Monday, 8 June 2009

Menstruating and missing out.

I’m not a very shy person, knowledge would be wasted if shyness overpowered it. So here goes...
A muslimah during that time of the month cannot make salah(pray). The periods are a najis(dirt) and one must stand in utmost purity before Allah. Some of the Companions of the Prophet sallalahu alayhi wasalam used to pray with wounds from war. This sort of blood is clearly different from the one from the lining of the uterus. It is a shedding and a sort of release of this impurity. That is not to say that women are impure on a spiritual level.

But Allah knows how man twists at every chance they get the Truth to make it sound terrible. He says:

"We have cited in this Quran every kind of example, but the human being is the most argumentative creature."18:54
Many condemn Islam of reducing the status of women, making them less closer to God because of this inability to pray. The verse in the Quran that deals with this is in
Al Baqarah aya 222 which can be translated as:
"They ask you concerning menstruation (mahid) Say: it is a hurt (adha) Therefore keep away from them during their menstruation and go Not unto them until they have become clean (Tahara) And when they have cleansed (Tatahhara) then go into Them as Allah has ordained for you."

Allah who created us from a drop of sperm acknowledges that it is a ‘hurt’, like an illness and because of this it would not be fair to demand from us what He would demand of men who do not experience this ‘adha’. The hormonal changes, the cramps that vary from some women who do not feel a thing to some who are completely bed-ridden. It is a break for us from fasting, conjugal relations and prayer.

The implication of this ayat is in regards to the sexual relations between man and women during the menstrual cycle. However, we learn several other things from this aya that applies to women and menstruation in regards to other aspects of Islam.
The way Muslimahs carry themselves during this times is the best for the personal hygiene and cleanliness of the Islamic household.

Allah, All Wise says:

*{Should He not know what He created? And He is the Subtile, the Aware.}* (Al-Mulk 67:14)

Like the impossibility of a ship with no captain travelling to a precise destination with no crew, loading and unloading cargo and returning to the original port constantly at precise times, it is impossible that our bodies that conduct daily functions, the lungs, the heart beating, the nerve synapses, our bodies are a testament to the Greatness of Allah. We are in ourselves evidence of His perfect designs.
So He knows us better than we know ourselves, He has given us the Manual to optimum use of these gifts.

In a hadith narrated Abu Sa'id Al-Khudri and Abu Huraira the Prophet said: “No fatigue, nor disease, nor sorrow, nor sadness, nor hurt, nor distress befalls a Muslim, even if it were the prick he receives from a thorn, but that Allah expiates some of his sins for that.” (Reported by Al-Bukhari.)

This shows the Grace of Allah. Even though women miss out on these days, Allah compensates them as if they did the salah or the fast...Subhannallah, truly Allah is Al Hakim.
Thus its not fair for people to deduce that Islam views women impure and dirty in the spiritual sense, or that we cannot perform some of the usual ibadat and that makes Islam discriminatory. It is for our own comfort.

And when you turn the pointing finger 180degrees, you find that the Christian and Jewish Old Testament claims that a woman’s impurity at this time "infects" others as well. Anyone or anything she touches becomes unclean for a day: "When a woman has her regular flow of blood, the impurity of her monthly period will last seven days, and anyone who touches her will be unclean till evening. Anything she lies on during her period will be unclean, and anything she sits on will be unclean. Whoever touches her bed must wash his clothes and bathe with water, and he will be unclean till evening. Whoever touches anything she sits on must wash his clothes and bathe with water, and he will be unclean till evening. Whether it is the bed or anything she was sitting on, when anyone touches it, he will be unclean till evening" (Lev. 15:19-23).

Due to her "contaminating"; nature, a menstruating woman was sometimes "banished" in order to avoid any possibility of any contact with her. She was sent to a special house called "the house of uncleanness" for the whole period of her impurity. The Talmud considers a menstruating woman "fatal" even without any physical contact: "Our Rabbis taught:....if a menstruant woman passes between two (men), if it is at the beginning of her menses she will slay one of them, and if it is at the end of her menses she will cause strife between them" (bPes. 111a.)

The Prophet maintained contact with his wives during their menses. There was no exclusion, or them being made to feel shameful for their nature.

294: BukhariNarrated 'Aisha:While in menses, I used to comb the hair of Allah's Apostle .

So what sort of Ibadat can we perform at these times?
We can still maintain a spiritual connection with Allah through duas, sadaqah, dhikr or remembrance of Allah Ta’alah. We can recite Quran silently in our hearts. And Inshallah, our day will be as if we prayed the best of salahs. Amin.


NiDa said...

SubhanAllah sister lovely post. Thank you for your comments aswell - inshaAllah more people see Islam in the light you have seen it. You write beautifully - carry on doing the good work inshaAllah.

I am very glad you adressed this issue!

miseducation of the cushitic girl said...

Jazakallahu khair,
Welcome sis, I have to say the same for your writing.


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