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RAMAZAAN AND WOMEN


Allaah has blessed the month of Ramazaan with numerous advantages and virtues over other months. This is the month in which the Qur'an was revealed. In one of the odd nights of the last ten days of this month is the Night of Decree, in which worshipping Allaah is better than worshipping Him for a thousand months. When Ramazaan begins, the gates of Paradise are opened, and the gates of Hell are closed. At the end of every night of Ramazaan, Allaah will forgive all the sins of those who really observed fasting in a proper manner, and avoided every act of disobedience.

 

As the beautiful month of Ramazaan approaches this year, there are several things Muslim women can do to prepare themselves spiritually and physically for the month-long period of fasting which is obligatory upon all able-bodied Muslims who have reached the age of maturity. So Spiritual preparation is also something that needs to be done before Ramazaan comes around

 

Giving some thought to the unique concerns that Muslim women face during this month can help us prepare for them and make the month a more successful one. This is especially true for new converts to Islam (because Ramazaan is such a new experience) and for married women in general because of the extra responsibility they typically have to make sure that the iftar (the fast-breaking meal served at sunset each day) is ready on time for their families and any guests in addition to continuing to take care of the home, children and other obligations as usual. It is crucial, then, that women take the time to plan for their sleep, health and other concerns before the month even starts. Women should also know the times that they are prohibited from fasting, such as when they are menstruating or bleeding after childbirth.

 

Table of Contents

 

Quran

Allah said: “O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous.” Quran Surah Baqrah 2:183

 

Hadith

Allah’s Messengersaid: “When the first night of the month of Ramadaan comes, the devils and rebellious jinn are chained up and the gates of Hell are closed, and not one gate of it is opened. The gates of Paradise are opened and not one gate of it is closed. At-Tirmidhi 682, Ibn Maajah 1642, Sunan Nasa’i Vol 3:2109  [1]

 

The obligation of fasting

A girl must fast when she reaches the age of puberty and complete adulthood, and this occurs by reaching the age of 15 years old, or either by growing up of coarse hair around her genitals, by ejaculation, by menstruation, or by pregnancy. When some of these signs happen to her, she has to fast then even if she is only 10 years old.



Since lot of girls may menstruate at the age of 10 or 11,but their family still thinks she's still young, and fasting is no duty or obligation for her yet, but this is wrong since a girl is considered to be already an adult woman as soon as she menstruates.

 

The fasting of menstruating women or women at puerperium (Time period after delivery)

A menstruating woman should not fast and it is unacceptable for her to do so. If she menstruates, then she eats and she has to fast those days after her menstruation is over. If the bleeding stops, at the time of dawn, or shortly before it, then her fasting is valid, even if she couldn't wash up until dawn has risen up. But if bleeding persists till after dawn, then she can't fast that day and she will have to fast it later after Ramazaan is over.

 

when a woman at puerperium is purified and she comes come across what is known at the sign of purity which is the white cloth, then she can fast and pray even if it was only one day or one week after her child birth, since there is no minimal time for the puerpeium because some women don't see any blood flowing following their child births at all and the expiry of 40 days is never a condition.



Also, if the blood persists to flow after 40 days without any change, then it is considered as puerperal blood that obliges her to abandon both fasting and prayers.

 

The fasting of pregnant and suckling mothers

It is not permissible for neither the pregnant, nor the suckling mother not to fast during Ramazaan without any excuse.
If they have any fear for the baby, then they have to feed one poor person for each day, whether it is wheat, rice, dates, or whatsoever of human food.
Anas bin Malik(R) that: he cameto Prophet in Al-Madinah when he was eating breakfast. The Prophet said to him: "Come and eat the breakfast." He said: "I am fasting." The Prophet said to him: "Allah, the mighty and sublime, has waived fasting and half of the prayer for the traveler and for pregnant and breastfeeding women." Sahih in Sunan an-Nasa'i 2315,  Abu Dawood, 2408 and at-Tirmidhi, 715; [2]

 

Ibn ‘Abbaas(R) said: concerning the Ayath: “And as for those who can fast with difficulty, (e.g. an old man), they have (a choice either to fast or) to feed a Miskeen (poor person) (for every day)” [Surah al-Baqarah 2:184]: This is a concession granted to old men and old women who are able to fast, allowing them to break the fast and to feed one poor person each day instead of fasting. (And this concession is also granted to) pregnant and breastfeeding women, if they fear (harm). Al-Nawawi said: Its isnaad is hasan. 

