By Fatima Ariadne
In regular months, getting menses means “horaaaaayy vacation” (facepalm) as it means I don’t have to wake up before sunrise and doing salaah Fajr with my lazy eyelids half-closed. But in Ramadan? “Awww man! Noooo waaaay!!!”.
The latter feels like mother nature harshly pushes me to get out of the game against my will. As I’m writing this piece, I’m in my first day of period and the early cramping is as usual, awful. Usually in Ramadan, I dedicate what I called “meditation hours” where I spent really intensive time reciting Qur’an, salaah nafl, and lengthened dhikrullah. I’m still disappointed that meditation hours is gone now!
But ladies, having your natural period is only a sign that your body is doing its job properly just the way Allah intends it to be. So first of all, remember to thank Him for giving you this, and embrace your period with grace and gratitude!
Menstruating during Ramadan is not a hindrance to reap the maximum reward from Allah. Actually, experiencing this is the Divine One’s mild way to tell you, “hey, come on. Think outside the box. There are many roads less traveled out there to reach His reward”.
So without further ado, here goes the list : ideas of some deeds you can do to fill your Akhirah scale while you’re menstruating. In fact, some stuff in this list are pretty universal that even if you’re not having your period, or if you’re a guy, there’s no reason you can’t do them too.
1. Intense Dhikrullah, Wherever you are
“Shall I tell you about the best of all deeds, the best act of piety in the eyes of your Lord, which will raise your status in the Hereafter, and carries more virtue than spending gold and silver in the service of Allah or participating in jihad and slaying or being slain in the path of Allah? The rememberance of Allah.” (Ahmad, Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah)
Waiting for bus? Lining up in a supermarket queue? Cleaning your room? Doing laundry? Walking on the street for some necessity? Wherever you are, let dhikrullah becomes a beneficial filler you could ever do. If you feel awkward reciting them in public, just do it from the bottom of your heart and Allah will always hear it.
Some dhikrullah recitations you can start doing :
a) “The four most beloved words to Allah are (following) : Subhanallah (glory be to Allah), Alhamdulillah (Praised be to Allah), Laa ilaaha ilallah (no God but Allah), Allahu Akbar (Allah is Great). It doesn’t matter which one you begin with” (Sahih Muslim)
b) “Whoever says ‘subhanallah wa bihamdihi’ (glory be to Allah, the supreme, and praise Him)100 times a day, will be forgiven all his sins even if they were as much as the foam of the sea” (Bukhari)
c) “Whoever recites a durood for me (Rasulullah, peace be upon him) 10 times, Allah will give him 10 blessings in return, 10 sins of his account deleted, and his rank elevated 10 degrees” (Ahmad, Nasai, and Hakim)
d) Laa ilaaha ilallah wahdahu laa shareekallah, lahul mulku wa lahul hamd, wa huwa alla kulli shaiy’iin qadeer (There is no God but Allah alone, who has no partner. His is the dominion and His is the raise, and He is able to do all things). Whoever says the above 10 times, will have the reward for freeing four slaves from the children of Ismael” (Bukhari and Muslim)
It takes 60 minutes to watch your favorite TV show from start to finish, but only less than 10 minutes to complete this dhikrullah and attain a great reward.
2. Sincere Repentance
We’re doing sins all the time, consciously or not. If you sweep and mop your home’s floor, it will be cleaner now, but sooner or later it will be dirty again. There is no way you can just sweep it one time and expect it to be clean forever. Heart is the home of your soul. Your heart needs a regular repentance to clear itself from the dirts caused by sins, just like your house needs a regular cleaning.
