So the blessed month is upon us alhamdulillah! But I know that for us girls we always face one problem, what do we do when we start menstruating and we can’t fast? When everyone around us is fasting and we are unable to. We feel left out and upset that we can’t reap the rewards of fasting in this month. But alhamdulillah this is something that has been given to us by Allah so we shouldn’t feel frustrated by it. It is a blessing that Allah has commanded us not to fast while we are menstruating, we are in pain and we can feel weaker during these days so Allah has given us a “break” so that we can maintain good health. But this doesn’t mean we can do any acts of worship. There are in fact many things we can do during these days to continue to gain rewards even while we aren’t fasting.
1. Listen to the Quran recitation.
The time you would spend reading the Quran, fill that instead with listening to it. There are many recitors that you can listen to. Pay full attention to what is being recited so that you can truly benefit from the recitation.
Allah says: …So give good tidings to my servants who listen to the Quran and follow the best of it… Quran (39:17-18)
2. Read the translation of the Quran.
Most of us can’t understand Arabic so when we read the Quran we don’t actually know what’s being said. So reading the translation in a language you understand is so important. How else will we know what Allah is teaching us. How else will we be able to ponder and reflect on what the Quran is teaching you.
3. Read the tafsir of the Quran
When we read the translation we can gain some understanding of what Allah is telling us but it may not always be clear. So we should also read the tafsir of the Quran so that we can gain deeper understanding of the surahs. Now we have access to the Internet so it’s even easier to learn tafsir. You can YouTube videos done by shaykhs on different surahs of the Quran and each video may give you a different perspective so you can understand to a much deeper level. With understanding the Quran better we can implement what we learn easier.
Allah says: (This is) a blessed book which We have revealed to you, (O Muhammad), that they may reflect upon its verses and that those of understanding would be reminded. Quran (38:29)
4. Dhikr of Allah
Even though we can’t pray our salah we can still do our dhikr, alhamdulillah, subhanAllah, Allahu Akbar. Remembering and glorifying Allah is one of the easiest acts of ibadah yet it is often the most neglected. We can make dhikr while cooking, at work, driving and even while relaxing at home. The more we remember Allah the closer to Him we become. But we should remember Allah in our hearts not just by our tongues. Not making dhikr of Allah will be our greatest regret in the hereafter.
The prophet (saw) said: The people of paradise will not regret anything except one thing alone: the hour that passed them by in which they made no remembrance of Allah. (Bayhaqi)
5. Making abundant dua
Dua is something we should do consistently throughout the year and we should increase it Ramadan. Dua is our way of building a deep and personal relationship with Allah. We need Allah for even the smallest of things yet Allah is not in need of anything from us. So dua is a gift to us from Allah to be able to ask from Him every single thing we need or want. Dua has such great importance that it is mentioned several times by Allah and the prophet (saw). Allah listens to all of our duas, He always responds to every single dua and He wants us to make dua so that He may answer it.
Allah says: And when my servants ask you, (O Muhammad), concerning Me – indeed I am near. I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me. Quran (2:186)
We should also learn the times in which duas are most accepted. The last third of the night, when it rains, between adhaan and iqamah, the night of qadr, while travelling and at the time of breaking the fast is just some of these times.
6. Increase in islamic knowledge
You may not be able to pray your salah or fast but you can learn and study about how to increase your khushoo in salah or what nullifies your fast. You can spend time studying the seerah of the prophet (saw) or the sahaba or the wives of the prophet (saw). How to get closer to Allah, diseases of the heart and so much more for us to learn about. We should never stop learning and studying and we can use this time to increase our knowledge and try to implement what we learn. We can read books, watch videos online, listen to audio lectures, attend classes in your local area or read articles online. There are so many ways for us to increase our knowledge and it is much easier for us now to access these than it used to be so we should take advantage of this. We are taught the dua to ask Allah to increase our knowledge and this dua is the only dua in which we are told to ask for an increase in anything.
The prophet (saw) said: Seeking knowledge is obligatory for every muslim. (Tirmidhi)
7. Seek forgiveness
We should be constantly seeking forgiveness as we are all sinners so we should ask Allah to forgive us for all and every sin we have committed. We should ask Allah to save us from the punishment of the hell fire. We have even been given a special dua to recite during Ramadan and especially to recite this in the last ten nights when we are searching for the night of qadr.
Allahumma innaka ‘afuwwun tuhibbul ‘afwa fa’fu annee
O Allah, You are the pardoning and You love to pardon, so pardon me. (Tirmidhi)
8. Feed a fasting person
Although we may not be able to fast ourselves we can still gain great reward for providing iftar for others who are fasting. This is actually the best time to invite others to open their fast in your home. You will find it easier to cook as you’re not fasting and you can get the reward for feeding a fasting person.
The prophet (saw) said: whoever gives Iftar to the one who is fasting will have a reward like his, without that detracting the reward of the fasting person in the slightest. (Tirmidhi)
9. Give charity or volunteer for a charity organisation
Be generous in what you give, give as much as you can to reap many rewards. You can feed a poor person, donate to a charitable cause, sponsor an orphan etc. but it doesn’t have to be just money, charity is far more than that. Smiling is a charity, helping an elderly neighbour, babysit for a family member or friend so they can go pray at the masjid, help run a charity event, bake cakes for your neighbours, volunteer at an elderly home, the possibilities are endless.
Ibn Abbas said: The prophet (saw) was the most generous of the people, and he used to be even more so in the month of Ramadan, he would be more generous than a swift wind (bringing rain). (Bukhari)
There is so much more that you can do aside from what I have listed. Helping your parents and family members, keeping ties of kinship, enjoining good, forbidding evil, giving dawah, we can focus on self-improvement, try and build good habits, get rid of bad habits etc.
So even though we cannot fast for a few days don’t feel like you will miss out on all the rewards. You can still build that closeness to Allah through many other acts of worship and that is the aim of Ramadan.
Allah says: …God intends ease for you and does not intend hardship… Quran (2:185)
This is the ayah in which Allah talks about fasting so we should consider it a blessing that Allah has made it easy for us to not only fast but also that he has made it easy for us women who will be menstruating and the weakness that comes at this time. Otherwise we could have faced many difficulties if we had been told to fast at this time. All is indeed Ar-Rahman. Alhamdulillah!