How to observe Laylatul—Qadr during Menses (A Ramadan Guide for every Muslimah) 

ramadan

 

In the name of Allah ,the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful

In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful

For every Ramadan, it is not unusual for most women to have about a week in which they are unable to join in the major religious practices of the holy month (fasting and praying).

Habitually for many a woman, when their menstrual period begins, they completely stop all forms of worship and think that their menses is a reason to take a ‘vacation’ from remembering Allah

As per the laws of Islam, a woman who is menstruating may do all acts of worship apart from praying, fasting, circumambulations the Ka’bah and doing i’tikaaf in the mosque. 

However, a Muslimah must note that, Menstruation, postnatal bleeding, and other uniquely feminine concerns are all part of Allah’s creation, which He created in perfect wisdom. They are not a punishment for women wanting to draw near their Lord. They are just part of the special package of blessings, opportunities and challenges that God has given uniquely to women. To refrain from ritual prayer (the salaat) and ritual fasting (the sawm) during this time is actually considered a form of worship, and, if done with the intention of obeying God, it earns women good deeds.

The month of Ramadan is the month of all months; the month in which we all anticipate to finally recharge our spiritual batteries. Then it happens. And suddenly, we can no longer perform Taraweeh and regular prayers, fast with the rest of the family, and hold the Qur’an.

Thinking in this way can really make Muslimah to feel down, and cause her to miss out on even more opportunities to build a closer relationship with Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’aala). For many women, frustration and a sense of lacking spirituality sets in. And she begins to redraw form the spiritually of this blessed month

This is not bad luck to happen a woman – Allah ordains everything, even a leaf falling from a tree. And He tells us

“for every matter there is an appointed time given.”
{Surah Ar-Rad 13:38}

It was narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) used to stay up at night during the last ten nights of Ramadan.

Naana ‘A’isha (may Allah be pleased with her) said: “When the last ten nights of Ramadan came, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) would refrain from marital relations, stay up at night and wake his family up.”  

Al-Bukhaari (2401) and Muslim (1174) 

Staying up at night is not only for prayer, rather it includes all kinds of acts of worship. This is how the scholars interpreted it.   Al-Haafiz said: “Staying up at night” means staying up to do acts of worship.  Al-Nawawi said: spending the night staying up to pray etc.

As a Muslimah, seeing those around you going for Taraweeh and breaking their fasts doesn’t make it easy to stay positive. Perhaps you will even look at yourself and feel you are being deprived of gaining reward. Yes, prayer and fasting are now out of your plans for a few days this Ramadan – but here are 5 rewarding acts of worship that never should be. And the best part is, each has its reward with Allah.

1 – Bond with the Qur’an.

Although the laws of Islam regarding menstruation clearly states that a woman cannot touch the Mushaf or recite the Holy Quran while experiencing her menses or postpartum bleeding, however, many scholars hold the view that they are able to listen to the recitation of the Quran.

Listening to recitation is the perfume of the souls, the calmer of hearts, and the food of the spirit. This is one of the most important psychological medicines. It is a source of pleasure, even to some animals – and pleasure in moderation purifies inner energy, enhances the functioning of the faculties, slows down senile decay by driving out its diseases, improves the complexion, and refreshes the entire body. Pleasure in excess, on the other hand, makes the illnesses of the body grow worse

In doing so, you may choose to review previously memorized verses, memorize new ones, or just listen to recitations whilst letting the Qur’an enter and soften your heart.

It is also recommended to hold a tafseer book, and deeply ponder on the meanings and lessons of the verses (ayahs) so they can beautifully be applied. This method may bring you much more benefit than holding the mus’haf and reading it alone, as many people may do with the intention of quickly completing it by the end of Ramadan..

 Just don’t abandon the Qur’an. Not in these days; in the month that Allah had sent it down to us. It is too great of a loss to let a week of Ramadan pass in which you have no connection with the Qur’an. Not even the Last 10 days of the blessed Month.

