Wa Alaykum Assalam wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu Dear Muneeba,
Thank you for your question, and your commendable act of fact checking information that doesn’t seem quite truthful or correct.
Regarding your friend’s statement, it most definitely is not true. We pray that your friend is able to find sources to fact check information as well, correct them when necessary and have proper understanding of the Deen (religion, way of life) in order to have peace of heart and mind during this life’s journey.
Now, contrary to the statement your friend made, Allah (SWT) honors, protects and elevates women in all matters of life. The more I read and research this subject, the more I realize how Allah (SWT), the teachings of Islam and the Sunnah of the Messenger (peace be upon him) honors women.
We will not delve much into that here and now. It is enough to say that menstruation is not a punishment. On the contrary, every single moment of pain you go through or any woman goes through or any believer goes through is rewarded- yes rewarded not punished- by Allah (SWT) the Most Merciful, and that’s in 2 folds:
1- He expiates the person’s sins.
2- He rewards and elevates the status of the person through his/her patience, good perception of Allah and good conduct.
Check this beautiful hadith for instance:
“Never a believer is stricken with a discomfort, an illness, an anxiety, a grief or mental worry or even the pricking of a thorn but Allah will expiate his sins on account of his patience“. (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
Additionally, during this time, a woman is not obligated to do any of the religious obligations required from both men and women; like praying and fasting….simultaneously, if she is regular in those acts, she gets full reward as if she is doing them in her brief break since Allah (SWT) knows this physical excuse is not in her hands, and He knows she would have done them in normal days.
So, if anything, my Dear Sister, one ought to be thankful to Allah (SWT) for during this time of brief pain: one is rewarded, sins are forgiven, rankis elevated. Additionally, no burden or obligation is upon the woman whatsoever, even obligations towards husbands are delayed…. All to give the woman a space to go through this phase in peace.
Just think also of the honor Allah (SWT) gave women by choosing them to be the source of life in this world, the carriers of life into existence. A woman’s womb in Arabic (raheem) is extracted from the name of Allah ArRahman (The Most Merciful).
This shows the closeness of women to their Creator and the elevation of their status, them carrying enormous mercy to everyone around them. Every great responsibility comes with a bit of pain. Thankfully, however, this pain is manageable and rewarded Alhamdulillah (all praise be to Allah, The Creator).
I hope this helps answer your question.
Salam and please keep in touch.