How To Maintain Eemaan During Menses

Every month, most women have a menstrual cycle which lasts approximately 3-5 on average but can continue for up to 10 days in some circumstances and this may be the norm for some women.
During the early days of the menstrual cycles or the few days or week or two leading up to it many women may suffer from premenstrual syndrome (PMS). There are many different symptoms and they vary from person to person and can even change each month.There are numerous symptoms which can be physical, psychological or behavioural and below the most common are listed:

Physical:
Feeling bloated, menstrual cramps, tenderness or soreness, back pains particularly in the lower back, dizziness, weight gain, feeling tiredPsychological:
Mood swings, crying for little or no reason, feeling depressed, feeling angry, feeling paranoid, restlessness, increased levels of stress

Behavioural:
Loss of appetite or craving for ‘comfort’ or sugary foods

Personally, I believe a good clean diet can help elevate most, if not all of these symptoms and inshaaAllaah, if you don’t do this already then in the future you will see the benefits of doing so.

However, this post will focus on discussing how to maintain your eemaan during the menstrual cycle so we will put diet aside for the moment. As already stated, symptoms of PMS can occur leading upto the menses and during this time a woman can still worship Allaah so things don’t usually seem too bad. Once the cycle begins, acts of ibaadah (worship) such as fasting and praying cease as we have been commanded by Allaah and His messenger salallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam.

If a woman is devout and worships Allaah regularly, prays her obligatory prayers and the sunnah prayers, she fasts on Mondays and Thursdays, she recites the Qur’aan daily, prays tahajjud regularly and makes dhikr often then when she is suddenly not praying or doing any of these actions, it is not unusual for her to feel like she has been distanced from Allaah a little.
Now combine this lack of worship with a bad mood, anger, physical pain, tiredness and so on. She may begin to feel depressed and this is not uncommon. During these days of ‘darkness’ or depression, which remember, can last up to 10 days for some women, her eemaan may decrease. Allaahul musta’aan.

It is therefore important for the Muslim woman to know what she can and can’t do when she is on her menses and to do as much as she can to maintain her eemaan and avoid becoming depressed or in a state of anxiety.

The following is a list of things I recommend a menstruating woman to do and each one has been successful for Muslim women, alhamdulillaah:

1) Make du’aa – just because you’re menstruating it doesn’t mean Allaah stops hearing you, it doesn’t mean that this direct conversation from you to Him is suddenly no longer available. Allaah can hear us all when we call upon him and we ask from him.
Download and listen to this audio by Abu Khadeejah to learn more about the six occasions when du’aa is accepted and there is a lilttle more information to benefit from inshaaAllaah.

2) Remember Allaah and make dhikr – We should be doing this regularly anyway. When we do daily chores we should get into the habit of making dhikr. Even when we’re walking to the shops and so on, we need to keep our tongues busy with the rememberance of Allaah. Saying SubhaanAllaah, Alhamdulillaah, Allaahu Akbar, seeking Allaah’s forgiveness, saying Subhaanallaahi wa bihamdi hi, Subhaanallaahil adheem and so on. There are so many rewards to gain from these small supplications.
Download and listen to this FREE audio by Abu Talhah Dawood Burbank rahimahullaah on the benefits of Dhikr

3) Recite the Qur’aan or read from it – There is a difference of opinion amongst the ‘ulema is a menstruating woman can physically hold the Qur’aan with her bare hands, if she can recite from the Qur’aan and so on. We normally find that it i mostly a cultural thing whereby people say a woman cannot hold the Qur’aan and they forbid her from doing so and from reading it. Further down this page there is a book called “Regulations of worship during menses” by Muhammad al-Jibaly and you can buy it from the Salafi Bookstore. In this book it discusses the evidences for and against the permissibililty for a woman who is mentrusting to handle the Qur’aan. In conclusion, they say that it is permissible for her to touch, hold and read from the Qur’aan. If you don’t have this book already, then I advise you to buy it inshaaAllaah, it’s only £5.95 and there’s a direct link for it below the image.

4) Read books – There’s plenty of authentic ones to buy

5) Download and listen to authentic audios via Troid, salafiaudio and so on.

6) Listen to the recitation of Qur’aan, you can even listen and read the translation on youtube, so many of us can do this via our mobile phones so we don’t even need to be sat at a computer.

7) Read the tafseer of the Qur’aan, try to understand it if you don’t know Arabic

8) Wake up for tahajjud – whether you used to do it before or not. I know you can’t pray but this is a time when we know there is a great reward in worshipping Allaah. We know du’aas have a better chance of being accepted if they are done during the last third of the night. Sometimes you might spend the night tossing and turning so if you’re awake anyway, you may as well be upright, even if it’s only for 5 minutes.
Learn more about tahajjud prayer here.

8 points have been mentioned for now but there are many more beneficial things a woman can do to maintain her eemaan and to make herself feel better. Below, there is a quote from a sister who has experienced many of the symptoms of PMS and with her permission I am able to share her experience in maintaining her eemaan so you can see how easy it is. I have heard a few sisters say similar things and there has always been great benefit for each of them.

“I find that it is easier for me to wake up during the night and then stay awake after Fajr. This is the time when I prefer to recite Qur’aan when the house is quiet and I won’t be disturbed or called away and look after those who depend on me. I normally do this but when I am menstruating I become very irritable and I tend to have a short temper. Not praying used to make me upset. Towards the end of my menses I would become impatient because I just wanted to start praying already, I felt like I lost my relationship with Allaah.