 

2 – Engage in a lot of Adhkar ( Azkaar)

Azkaar is the plural of zikr, meaning the remembrance of Allah. 

According to the Hanafi School of thought, it is recommended for menstruating women to make wudu (ablution), wear their prayer clothes, sit on their prayer mat and observe some zikr at any time of the day.

Many women tend to feel a sense of depression during the days of their menses, perhaps partly because they distance themselves from Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’aala). But when you implement the azkaar, you discover another source of connecting with Him that never gets cut off. Allah makes it clear to those who turn away from His remembrance. Zikr has a special way of touching the heart, and by invoking God’s names whenever you can during this unique month you create the space, Insha Allah, for beautiful spiritual openings

Indeed, he will have a depressed life, and We will gather him on the Day of Resurrection blind.”
{Surah Taha 20: Ayaah 124}

And instead, He gives glad tidings that,

“Verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest.”
{Surah Ar-Rad 13: Ayaah 28}

It is then that sadness, emptiness, and inner-struggles are replaced with joy, tranquility, and positivity. So wet your tongue with Subhan’Allah, Alhamdulillah, Allahu Akbar, and La ilaaha illa Allah! Also, get into the habit of saying Azkaar al-sabaah (morning) wal-masaa (evening), as Allah says:

“O believers! Remember Allah as a frequent remembrance, and glorify Him morning and evening.”
{Surah al-Ahzaab, 33: Ayaat 41-42}

The Prophet (sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa sallam) said:

“The uttering of the words: “Subhaan Allaah, Alhamdulillaah, La ilaha illAllaah and Allaahu Akbar’ is dearer to me than anything over which the sun rises.”

(Muslim)

And he (sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa sallam) said to Abu Dardaa’,

“Shall I not inform you of the best of your action which is the purest to your Rabb, which raises your status, which is better for you than spending gold and silver, and better for you than that you meet your enemies and cut off their necks or you yourselves achieve martyrdom?” They said, “Certainly.” He (SAW) said, “It is the remembrance of Allah the Exalted.” (Tirmidhi-hasan)

“He who utters a hundred times in a day these words: `La ilaha illallahu, wahdahu la sharika lahu, lahul-mulku wa lahul-hamdu, wa Huwa `ala kulli sha’in Qadir

(there is no true god except Allah. He is One and He has no partner with Him; His is the sovereignty and His is the praise, and He is Omnipotent),’ he will have a reward equivalent to that for emancipating ten slaves, a hundred good deeds will be recorded to his credit, hundred of his (minor) sins will be blotted out from his scroll, and he will be safeguarded against the devil on that day till the evening; and no one will exceed him in doing more excellent good deeds except someone who has recited these words more often than him. And he who utters: `Subhan-Allahi wa bihamdihi (Allah is free from imperfection and His is the praise)’ one hundred times a day, his sins will be obliterated even if they are equal to the extent of the foam of the ocean.” (Bukhaari and Muslim)

Also, remember to send blessings upon the Prophet (SAW) in abundance as this is one of the greatest means of having duas answered, and is a great way of earning rewards from Allah. It can easily be done any time, in almost any place with no prerequisites of faith.

Allah Himself sends his blessings upon the Prophet (SAW) and so do the angels. And this act has been enjoined upon us by Allah.

“Allah and His angels praise and venerate the Prophet (Muhammad). O you who believe! Praise and venerate him (Muhammad) and pronounce peace upon him in abundance.” (al-Ahzaab:56).”

Ramadan is an excellent time to increase repentance to God. Use Laylatul Qadir to ask for Allah’s forgiveness. All we have is a gift from Allah, so even forgetting that for a moment is a deed worth asking forgiveness from. Know that God is the Forgiving, and trust that, as our scholars have said, the moment you ask for forgiveness you are truly forgiven

 

3 – Feed the Fasting

The Prophet (SAW) said,

Whoever feeds a fasting person will have a reward like that of the fasting person, without any reduction in his reward.”