“Verily, when a believer commits a sin, a black spot was formed in his heart. If he repents and abandons the sin and seeks forgiveness, his heart is cleaned. But if he continued sinning, then the black spot will be increasing. This is the rusting of heart mentioned in the Quran” (Ahmad, Tirmidhi, and Ibn Majah)
“Whoever continually seeks Allah’s forgiveness, Allah will make for him a way out from every hardship, from every anxiety, and will provide him with the sustenance from where he does not expect” (Abu Dawud)
3. Cut Off TV
As I’m writing this, it’s been my third year living without television. Not because I want to, but rather because I live in a student’s dorm. But all I can tell is, my mind is getting much clearer than ever. My brain is no longer exposed to news, violence, hypersexualized videos, music with nonsense lyrics, and garbage of negativity. In short, it feels like a mind detox! When I’m coming home, I no longer miss TV. I’d even feel upset if a family member turns on TV.
But out of all benefits, avoiding TV can save you a great deal of time. I knew a person who memorizes many movies, even knowing the actors and actresses’ personal lives, but barely memorizes short suraas of Qur’an. That’s just sad. One hour you waste on TV can be spent on a more beneficial activity like reading books, working on your goal, dhikrullah, or memorize one verse of Qur’an.
Every single breath you have, every single seconds you have in this world —once it’s passed away, it will never return. How would you spend your precious temporary time in this world, for your Hereafter?
“The People of Paradise will not regret except one thing alone : the hours that passed them by, in which they made no remembrance of Allah.” (Hadith Tabarani and Bayhaqi)
4. Sending an inspirational hadith or verse to your friends
Now, doing da’wah is getting easier than ever. There are Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Blackberry, free blogging platforms, or at least the old school text message. For only a cent, you can blast a spiritual reminders to your friend and reap an instant reward. One of a place where you can get a great collections of inspirational hadith for this is dailyhadithonline.com.
“And remind, for verily reminders benefit the believers” (Suraa 51:55)
“Whoever guides someone to a good deeds will be rewarded equivalent to those who practices that good action.” (Muslim)
5. Listen to Qur’an Recitation
Yes there are some opinions you cannot touch Mushaf of Qur’an while you are menstuating. But you still able to listen to its recitation. In this digital age, Qur’an recitations are free and just one download away.
“……so give glad good tidings to My servants, those who listen to the words and then follow the best of it…” (Qur’an Suraa 39 : 17)
6. Forgive People Who Have Hurted You
It’s easier said than done, and something even myself still struggling in. But the price of our small forgiveness to people, is the greater forgiveness from Allah.
“Whoever suffers an injury and forgives (the person responsible), Allah will raise his status to a higher degree and remove one of his sins.” (Hadith Tirmidhi)
How to Forgive, even When It’s Difficult
7. Be Prompt to ask Forgiveness from People You’ve Hurt
Contact people you’ve been hurted or wronged, and ask their forgiveness. Even if you remember haven’t done anything wrong to that person, just do it anyway. Not just it will increase the ukhuwah (brotherhood) bond, you can free yourself from being asked for the retiliation in Afterlife.
8. Feed a needy a food you regularly eat.
Instead of just giving that bum or beggar five cents of your money, buy a fully wrapped food like you would buy the food for yourself, and give him the food for free.
“Whoever feeds a hungry believer will be fed by Allah on the Day of Judgement from the fruits of Paradise, and whoever quenches his thirst will have his thirst quenched from the Sealed Nectar, and whoever clothes him will be clothed from the green silk of Paradise.” (Tirmidhi)
9. Donate the Clothes and Old Possessions You No Longer Used
Donate them to some charity organizations. Your brothers and sisters in humanity from other part of the world will be grateful and need them much more than you.
10. Give food to your fasting brothers and sisters
As we all probably know, by giving a food to our fasting brothers and sisters we’ll get their fasting reward without their own reward being diminished. And you can also paint their smile by giving away free foods, especially if they are college students!
11. Donate to Orphan house
Maybe we’re just accustomed to give several cents to a random beggar in the street and sure insha Allah He will accept your charity. But now, try a different form of charity. You can donate money, or clothes, or even held a special iftaar day for the orphan children. They would be delighted that someone cares about them.
