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Agony Aunt: What Can I Do if I Miss First Week of Fasting Due to Periods

by in Ramadan on 9th March, 2024

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Dear Aunt Maya, I just checked the calendar and it turns out I’m going to have my period during the first week of Ramadan, so I know I won’t be able to fast that week! I am always on time so there is no way I won’t miss the week and im already so sad. The first week is always the best. 🙁

I’m thinking about taking those pills to delay my period, but I’m not sure if that’s a good idea. What do you think? Or is there some other way to still feel connected to Ramadan while I’m on my period? I really don’t want to miss out on the vibe of the first week. Would appreciate your advice on this. Thank you.

Maya Areem responds:

Salam alaykum,

I understand your concern about missing out on the spiritual experience of the first week of Ramadan due to your menstrual cycle. I also understand that having periods can be hard especially during Ramadan when you might feel excluded from an important communal experience. 

When addressing the topic of worship during menstruation for Muslim women in Islam, the Quran and Sunnah provide comprehensive guidance, emphasising the importance of maintaining spiritual connection while acknowledging the physiological differences and needs of women during this time. 

Menstruation, as a natural biological process ordained by Allah SWT, is respected and honoured in Islam. The following Hadith provides further insights, stating that while women are exempt from Salah and fasting during menstruation, they are encouraged to engage in other forms of worship and remembrance of Allah.

Narrated `Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her):

“We set out with the Prophet ﷺ for Hajj and when we reached Sarif I got my menses. When the Prophet ﷺ came to me, I was weeping. He asked, “Why are you weeping?” I said, “I wish if I had not performed Hajj this year.” He asked, “May be that you got your menses?” I replied, “Yes.” He then said, “This is the thing which Allah has ordained for all the daughters of Adam. So do what all the pilgrims do except that you do not perform the Tawaf round the Ka`ba till you are clean.” (Sahih al-Bukhari)

Given these clear guidelines, taking pills to delay your period solely for the purpose of fasting during Ramadan may not be necessary or advisable. While there may be opinions within the Muslim community regarding the permissibility of using such pills, it’s crucial to prioritise your health and well-being and not compromise if for the sake of worship.

Not being able to carry out two of the main acts of worship like salah and fasting during the month of Ramadan due to periods can definitely make you feel disconnected spiritually. But we have to remember that the holistic nature of Ramadan extends beyond fasting.

Rather than viewing menstruation as a hindrance to worship, try to see it as an opportunity for spiritual growth. Challenge yourself to build a connection with Allah through alternative ways of showcasing your devotion and love for Him. Given that you know when your period may be due, prepare a worship plan for yourself!

There are numerous ways to stay connected to the spirit of Ramadan and engage in acts of worship during your menstrual cycle. 

Maintain a dhikr basket with your favourite du’a book and prayer beads. Engage in frequent remembrance of Allah through Tasbih, Tahmid, and Takbir and call it your “Dhikr Week.”

At each salah time, offer heartfelt supplications and prayers to seek Allah’s forgiveness, guidance, and blessings. Create a du’a list and come to your iftar table with a list of favourite du’as, firmly believing that Allah will answer them through the barakah of the month of Ramadan.

You can also join a tafsir class and stay connected to the Qur’an through reflecting upon it, as there is no restriction on reading its translation or listening to its recitation during menstruation. Attend halaqahs, webinars, or virtual gatherings, to stay connected with fellow Muslims and share in the Ramadan spirit.

Consider utilising this time to engage in acts of charity, kindness, and helping others, which are highly encouraged in Islam throughout the year, including Ramadan.

It can also be helpful to remember that the break from praying and fasting that Allah SWT grants women during their periods is a blessing. If you are unable to fast during Ramadan, use this time for self-care by resting, eating healthily, and staying hydrated. Maintain a sincere intention of increasing your energy levels for worship once your period ends. 

Also Read: Here Are 10 Things You Can Do While on Your Period This Ramadan

Remember that the essence of Ramadan is not solely confined to fasting but encompasses a broader spectrum of spiritual activities and self-improvement efforts. 

For further guidance and insights on worship during menstruation in Islam, I recommend reading the following article: When Wombs Speak: Period Positivity in Islam

May Allah grant you ease and blessings during Ramadan, and may your worship be accepted and rewarded abundantly.

Love + Duas,

Aunt Maya

If you would like some wisdom from Aunt Maya, send in your problems here! Please note Aunt Maya may consult the opinion of others from time to time and ask the Amaliah community for their advice too. Aunt Maya is not a licensed therapist or mental health professional.

Maya Areem

Maya Areem

Maya is a teacher by day and student by night. She hopes to pass on what she learns.