RAMADAAN FOR WOMEN
In her article, 'A Women's Guide to Spirituality in Ramadan during Menstruation and Postnatal Bleeding' Kanika Aggarwal states: "Our menstrual cycles (or postnatal bleeding) are a part of Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala's creation and something that is ordained by Him.
Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala tells us in the Qur'aan that "He has created us in the best of moulds" [At-Teen 95:4]. We are also told that Allah has "appointed a due proportion" [At-Talaq65: 2-3] for everything and that "for every matter there is an appointed time given" [Ar-Rad:38]. Thus, to complain about it would be to question the Wisdom of Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala. This is not anything to feel sad or inconvenienced about, but rather it should be accepted as part of the Divine Wisdom.
This same message was conveyed to us by Ayesha radi Allahu 'anha via the hadith of the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam.
Ayesha narrates that, "We set out with the sole intention of performing Hajj and when we reached Sarif, my menses began. The Messenger of Allah sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam came to me while I was crying and asked, 'What is the matter with you? Has your menses started?' I replied, 'Yes.' He said, 'This is something which Allah has destined for the daughter of Adam.'" [Al-Hakim]
· Increase in Du'aa; this meritorious act is the essence of worshipping Allah subhaanahu wa Ta'ala. So often, we are occupied with tilaawatul Qur'aan, nafl / qadhaa salah, etc. – here is an amazing opportunity to connect to the Creator. I personally love to review the du'as of the pious'Ulamaa, especially the transcription of Mawlana Yunus Patel (rahmatullahi'alayh)'s du'as.
· Do the adhkar (remembrance of Allah) for morning and evening narrated from the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam), recite a short chapter a day from the Munaajate Maqbool, Hizbul Aazam, morning and evening du'aas, and salaat and sallam. During this time of the month, when mood swings are pretty much prevalent, we are gifted with special prescriptions that can settle us in calmness and peace: Dhikrullah.
· Seek forgiveness from Allah subhanahu wa Ta'ala by reciting abundant istighfaar throughout the day or night. Recite Durood Shareef upon Rasoolullah (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) often. The virtues are tremendous, the benefits immense!
· Set aside time to memorise Allah subhanahu wa Ta'ala's Names and their meanings. The hadeeth of Rasoolullah (sallalaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) should be motivation enough: "Indeed, Allah has 99 names; whoever memorizes them will enter Jannah. [Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim] Use the Asmaa ul Husnaa' in making du'a to Him. If you have already memorised the Names, review and choose to teach them to one more person.
· Remember to seek out Laylat ul-Qadr throughout the month and do not let even one night go by without making du`a'.
· Learn or revisw one Sunnah a day and bring it alive into your life!
· Read an authentic book on the seerah of Rasoolullah (sallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam); review your favourite – motivating or insightful - excerpts from an Islamic book.
· Offer to listen to your spouse / child's dhor (if they are huffadh and preparing with their revision for salaatut-taraweeh).
· Make tawbah (repentance) and shukr (gratitude).
· Contemplate the creation of the heavens and the earth, as a result you will be considered among the people of understanding whom Allah mentioned in the Qur'aan.
· Reflect about gratitude to Allah subhanahu wa Ta'ala, loving Him, fearing Him, hoping for His Mercy and longing to meet Him - by doing so, you would have achieved great acts of worship while you may be resting or reclining.
· Assist in the preparation of meals for those sitting in i'tikaaf.
· Join a group of sisters in cooking iftaar for expectant mommies, boarding students / newcomers to your city, expatriate in the area, etc. and surprise them with a simple homemade.
· Search out new reverts, those who are newly practicing or people disconnected from the community and invite them over for iftaar.
· Offer to babysit for family members and neighours during Taraweeh so that they can pray with added khushu'
· Volunteer your assistance to complete chores or errands for a needy widow
· Assist the elderly in their visits to a doctor or general clinic
· Play an active role at a local / regional orphanage or soup kitchen.
· Work on co-ordinating a donation project of clothes, food, toys or money etc.
· Find out who is sick in your area or in the local hospital and go visit them or offer to assist them with hospital admin / paper work.
· Get a head start on spring cleaning, laundry, Eid shopping etc. that needs to be done now, so that you can fully focus on fasting / salah/ tilaawatul Qur'aan post-haidh or nifaas.
· Why not prepare and freeze some vegetables /food now so that meal preparations are easier during the last 10 days of Ramadaan?
· Make Eid/Ramadan goodie bags for the orphans so that they feel loved and feel attached to the Ummah of Islam. P
· lay an active role in co-ordinating a Ramadaan / Eid awareness programme at your local school / madrasah / workplace.
Reflect on your Ramadhan goals: REVIEW - RENEW – REFRESH. Reflecting upon your goals and intentions for this month of spiritual transformation, for they are key components to your personal development and spiritual growth, especially beyond Ramadhan…
"Beware of every hour and how it passes, and only spend it in the best possible way, do not neglect yourself, but render it accustomed to the noblest and best of actions, and send to your grave that which will please you when you arrive to it." [Imam Ibn Al-Jawzee]