Salam Dear Anissa,
Thank you for your question and for contacting Ask About Islam.
I can easily sense the grief you are feeling through the expressions you used while talking about menstruation.
I can also feel how much you care to be a perfect Muslim. May Allah lead us all to the right path.
Discrimination Against Women?
Well, “discrimination” is kind of a strong word to describe Allah’s Almighty rules and commands. For Allah knows what is best for all human beings. He says what means:
Should He not know what He created? And He is the Subtile, the Aware. (Quran 67:14)
It is often difficult for a Muslim woman to understand why she is unable to make salah (ritual prayer) for five days or so.
Many may feel that it is a limitation on them due to their gender. Others may misunderstand this, and think that they cannot engage in any Islamic activities through the duration of their menses.
This is simply not so.
Many women suffer from extreme cramps, heavy bleeding, nausea, headaches, and other maladies during their cycle.
It is truly a sign of the mercy of Allah Almighty that we are excused from prayer during this time. I know more than one sister who would be unable to perform the physical duties of the prayer during her cycle.
Prophet Muhammad said:
No fatigue, nor disease, nor sorrow, nor sadness, nor hurt, nor distress befalls a Muslim, even if it were the prick he receives from a thorn, but that Allah expiates some of his sins for that. (Al-Bukhari)
When a Muslim woman reads this hadith she aught to be satisfied that Allah Almighty was not unjust with her.
She would that through the days of menstruation, she is to be rewarded for her patience with the fatigue she is experiencing.
She will be rewarded as if she had done all her creedal duties without any loss.
Keeping Up Your Connection To Allah When “Not Praying”
On the other hand, Islam does not ask the Muslim woman to give up her spiritualities or pursuit of Islamic knowledge during this time either.
While it is true that she cannot perform ritual prayers, Tawaf (circumambulation of the Ka`bah) and fasting; however, she is not prohibited from listening to recitation of the Quran, for example.
She may even recite the verses to herself!
She can still pray to Allah, by the way, through du`aa’ (supplication)!
As well, she can still repeat the praises of Allah Almighty by performing dhikr during this time.
There is also nothing to stop her from reading Islamic texts outside of the Quran, including hadith.
These are some means by which you can keep the connection with Allah Almighty and I’m quite sure that you are to find other means.
You just need to believe that the menstruation is a means by which a Muslim woman is to gain rewards from Allah Almighty.
Thank you again for your question and please keep in touch.
(From AboutIslam’s archives)