By Tabassum Mosleh
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Period– time for a break?
We can’t deny that we view our periods as a monthly break from worship. During our eemaan lows, we may even look forward to the coming of a period.
And why not? After all Allah did waive salah, fasting, tawaf, and so on during menstruation. We have a legal right to take a break— why not enjoy it? And one really needs a break from the demands of worship, particularly if one usually suffers from the more unpleasant side effects of menstruation.
But taking a “break” shouldn’t mean giving up worship altogether. We don’t view menstruation as a “curse” as some other religions do; it’s just a natural part of being a woman, and we are free to carry on being Allah’s slaves without any feeling of guilt or shame.
Here are a few solid reasons why we shouldn’t totally cut ourselves off from worsip during menses. We girls naturally find this very difficult to do dhikr once we stop the regular salah, and usually give it up altogether on the third or fourth day. It’s helpful to keep in mind these reasons in order to prod ourselves on during those difficult days.
- Allah ﷻ says in the Quran, And I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship (ya’budun) Me. (51:56) The word “ya‘budun” includes the meanings of worshipping Allah and being slaves of Allah. A slave is a slave 24/7, and so we don’t cease to be slaves of Allah during period. It’s thus part of being Allah’s slave to continue to serve Him at all times.
- During the period our chances of sinning do not automatically become zero. Good deeds erase sins (Tirmidhi), and if we cease to do good deeds, our sins will keep piling up for the duration of the period.
- Allah ﷻ says in the Quran: But for him who shall turn away from remembering Me – his shall be a life of narrow scope. (20:124) He says in another place: So remember Me; I will remember you. (2:152) If we stop remembering Allah ﷻ, the barakah and blessings will start leaking away from our lives. The longer we continue like this, the farther away we will get from Allah ﷻ.
- When we form habits, routine tasks get easier to do. Once a habit is disrupted, it’s harder to resume it after some time passes. No wonder we often find it difficult to do the sunnah prayers and dhikrs after our period is over.
- Our level of eemaan is dependant on the quantity and quality of our worship. In a Qudsi hadith, the Prophet ﷺ quotes Allah ﷻ to have said, “The most beloved thing with which My slave comes nearer to Me, is what I have enjoined upon him; and My slave keeps on coming closer to Me through performing Nawafil (voluntary prayers or doing extra deeds besides what is obligatory) until I love him, (so much so that) I become his hearing with which he hears, and his sight with which he sees, and his hand with which he strikes, and his leg with which he walks; and if he asks Me something, I will surely give him, and if he seeks My Protection, I will surely protect him” (Bukhari)
- Your period doesn’t stop the Angel of Death from coming near you. If your time of death falls during menses, he’ll come for sure. And imagine dying in a state when you’re far away from Allah’s remembrance, when you are low in eemaan, and you have a pile of sins in your baggage.
Tabassum is a final year student of BA in Islamic Studies at Islamic Online University, and a Foundation student on Classical Arabic and Islamic Studies at al-Salam Institute. She also has a degree in Mechanical Engineering, and studies psychology independently. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org