“In 2010 alone, the Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup Project collected 12,857 tampon applicators along the United States coasts — each of which can take up to 25 years to biodegrade in the ocean.”—The Daily Reveille
“In sub-Saharan Africa, the school attendance rate is among the lowest in the world—only six in ten eligible children make it as far as primary school, and many factors, including sexual harassment by male teachers and pressure from families to become caregivers at a young age, play a role, the biggest factor may be the onset of menstruation. According to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), more than one in ten school-age girls either skips school when she is menstruating or drops out entirely.
One reason is a lack of clean water and private, functioning latrines. UNICEF is making efforts to build latrines and bring clean water to Africa’s schools, but most still lack such basic facilities. And even when latrines are built, the New York Times reports, “toilets for boys and girls must be clearly separate and students who may have never seen a latrine must be taught the importance of using one. And the toilets must be kept clean, a task that frequently falls to the very schoolgirls who were supposed to benefit most.”
A lack of sanitary pads may be an even bigger barrier. In Zimbabwe, for example, pads cost half again as much as the the average person makes in a month. As a result, many girls and women make do with newspaper, rags, or camel skin—strategies that often fail, causing considerable embarrassment. Companies such as Proctor & Gamble, which owns the Always and Tampax sanitary-pad and tampon brands, have stepped in to fill the gap, providing free sanitary products and “hygiene and puberty education” across the continent. They’re also building toilets in some locations, although the lack of toilets is a huge problem that extends throughout Africa.
Whatever its good intentions (and less altruistic PR motivations), the P&G campaign doesn’t solve the endemic problems (a lack of sanitary supplies that are affordable locally; a lack of water and toilet facilities.) That’s made it controversial among some women’s advocates in the US and elsewhere, who say that providing pads to girls and women merely exports the West’s culture of overconsumption and gets girls hooked on using disposable products they can’t afford. (Some of these critics, of course, are hawking more sustainable, but less affordable, products of their own). Others have raised objections to the “corporate” nature of the campaign, arguing that self-interested corporations can’t be expected to put the interests of impoverished African girls before their own.
Those criticisms are fair enough, but it seems to me they miss the real story. Right now, thousands of girls are being forced to choose between humiliation and health risks at school or a lifetime of poverty, illiteracy, and diminished choices. Yes, in an ideal world, it would be better for women to rely on local sources for sanitation and toilet facilities. In an ideal world, it would be better for women to use sanitary napkins made of local materials that could be reused. In an ideal world, there would be no stigma associated with menstruation in Africa, and girls wouldn’t have to hide in shame when they hit puberty. But at the moment, campaigns to hand out free, Western-made sanitary supplies and build toilets and water pipes with Western money offer girls opportunities they wouldn’t otherwise have had—to finish school, learn to read, and maybe live better lives than those of their parents. With those opportunities, perhaps they can design sustainable, local systems to help girls get through school without the involvement of Western corporations like Proctor & Gamble. But raising awareness, eliminating stigmas, and providing desperately needed supplies isn’t a bad start.”
All kinds of salah (obligatory or Sunnah) are prohibited for women in their menstruation.
One is not obliged to make up the salah, UNLESS she could get one complet Raka’ within the prescribed time of salat. For example: A woman was clean right before Maghrib enough to get one Raka’a for salah, but had her menses right after sunset…after she is completely clean, she must make up for her maghrib prayer. The other example is of a woman whose menses stopped BEFORE sunrise and within the time sufficient for her to perfom one Raka’a from Salat ul Fajr. Once she completely cleans herself, she must make up for salat ul Fajr. But if the time is NOT enough for you to get one Rak’a, then it’s not madatory for you to perform Salah due to the saying of the Prophet alayhi asalam “Whoever could get one Rak’a of a prayer ( in its proper time) he has got the prayer.-Bukhaari 1/554.
2. Menses and fasting.
It’s impermissible for a menstruating woman to perform all types of fasting (obligatory or optional).
One must make up the missed obligatory days of fasting.