A man came to Rasulullah (pbuh), and he complained about the hardness of his heart. Rasulullah (pbuh) told him, “If you intend to soften your heart, then feed the poor and pat the head of the orphan.” (Ahmad)
12. Feed a random hungry cat (or animals) that roaming the street
Do you remember a Prophetic story where a prostitute was forgiven from her sins because she sincerely gave water to thirsty dog? There’s also another story in Sahih Muslim about a man whose sins are forgiven because he took effort to climb down a well, in order to give water to a thirsty dog.
The Companions asked, “O Messenger of Allah, is there a reward for charity even for the animals?” He said, “In every living being, there is a reward for charity.” (Sahih Muslim)
13. Console a friend who faces hardship
“Whoever walks with his brother regarding a need until he secures it for him, then Allah the Exalted will make his footing firm across the bridge on the day (of judgment) when the footings are shaken.” (Hadith Tabarani, graded good)
14. Pray for goodness and guidance for other people
Next time you’re on prayer mat and supplicating for your own life, remember to ask the equal Divine love for your other brothers and sisters.
There is no muslim pray for his brother behind his back, except the angels will say “(Ameen) you will get the same” (Sahih Muslim)
15. Pray forgiveness for other people
Narrated ‘Ubaadah that the Messenger of Allah said, “Whoever seeks forgiveness for the believing men and believing women, Allah will write for him a good deed for EACH believing man and believing woman.” (Tabarani)
There are now currently around 1.5 billion Muslims in this world, which means billions of Divine reward. Every good deed in Ramadan is multiplied so can you imagine how much reward you can get from this thing alone. Do it now!
16. Visit the Sick and Console Him/Her
“A Muslim walking to visit a sick person will be engulfed in the mercy of Allah. When the visitor sits with the sick one, they will be immersed in mercy until his return.”(Hadith Ahmad and Ibn Hibban)
17. Grow gratitude, grow gratitude!
There are many blessings we already have, but oblivious of. You don’t pay for oxygen. You don’t pay for your lungs, five senses, bladder, blood, brain, heart, and nervous system. They just work tirelessly for you, no matter how much you abuse them at times. And that’s just a small example. So thank Allah for them and say :
“O Allah, thank you for everything and forgive me for being oblivious of Your blessings. Thank you for taking care of me even in the way I’m unable to see. Help me realize that You’re always there for me, and to assist me to trust Your greatest will for me, O The One with Boundless Compassion”
18. Practice empathy
Try to see things from other people’s points of view. Instead of rebuking them for their apparent display or actions, ask yourself : If you were to walk in their shoes, walk their journey, and know what they’ve been through, would you think and act the same way?
Also read : A Simple 4-Step Exercise to Awaken and Deepen Empathy and Compassion to Other People
19. Treat People the Way You Want to Be Treated
“What you love for other people to treat you, treat them that way; and what you hate for other people to treat you, do not treat them that way.” (Hadith Tabarani, authentic)
20. Show Islam Through Your Good Manner
If merely Qur’an is enough to make Islam, Allah will only send down the book and nothing else. But he also sent Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), as the walking example of Islam. His wife Aisha (may Allah bless her), stated that Prophet (pbuh) is a walking Qur’an. With the same token, we muslims are the ambassadors of Islam. Umar ibn Khattab was once said, “invite people to Islam, even without words”. He was asked “how?” and he replied, “with your manners”.
“There is nothing more heavier in the scale of good deeds than having beautiful character.” (Abu Dawud)
21. Learn Islamic Knowledge
“If you go anywhere to learn one verse of the Qur‘an, it’s better for you than a hundred rakaats of (Nafl) Salaah; and If you go anywhere to acquire one law of the knowledge (of the religion), it is better for you than performing a thousand rakaats (Nafal) Salaah, irrespective of whether you practised on it (the knowledge) or not”. (Hadith Ibn Majah)
You can do this by :
– Attend halaqa or Islamic lecture around your neighborhood or area.
– Read beneficial Islamic books. Kalamullah.com is a great place to start.
– Listen to Islamic lectures. Websites like ilookisee.co.uk and Halal tube are two great places for this.
