ramadan, Uncategorized

Ramadan and Your Menstrual Cycle

Y’all know it’s going to happen to a majority of us at some point during the month, so what do we do?

I used to get quite frustrated with my period during Ramadan. I saw it as a great injustice that I had to miss out on a week of fasting and good deeds just because my body decided to punish me for not getting pregnant. But the truth is, while you do have to put off fasting, you don’t have to put off your good deeds. Reading Quran may be off limits, but there is so much more that you can do to grow in your deen and serve the ones around you.

Mufti Menk once said something along the lines of this: what a blessing it is that Allah (SWT) chose to make things easy for women during their periods, subhan’Allah. It isn’t a curse and it isn’t something we should complain about. We get to rest and let our bodies do their thing. The female body is such a beautiful creation that requires a lot of care and that’s not a bad thing. She goes through seasons of fertility, rejuvenation, creation, intimacy, passion, energy, and nurturing. She is dynamic and transformative, subhan’Allah. The few days to a week that many of us have to slow down are crucial to reflecting and taking time to focus on things we usually move to the side.

All of the things we can do:

Make dua and do zhikr. Catch up on reading books on Islamic values and journaling your thoughts, feelings, and desires. Take the time we would usually be praying our 5 daily prayers and taraweh to reflect/meditate on whatever we feel needs attention. Volunteer and/or give to charity. Visit older family members, cook for people, or teach children about Islam. Slow down during this week (if we can) and practice a little self-care. Show a little love to ourselves and show love to our family. Especially now that everyone is fasting and low on energy, maybe we can help make everyone’s day a little better (which is also a form of charity, btw).

Obviously, we have to eat and drink during the day while we are menstruating. But it is also kind of awkward when you live with other people. Some women are still cool with waking up with their families for suhoor and then sneaking little bites of things throughout the day. But if you’d rather sleep in, that’s ok too! You do whatever works best for you. But also make sure you’re getting enough nutrients because your body definitely needs it during this time.

Live footage of me getting caught sneaking food.

How do you spend this time during Ramadan? Tell me all about it in the comments below!

Assalaamu alaikum!

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Thoughts, Uncategorized

The Truth About Hijab

I didn’t have a strong conviction to wear the hijab until after I began wearing it. There was no defining moment for me where I made the decision to cover my hair and my body, it just happened little by little. It began with wearing longer trousers, then longer sleeves to wearing my hair in a turban to lengthening my hemline to wearing full hijab. Now, I cannot imagine going out without it and feel significantly more comfortable covered up. Once I began, I found so many reasons to love it: it is a way of honoring Allah (SWT), it holds me accountable for my actions and words, it distinguishes me as an unapologetic Muslim, it keeps my focus on what’s important rather than seeking others’ approval on my appearance, and I am sure there are many other reasons that are not coming to mind at the moment.

With all of this in mind, for some women the hijab is a little more complicated. For them, it is a symbol of the oppression they must face every single day. They did not get to make a decision to wear it, that decision was made for them and their rebellion could have traumatic consequences. Their perspective on the hijab is just as valid as the one that sees the hijab as empowering. On one side of the world, women fight to cover themselves and on another side of the world, women fight to uncover themselves. These struggles may seem so opposite to each other but at the end of the day we as women are all fighting for the same thing: to make the choice for ourselves. The way we dress should not be forced upon us by anyone and the opinions of others should not influence our decision or the consequences of that decision. For too long, the way a woman chooses to adorn and dress herself has been a political concern. Why?

If we cover too much, they come after us. If we cover too little, they come after us. There is a strong push to whitewash everything and everyone to establish an environment of comfort. Comfort for who? Reality is not plagued by comfort no matter how hard we keep attempting to infect it. Reality is that we live in a world of many different sizes, shapes, colors, beliefs, nationalities, lifestyles, and definitions of comfort. If we seek peace we have to let people be who they are (within the confines of the law and human decency, of course).

We are told time and time again not to judge others. A woman’s decision for how she wants to portray herself and live her life is between her and Allah (SWT), whether she is aware of it or not. It doesn’t mean her decisions will be right but it is not for us to control, it is not for us to look down upon. And personally, I have found that if you want to spread the truth it is best done through being an example and treating others with compassion and respect.

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