite litanies (ahzab, sing: hizb) of supplications, such as those of Imam Shadhili, Imam Haddad, Imam Nawawi, and others. It is permitted to recite even the Qur’anic verses in these litanies, with the intention of dhikr or dua.

5. It is highly praiseworthy to listen to the Qur’an, even recorded. There is great benefit if this is from the recitation of a master, such as Hussary. Good recordings of his are commonly available on the Net.

Wassalam,
Faraz Rabbani

Can A Menstruating Woman Recite The Qur’an?

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: Is it permitted for a menstruating woman to recite the Qur’an? What about reading a du`a that has Qur’an in it?

Answer: It is permitted to read the Qur’an without actually reciting the words or touching it (e.g. by looking at it, such as from a computer screen), though not to recite it, when menstruating. It is also permitted for women to read Qur anic verses for protection, dua, and the intention of dhikr (as opposed to Qur anic recitation), even if out loud. Therefore it is not disliked for women in their periods to recite litanies (ahzab, sing: hizb) of supplications, such as those of Imam Shadhili, Imam Haddad, Imam Nawawi, and others.

It is recommended in the Hanafi school for women in their periods to sit making dhikr in the place they normally pray, in order to keep up their good habits. It is also highly praiseworthy to listen to the Qur an, even recorded. There is great benefit if this is from the recitation of a master, such as Hussary.

Wasalam
Faraz Rabbani