So, you have been fasting consistently. The headaches and dehydration have passed. You are really beginning to take advantage of the blessings that Ramadhan brings. And no clearer than the end of this sentence. There it is, right on time. Your period. The worst thing that can happen during Ramadhan.
No more fasting, no more praying, until it has ended. What are you to do?
Continue earning the blessings of Ramadan during your menses!
Now is not the time to fall back into bad habits, you can still participate and earn the blessings of this holy month. I’m sure you spend plenty of time online, and/or listening to your iPod. Yes, Apple has an app for that. You can listen to and read Qur’an from your iPhone, iPod, or favorite web browser.
You may actually find yourself reading more than you realize, too! If you read a minimum of five pages of Qur’an per day, insha’Allah you will be done by the end of Ramadhan.
Okay, you can’t pray, no big deal. But you can do dhikr. Prayer is a way or remembering Allah (SWT) . As you are waiting for your family and friends to pray, simply do dhikr during the time in which you would be praying instead. Dhikr is repeating ‘Allahu Akbar‘, ‘Alhamdulillah‘, and ‘Subhanallah‘ 33 times each. It’s a very meditating and calming activity.
In actuality you can still pray. Even without purification, at any time you may fall in Sujood, or prostration (face on the floor, palms down) and make supplication to Allah (SWT) for anything that concerns you. You can make supplication sitting down with hands raised to your Creator at anytime as well.
You don’t have to have any special supplications memorized, or even speak in Arabic. Talk to Allah (SWT) as though He (SWT) were your best friend, and you will find that He (SWT) is. You will begin going to Him (SWT) more and more, even after Ramadan is over. It’s not only by doing more good deeds that you improve your character, but also by drawing yourself closer to Allah (SWT) ; as you grow closer to Him (SWT) , He (SWT) changes your character and therefore your deeds change as a result of the change in your heart.
Allah (SWT) says in the Qur’an:
“… Allah intends for you ease, and He does not want to make things difficult for you.” 2:185
Feeding people has a blessing of its own. However, during the month of Ramadan, it’s like a multi-level marketing business! If you feed a person who has been fasting, your earn the blessings of their fast as if you had fasted the entire day yourself!
Volunteer at your local mosque, sponsor Iftar one night, or contribute to a potluck. Encourage your friends who are also not fasting to join you, and gain blessings from their good deeds as well. Before you know it, your menses will be over.
Purifying yourself after your menses
After your menses has ended, you must purify yourself through a process called ghusool before you can begin fasting and resume praying as normal. First, remove all your jewelry or anything that may get in the way of the water touching your skin, and un-braid any braids or pony tails that you may have in your hair. Bathe your private parts, and pour three cup fulls of water of your hair, making sure that water gets to your scalp.
Then continue your ghusool as you would when making Wudhu. But before you wash your feet, bathe and wash your entire body until you are fully clean. Then, wash your feet and end your ghusool by saying the shahada: Ashhadu inna la ilaha illa Allah, wa ashhadu inna Muhammadun rasool Allah. Remember, the water should touch every single part of your body – if even one hair remains dry, your ghusool is not valid!
If, for some reason, your menses has continued for more than 15 days, perform ghusool as stated above, and go back to your praying and fasting as you normally would. Scholars differ on the number of days, between 11-15 days. They all agree however that it is not considered to be your menses but rather a discharge. You simply purify yourself before each prayer, then pray and fast as normal.
Don’t let something as small as your menses get in between you and your blessings. Remember that Ramadan is not simply about giving up food, praying, and fasting, but it is truly about purifying your heart and your deeds — leaving things that Allah (SWT) dislikes and doing more of the things that He (SWT) loves with no intention other than to please Him (SWT) .