I pray all my Sunnahs everyday and try hard not to miss them and I found that when I wasn’t able to pray I used to waste time instead or treat it as if I was on a ‘break’. I didn’t realise it then but it was the worst thing I could do. Instead I decided to wake up for tahajjud as this was something I used to do. Instead of making wudhu and praying I just sat up and made du’aa for a while. Then I did some dhikr. I wasn’t too tired so I decided to read a few pages of Qur’aan until I got tired and wanted to rest. I went to sleep and when I woke up I felt quite energetic and in a very good mood. SubhaanAllaah, it’s amazing how even the smallest amount of worship can make you feel good. For me, it was better than abandoning all acts of worship completely. The next night I felt very tired so stayed in my bed and just did some dhikr, I woke up that morning feeling quite content. The third night I was too tired and felt unwell but I knew I had a good intention and I know my body has a right over me so I decided to stay asleep. I learnt that even if I don’t continuously worship Allaah or make dhikr regularly, even the smallest amount can have a positive impact on my day.

I woke up after the  third day still feeling content because I know Allaah wanted me to rest and I didn’t feel guilty after already making attempts to maintain my eemaan. Alhamdulillaah this is something I try to implement each month and I advise other sisters to do the same.”

So there we have it. It seemed like very little effort to this sister but the impact on her was greater than she expected.

The book I mentioned earlier concerning the evidences to say a woman can read from the Qur’aan during menses:

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You can buy this book from the Salafi Bookstore for £5.95 by clicking here.

May Allaah grant all the Muslim women success, sabr and ease during the monthly cycle. May He have Mercy on us and make it easy for us to remember Him during times of hardship and ease and make us from those who do righteous deeds no matter what state we’re in and grant us Jannatul Firdous. Allaahumma aameen!

Just Have tawakkul

The last week and a bit was a little rough for me. Potato overload = negative effects on body… not the way you’re thinking! It just made things a little bad for me.

I ruined a few things too like my relationship with people in terms of how I communicate with them and generally my behaviour and manners; all the things I improved over the last few months. I’m hoping this damage can be reversed and even though I know me feeling a bit ‘ugh’ (I have no words) was to blame, I’m not going to blame it. I’ve reached a point where I know I’m responsible for my own actions and words now I’ve (mostly) regained my common sense. I know I’m supposed to be patient and so on, I’ve worked so hard at it and thought I trained myself well. I was wrong.

It’s not all negative though. I learnt that when something bothers me or if I’m scared and worried it’s better for me to just say it straight out just to get it out my system. Even if the person I tell can’t help me or offer advice at least it’s something I ‘let out’ and it doesn’t feel like a secret and I don’t have to suffer in silence. I felt better for just saying it although it took me a short while to ‘heal’ after that. I was really silly and for that, I sincerely apologise.

It’s funny how when we finally get our lives back on track we feel like we can conquer the world, then one silly little thing happens and suddenly stubborness and stupity commandeer! Allaahul musta’aan.
I’m glad I can say I’m making less of these mistakes now and I reflect upon my actions much sooner rather than later… although that needs some work too *face palm*

I also learnt that I like retail therapy… rarely. That’s not actually a good thing as I think I did it to cheer myself up. Although, I did need those things and it’s not like I just splashed the cash without a care in the world.

Anyway, I remembered I mentioned in an earlier post that I wanted to share a book with you: “Tawakkul (Trust & reliance on Allaah)” By Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan. I started my proper ‘healing journey’, ya know, sorting my head, heart and stuff out in the middle of June. This was one of the first books I got my mitts on to help me. In it, an aayah:

“And whosoever has Taqwaa of Allaah, He will make a way for him to get out (from every difficulty). An He will provide him from (sources) he never could imagine. And whosoever puts his trust in Allaah, then He will suffice him. Verily, Allaah has set a measure for all things.” (At-Talaaq, 2-3)

I focused on this aayah for a little over three weeks. Every difficulty and struggle I faced within that time went back to this aayah. At times, it didn’t make sense… how could I apply this to many of the situations I was in? Du’aa, thinking, reflecting, analysing each thing I was thinking about doingall came down to having truth and reliance on Allaah. I really had to understand it in order to live by it and implement it. I guess, that’s what I should have done once again over the last week and a bit when I was feeling a little rough and anxious.

I highly recommend this book. Everyone needs it and although I thought I bougth it from Salafibookstore.com I can no longer find it. Ajeeb! Here’s a picture of what it looks like so you can hunt it out inshaaAllaah:

tawakkul-trust-and-reliance-on-allah-by-shaykh-saalih-al-fawzan-4011805-0-1294149072000
This brings me on to something else I want to address… Depression. Oh no, I said a word that Asian culture doesn’t speak of! Seriously, it’s important, it needs to be discussed. Yes, I was a sufferer of depression in the past. For several years in fact. I was clinically depressed. The cause was known and I think, gluten was something that encouraged the down feeling to last a lot longer than I expected. Of course I only conjectured this after going gluten free and paleo.

When I explored a few websites to find something to help me Islaamically, there wasn’t a lot out there. Now many of you will disagree with me, yes there are du’aas, people have written tips to help, keep praying, sleep well, distract yourself and so on. You know, the usual misnomers we call “tips”. Unless you’ve been through the clinically depressed phase, you don’t really have a clue what you’re talking about. And in actual fact, your “tips” to make a depressed person feel better, make them feel much worse and even more hopeless.
It’s a funny one because so many people think depressed people “just” need “advice” and things will get better. No, unfortunately it doesn’t work that way. So I’m gonna be realistic inshaaAllaah and list some things that do help in the next post.

Don’t forget to buy the book above!