 

So here Ibn ‘Abbaas(R) restricted the concession granted to pregnant and breastfeeding women to cases where they feared harm, whether the harm was to themselves or to their children. 

 

Al-Shaafa’i narrated in al-Umm: Maalik told us, narrating from Naafi’, that Ibn ‘Umar was asked about a pregnant woman, if she fears for her child. He said: She should not fast, and she should feed one poor person for each day, giving a mudd of wheat. [3]

 

Quick points

Planning: Plan what you want to do during the entire month of Ramazaan as well as what you wish to accomplish. Set clear objectives to achieve these and establish a plan of action with a timetable for each task you wish to perform, as well as every objective you hope to achieve. Plan every day and night: when you will go to bed and when you will wake up, and everything in between. Make a schedule for reciting the Quran and praying Taraweeh. Set aside an amount to be spent in charity.

 

Set your priorities: You must decide when you want to do things, and which objective should be accomplished first. Make up your mind on what is more important and what takes the highest priority. It is important to spend time doing things that are beneficial, but what is more important is to prioritize and spend time doing the more important of these beneficial things. 

 

Preserve your time: You must stay away from anything that wastes time or leads to it, such as talking on the phone purposelessly, frequent visits, going out of the house too much, or watching TV for long periods. Also, we must get others who know us to respect our time and privacy.

 

Choose the right time to do things: Things that do not require close and deep concentration can be done in any part of the day. For example, while you are cooking you can busy yourself with mentioning Allaah, glorifying and praising Him or listening to lectures or Quran cassettes (or CDs). On the other hand, there are things that necessitate concentration on the part of the sister, such as praying and reciting the Quran. 

 

Do not delay things: Be keen to not delay things to later times, because you may be struck with death at any moment and would therefore never get around to doing what you have delayed. Delaying is one of the worst mistakes man can make and is one of the most lethal weapons the devil uses against us. ‘Umar ibn ‘Abdul-‘Azeez(May Allah have mercy on Him) was told once to delay the work of a day to the next due to his exhaustion, to which he replied: “One day’s tasks overburden me, so how would I be able to handle the load of two days together?”

 

Assist others in worship:Many people find it difficult to wake up for prayers during Ramazaan due to sleeping late at night, thus it is the woman’s duty to assist her husband and other Mahram and encourage them to perform the prayers and other virtuous deeds.

 

Spending in charity: Women must ensure when they spend, that whatever they give in charity goes through the proper channel. Feeding people in general and the poor and needy in particular, is an act that is greatly rewarded and appreciated.

 

Narrated Ibn 'Abbas(R): The Prophet () said: "I was shown the Hell-fire and that the majority of its dwellers were women who were ungrateful." It was asked, "Do they disbelieve in Allah?" (or are they ungrateful to Allah?) He replied, "They are ungrateful to their husbands and are ungrateful for the favors and the good (charitable deeds) done to them. If you have always been good (benevolent) to one of them and then she sees something in you (not of her liking), she will say, 'I have never received any good from you." Sahih al-Bukhari 29 [4]

 

Activities in a day

At the time of the adhan:

  • Repeat after the adhan
  • Make du'a for the intercession of the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam after the adhan
  • Allaahumma Rabba haathihid-da 'watit-taammati wassalaatil-qaa'imati, 'aati Muhammadanil-waseelata walfadheelata, wab 'ath-hu maqaamam-mahmoodanil-lathee wa'adtahu, (O Allah, Lord of this perfect call and established prayer. Grant Muhammad the intercession and favor, and raise him to the honored station You have promised him. [Reference: Bukhari]
  • Make du'a between the adhan and iqaama. Invocation during this time is not rejected.

 

When you wake up:

  • Alhamdu lillaahil-lathee 'ahyaanaa ba'da maa 'amaatanaa wa'ilayhin-nushoor.” (Praise is to Allah Who gives us life after He has caused us to die and to Him is the return.) [Reference: Bukhari]

 

In the Morning (after fajr) / Evening (before maghrib):