– Subscribe to youtube channels of muslim speakers.
– Subscribe to beneficial Islamic websites and blogs.
22. Serve Your Parents
They deserve it more than anyone else. Care for their needs, don’t cut the communication tie with them, and if you’re there, help lighten up your mother’s workload.
A man asked Rasulullah (pbuh) : “should I join jihad?”. Rasulullah (pbuh) asked back “do you have (living) parents?”. The man replied “yes”. Rasulullah (pbuh) replied, “then do jihad by serving them!” (Sahih Bukhari).
23. Volunteer for a local charity or Islamic activity
Getting your menses is not a hindrance to contribute for your community.
“The best of people are those who brings the most benefit for others” (Sahih Bukhari)
24. Ladies, Avoid Gossiping!
I know, easier said than done! Hands down, even myself is guilty for this, so this is a reminder for my soul too. But Ramadan is the best time to start the “gossip diet”. Now instead you’re digging someone else’s life for a giggle, change the topic into the books you read (not cheesy magazines but real books), Islamic topic (free da’wah!), or gossip-free mumbo jumbos like how the North Pole would be 200 years ahead.
Remember this, folks :
“O you who declare Islam with your tongues but not with your heart, do not annoy the Muslims nor seek out their faults, for he who seeks out the faults of his brother Muslim will have his faults sought out by Allah, and when Allah seeks out someone’s faults, He exposes them, even when he was in the most innerpart of his house.” (Hadith Bukhari and Muslim )
25. Give a Random Gift to Someone Who Wouldn’t Expect it from You
It doesn’t have to be expensive or really big. You can give small things and show that you care. For example, my classmate just suddenly gave me a Mushaf Qur’an with loving sisterly words in it. It was unexpected, and it’s not even my birthday. Until now I still keep the very Mushaf. You don’t have to wait until the person’s birthday to show them some love.
“Exchange gifts between yourselves, for it will spread love between you.” (Bukhari)
26. Buy a brand new Qur’an or prayer’s hijab and donate it to a local masjid
I don’t live in the West, so I can’t tell if the public masjids in there have this facility or not. But it’s common in here that masjids store some Qur’an mushafs and prayer hijabs on the shelf so anyone who enters there to pray and don’t carry one on their own, could just take it from the shelf. And they can pick one of Qur’an mushaf from the shelf to recite. If your masjid nearby has this stuff, consider to donate a Qur’an mushaf and prayer hijabs.
27. If you have a friend who’s struggling to practice Islam, support her.
Your friend is new to Islam? Or just back from a yo-yo muslim to practicing? Support them and convince them they’re not alone. Your lady friend is struggling to wear hijab? Buy her a new hijab.
“And help one another in goodness and piety, and do not help one another in sins and disobedience” (Qur’an Suraa 5 : 3)
28. Teach Your Loved Ones Something from Islam
The great predecessors of Islam are not just the great educators for ummah. They’re also the educators for their family. The great imams of ahlus-sunnah like Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Malik ibn Anas, and Abu Hanifah, transmitted their knowledge to their daughters. The female companions of Prophet are known to narrate hadiths to their husbands. And of course, teaching your loved ones about Islam shouldn’t be done in Ramadan only. It’s a perpetual task!
29. Random Acts of Kindness in the Street
Allah values your every acts of kindness, no matter how trivial it is. Even smile and greetings of “salaam” to your muslim brothers and sisters are counted as charity. Even removing thorns from the road is charity. Do the act of kindness even in the street wherever you can, like help a granny crossing the street, or give your bus seat to an elder.
30. Plant. A. Tree
Don’t laugh! Not just mother earth will smile at you and breath a sign of relief, you will actually get a reward from planting a living, edible plant!
“When a muslim plants a plant, anything eaten of it or stolen from it (to consume), until the Day of Resurrection, is accounted as charity for him” (Hadith Muslim)
Okay, that’s it folks! See? There are many avenues to reap Divine Reward….Be creative with it!
Ramadan Mubarak, peeps!