[Tirmidhi]

You don’t need to be a great cook to endeavor to serve water at iftar time. Be it your family, neighbours, community members or the poor, use the time you are not fasting to make meals that fill the stomachs and souls of those around you. Recite the salawat on the Prophet (pbuh) while making the food, as this imbues the food with spiritual benefit. Consider sponsoring iftar at your local mosque one evening with some other women who are in your situation, or volunteering at a local soup kitchen.

The Prophet also encouraged this act by expressing how even a tiny amount of food or drink given to the fasting person is great in the eyes of Allah, saying,

“Allah will give you the reward of feeding a fasting person even if you were to give him just a sip of milk, a date, or a sip of water. He who feeds a fasting person until he is full, Allah will make him drink out of my river, a sip of which will never allow him to be thirsty until he enters Jannah.”

[Al-Bayhaqi]

Suggestion: Buy a box of dates and distribute them at a gathering of Muslims, such as at a masjid, for the sake of none but Allah. Receive the same reward as all those who were fasting. This is one of the easiest, almost effortless ways to gain reward, and all it takes is a self-reminder!

4 – Increase your Du’a

Allah is al-Samee’ (The All-Hearing) and wants to hear from you!

There is no reason to stop making dua during menstruation. Du’aa is something we do very little of these days, but speaking directly to your Lord is one of the most intimate ways to connect with Him. The beauty of du’a is that you can make it in any place or time. Take this opportunity to ask your Lord for all that you need in your life, and to draw near Him through either repeating the beautiful du’as of the Prophet or reaching out to God with your own unique words.

Take this time to learn His names, so when you use them to call upon Him, your duas are more effective and beloved by Him. The Prophet (SAW) advised Aisha to say (especially important in the last 10 days of Ramadān), 

“Allahumma innaka ‘afuwwun, tuhibbul-‘afwa, fa’fu ‘anni

(Oh Allah, You are The Pardoner, You love to pardon, so pardon me.)”

He also said,

“When Ramadān comes, the Doors of Mercy are opened…”

[Bukhari]

If you feel unsure of what to ask for, at least hold on to this one powerful dua, as advised by the Prophet; that literally asks for everything you need in the Dunya and Akhirah:

“Our Lord! Give us in this world that which is good and in the Hereafter that which is good, and save us from the torment of the Fire!”

{Surat Al-Baqarah 2: Ayaah 201}

And don’t just make dua. Beg. Beg for you dunya. Beg for your Aakhirah. Beg for yourself and for your family. And for the Ummah. Beg for every possible thing you can think of. Spread out those hands in humble submission to the One Who gives all and sustains all from His limitless Treasures and Bounties. Ask and He will give you. Beg and He will suffice you.

Remember: No believer makes du’a and it is wasted. Have full hope that they will be answered in the best of ways!

 

5 –Enjoin the Good

Although you may be craving to pray taraweeh and fast, do not let your feelings prevent you from enjoining others to good during this time. Be aware; sometimes it happens subconsciously, that we deprive others from specific blessings because we can’t take part in them ourselves. All it takes to get back in the driver’s seat of that khair wagon is to remember that you will get the same reward as those whom you drive towards good. Now this is the right version of selfishness!

It is because of this quality that Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’aala) honors us, saying

“You are the best nation produced [as an example] for mankind. You enjoin Al-Ma’roof (what is right) and forbid Al-Munkar (what is wrong), and you believe in Allah.”

{Surah al-‘Imraan 3: Ayaah 110}

Conclusion:

The bottom line, my dear sister, is that there is absolutely nothing preventing you from worshiping your Lord and gaining tremendous rewards during the month of Ramadan or even at other times. Your menses is NOT a hindrance in your path to Jannah. All that is needed is your effort, the right good intentions and sincerity on your part. Just leave the rest to Allah.

May Allah accept our deeds from us and enable us to worship Him and thank Him in this month and at all times of our lives. Ameen.

  • Sister Ray
  • Asma bint Shameem

 

 

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