  • A 'oothu billaahi minash-Shaytaanir-rajeem. Allaahu laa 'ilaaha 'illaa Huwal-Hayyul-Qayyoom, laa ta'khuthuhu sinatun wa laa nawm, lahu maa fis-samaawaati wa maa fil-'ardh, man thai-lathee yashfa'u 'indahu 'illaa bi'ithnih, ya'lamu maa bayna 'aydeehim wa maa khalfahum, wa laa yuheetoona bishay'im-min 'ilmihi 'illaa bimaa shaa'a, wasi'a kursiyyuhus samaawaati wal'ardh, wa laa ya'ooduhu hifdhuhumaa, wa Huwal- 'Aliyyul- 'Adheem.” (I seek refuge in Allah from Satan the outcast. – Allah! There is none worthy of worship but He, the Ever Living, the One Who sustains and protects all that exists. Neither slumber nor sleep overtakes Him. To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth. Who is he that can intercede with Him except with His Permission? He knows what happens to them in this world, and what will happen to them in the Hereafter. And they will never encompass anything of His Knowledge except that which He wills. His Throne extends over the heavens and the earth, and He feels no fatigue in guarding and preserving them. And He is the Most High, the Most Great.) [Reference: Al Hakim]
  • Recite Surat'l-IkhlaasSurat'l-FalaqSurat'l-Nas – 3 times each in morning and evening [Reference: Abu Dawud & Tirmidhi]
  • More morning and evening adhkaar can be found here: http://www.islamawareness.net/du'a/Fortress/027.html
  • Suggested Task: Read an English translation of half a juz of the Qur'an after fajr and before maghrib to complete 1 juz a day insha'Allah

 

During afternoon time:

  • Listen to an Islamic lecture or read an Islamic book

 

At maghrib time:

  • Help people break their fast by offering them dates and water
  • Host an iftaar for family and guests

 

At isha time:

  • Have family circle time at home and have a member of the house recite the Qur'an to the rest of the family followed by tafseer of those ayaat

 

Before sleeping:

  • Cup your palms together, blow gently into them and recite Surat'l-IkhlaasSurat'l-Falaq, and Surat'l-Nas. Then pass your hands over as much of your body as you can reach, beginning with the head and then face, then the entire front of your body. Do this three times. [Reference: Bukhari]
  • Recite Ayat'l-Kursi. [Reference: Bukhari]
  • Recite last 2 verses of Surat'l-Baqarah. [Reference: Bukhari]
  • Recite Surah Mulk. [Reference: An Nasai]
  • More on “what to say before sleeping” can be found here: http://www.islamawareness.net/du'a/Fortress/028.html

 

Other acts that you can do:

 

At the masjid:

  • Spread salaam at the masjid with sisters.
  • Sponsor iftaars at various masajid if possible
  • Volunteer for masjid clean up afterwards [1]
  • Babysit during taraweeh so that the mothers (and everyone else!) can pray with khushu' and concentration [1]
  • Make a CD of beautiful Qur'an recitation and du'as and distribute it at the masjid [1]

 

At home:

  • Have a qiyaam program for other sisters at your house – prepare iftaar and suhoor for them
  • Look for new converts, those who are newly practicing or people who have lost touch with the community and invite them over for iftaar and 'Eid [1]
  • Think of Eid party ideas/gifts for family, spouse, children, neighbors and begin your preparations.

 

In your own time:

  • Memorize ayaat of the Qur'an.
  • Donate – clothes, food, toys, money etc.
  • Make tawbah (repentance) and shukr (gratitude)
  • Memorize Allah's names and their meanings [1]. Use them in making personal du'a.
  • Visit the sick in your area or at the hospital [1].
  • Always keep your tongue moist with the dhikr of Allah subhaana wa ta'aala. Say subhanAllahalhamdulillahLa ilaaha illallahAllahu Akbar and send salaams and salawaat on the Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam while cooking, cleaning, driving, etc.

 

We sincerely pray that this Ramazaan all of us witness an increase in our spirituality and a betterment in the relationship we have with Allah subhaana wa ta'aala. May Allah allow us to witness the blessed month of Ramazaan and give us the opportunity to perform acts of ibaadah that weigh heavy on the scales on the Day of Judgment, ameen. [5]

 

These ideas were co-opted from Sisters Shazia Ahmed's article which can be found on SuhaibWebb.com.

Allah knows best

 

Women issues

For more information on rulings related to women, click: http://www.askislampedia.com/en/wiki/-/wiki/English_wiki/_Scholars_View_Women+Issues

 

See more

Ramazaan RemindersEid ul fitr; Zakatul Fitr; Fasting virtues and wisdom; Last ten nights of RamazaanVoluntary Fasting;

 

References

[1] http://www.missionislam.com/Ramazaan/prepare.htm

[2] http://en.islamway.net/article/8784/25-advisory-opinions-fatwa-for-women-in-Ramazaan

[3] http://islamqa.info/en/66438

[4] http://www.islamweb.net/eRamazaan/index.php?page=listing&vPart=692

[5] These ideas were co-opted from Sisters Shazia Ahmed's article which can be found on SuhaibWebb.com.

 

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