A Sister’s Struggle: Maintaining the Feeling of Ramadan during Menstruation

Hafssa El-Bouhamouchi, 27, is from Germany with Moroccan origin. She is enrolled in the Madina Institute Bachelor of Arts in Usul Al Din Program, together with her husband. They came to Cape Town in order to learn and study at Madina Institute, with the intention of transmitting Islamic knowledge in Germany.


A Sister’s Struggle: Maintaining the Feeling of Ramadan during Menstruation


Muslim women sometimes feel that their menstruation can set them back in Ramadan; they feel excluded from the Ibadat that brings a believer closer to Allah. Fasting is no longer an obligation, like the prayer. Moreover, not being able to participate in the uplifting prayers of tarawih at night is difficult for many. But do we believe that menstruation is a disadvantage? This mindset is not what Allah ascribed to the noblest of His creatures. Allah says He created the human being and thus also the woman “in the best of stature“ (95:4) and this also includes the physical functions of the body.


The Origin of Life

A woman’s menstruation is the origin of the offspring. Therefore, it is a form of  sustenance (rizq). If we assume this, then staying away from the Ibadat is an act of devotion to God in itself. Allah has given us relief in a phase that is physically challenging. In fact, staying away from Ibadat enables a new start when one returns to it after the period. With this knowledge, Muslim women would find it easier to devote herself to other Ibadat. So how can we keep close to Allah during our period? At the times of prayer, we can retreat and remember Allah.



Keep up the Connection

The best way to keep up the connection is to make Istighfar; meaning to ask Allah for forgiveness often. Especially since we know that Ramadan is the month of forgiveness. We can use the time that we do not spend in prayer to take ourselves into account. From this, we have to become more aware of our mistakes and ask God for forgiveness. To make Istighfar is a Sunnah of the prophets and women can follow this practice during their menses.

The Prophet used to say: “My Rabb! Forgive me and pardon me. Indeed, You are the Oft-Returning with compassion and Ever Merciful” (Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidhi).

Many women feel physically weakened and vulnerable during their periods. This is the right time for Du´a. Because in those moments of weakness it is especially important to ask Allah for strength and patience. Du´a is so important in Islam that the Prophet – peace and blessing on Him – said “Dua is The essence of worship” (Musnad Ahmad Tirmidhi).


Service as Ibadat 

Worship is not limited to remembrance. With the right Niyyah, our deeds throughout the day can be considered a service; cleaning up, looking after children, taking care of parents and brothers and sisters, shopping and cooking. We also receive the reward for their fasting through the cooking and eating of the fasting family members alone.


The possibilities are infinite because the month of Ramadan is for the believer no matter what condition we find ourselves in. We owe only the effort, the success comes from Allah.


Hafssa El-Bouhamouchi

Preparation for Ramadan

Zochara Peters, 49, is currently a student at Madina Institute studying the one year Usul al Din course. She is married and has a 14 year old daughter. She enjoys baking, cooking and hiking in her free time. She loves to help people, and is an active member of a community soup kitchen.


Preparation for Ramadan

Ramadan is a once a year occurrence on the Islamic calendar. It is reported on the authority of Umar (Radiallahu ta’ala an) when the Prophet (Sallalahu Alayhi Wa Alihi Wa Salaam) was asked about Islam, he clearly indicated that “to fast in the month of Ramadan” is one of its principles. In chapter 2 verse 185 in the holy Quran it states* “Ramadan is the month in which the Quran was revealed to man and clear proof of the guidance and criterion. So when you witness the month, let him fast it…..”.

There are numerous verses in the holy Quran and many sayings of the Prophet (Sallalahu Alayhi Wa Alihi Wa Salaam) that refers to Ramadan. This is a clear indication of the importance of this month. When we want to know if something is important then we ask questions. One particular question comes to mind, “how do I prepare for Ramadan?”.

There are many things that a person can work on in order to prepare for Ramadan. I believe that Fasting is not only the abstaining from food, drinking and sex from sunrise to sunset – but rather it’s much more. Let us look at a few examples. My sentiments is that we need to fast with our eyes, meaning we don’t look at Haraam. Also with our mouths, we don’t indulge in vain talk. We fast with our ears, we don’t listen to gossip. Fasting must also be done with our hands, do not take what’s not yours, similarly, the feet must be used to go to good places and not to Haraam places that keep one away from the remembrance of our Creator. In fact, we must fast with our whole being, body and soul

I think the inclination to do good is definitely on the cards. So the question would be “what good” do I do? The Revelation of Quran is synonymous with the month of Ramadan. The only difference is that Ramadan is one month of the year but the holy Quran is for every moment of our lives. So there is the answer. My preparation for Ramadan should revolve around the study of the holy Quran. Not only in Ramadan but the whole year through.

The holy Quran is in a book form but it is the speech of our Creator. This book was not send to be read or recited only but more for us to read, reflect on the verses, to study the meanings to get an understanding in order for us to implement the laws of Allah ta’ala in our daily lives.

Ramadan Mubarak.

By Zochara Peters

*The Qur’an is Arabic, and the English translation is a possible meaning 

The virtues and mercies of the last ten days of the holy month of Ramadan

Sharfaa Mustapha, 17, is currently doing the one year Usul al Din course at Madina Institute. She is an animal lover, and is very adventurous. She loves the outdoors  and enjoys reading and knitting in my free time. She is passionate about community empowerment and embracing new challenges.

The virtues and mercies of the last ten days of the holy month of Ramadan

Ramadan is a blessed month for Muslims all over the world in which they increase in Ibaadah and good acts of worship in the hope that Allah ta’ala will forgive them their sins and free them from the fire of Jahannam.

The last ten days of this beautiful month is very special and is associated with freedom from the fire of Jahannam. Muslims spend these nights engaging in increased thikr, dua, istighfaar,and recitation of the holy Quran. They have a strong desire of attaining closeness to their Creator, while not only abstaining from food, drink and sexual interaction, but undergoing spiritual cleansing as well.

It is an opportunity for the erasing of previous sins and of creating good habits that can be practiced outside of the month of Ramadan as well.

There are many small changes we can make to the good things we do to ensure multiplied blessings. We can encourage our friends to accompany us to the mosque to pray solaah and taraweeg, we can make a bit extra food and feed our neighbors to ensure everyone has something to break their fast with, we can spend time with orphans and the elderly… the options are limitless.

Muslims also search for the night of Qadr (power) in the last ten days as the holy Quran was revealed to the beloved Nabi Muhammad (Sallahu alayhi wa alhi wa sallam) on this very night as a guidance for mankind. It is said to be a night greater than 1 000 months and anything we do on this night will have maximized rewards. When Rasullulah (Sallahu alayhi wa alhi wa sallam) was asked what prayer to recite during Laylatul Qadr he replied, “Say: O Allah, You are forgiving and You love to forgive, so forgive me.”

May Allah ta’ala grant us to reach Ramadan and gain the benefits thereof inshallah.

By Sharfaa Mustapha