Aisha Radi Allahu anha said: “We passed through this (period of menstruation), and we were ordered to complete (compensate) the fasts but we were not ordered to complete the prayers. Saheeh Muslim 1/191
3. Tawaf around the Ka’ba.
It’s prohibited for the menstruating woman ‘Haa’id’ to perform Tawaf (obligatory or optional) because of the saying of the Prophet alayhi asalam to Aisha when she had her period during hajj: “Do all that the pilgrim is supposed to do except that you don’t perform Tawaf around the Kaaba until you are clean from your Haid) -ibid, footnote 9
4. Farewell Tawaff
If a woman completes the rites of Hajj and Umrah and she gets her menses before she departs to her home (country or city), and if this is still continuous at the time of her actual departure, she can leave without performing the farewell tawaf.
Ibn Abbas Radi Allahu anhu said: “The people were ordered to perform the tawaff-al-wada’ (farewell) as the last thing before leaving Mecca, except the menstruating women who were excused. -agreed upon hadith bukhari 2/810
5. Staying in the Masjid
It’s prohibited for a woman in her period to stay in the Masjid praying area.
The Prophet alayhi asalam saying ” The unmarried young virgins and the mature girl who stay often screened or the young unmarried virgins who often stay screened and the menstruating women should come out and participate in the good deeds as well as the religious gathering of the faithful believers. But the menstruating women should keep away from the musalla (praying place). -ibin F.N/24
6. Legal SExual intercourse
It’s prohibited for a husband to have sexual intercourse with his menstruating wife and it’s not allowed for her to make it possible for him.
Allah swt said “They ask you concerning menstruation. Say: that is an Adha (harmful thing for a husband to have a sexual intercourse with his wife while she is having her menses), therefore keep away from women during menses and go not unto them till they have been purified (from menses and have taken a bath.)” 2:222
It is not permissible for anyone who believes in Allah and in the Day of Judgement to practice this act. Anyone who does this has disobeyed Allah and His messenger and followed a path other than the believers path.
In order to break the intensity of sexual desire, it is permissible to kiss, hug, and fondle a menstruating woman in places other than her private parts. It’s important however to not approach the area between the knees and navel without laying a cover sheet as ‘Aisha radiAllahu anha explained “He (sallah Allahu alayhi wasallam) used to order me to put an izaar(dress worn below the waist) and used to fondle me (during her menses). -Bukhaari 1/298
It is prohibited to divorce the wife during her menstruation.
Allah swt says “When you divorce women, divorce them at their idda” meaning that the divorce should be in conditions that will allow the determination of her coming idda (prescribed periods).
The conditions are: the woman is clean (from menses and prior sexual intercourse) or if she is pregnant(and her prescribed period is until she delivers the baby).
So if a person divorces his wife she she’s on her period, he has committed a sin and must repent to Allah, negate his decision, let her stay until she becomes clean, wait for her next menses, and then after she becomes clean again he has the choice to keep her or divorce her BEFORE having sexual intercourse with her.
8. Idda of Divorce
If a husband divorces his wife after his first sexual intercourse with her or after being alone with her, then she should have an Idda of three complete menstruations.
Allah swt says “And divorced women shall wait for three menstrual periods. 2:228.
If she’s pregant , then her Idda is up until she delivers.
Allah swt says “And those who are pregnant their idda is until they deliver. 65:4
9. Free Uterus
A uterus free from pregnancy has a relationship to the state of menses of a woman and thus to the application of certain Islamic laws.
For example, if a person related to a married woman dies and he has a particular inheritance. To know whether the woman is pregnant or not determines the state of distribution of inheritance.
The husband should not have sexual intercourse with her until after she menstruates(indicating that her womb is free and thus no inheritance applies, her pregnancy at the time of death of the inherited person is clearly proven.
10. Obligation to have ghusl
It’s obligatory upon a woman on her menses to take a bath at the end of her menses. The prophet alayhi asalam said to Fatimah radiAllaahu anha ”Give up the prayer when your menses begins, and after it finishes, wash the blood off your body (by having a full shower) , and start praying.”
It’s not obligatory upon the woman on her period to undo her hair once she’s ready to do ghusl unless her hair is closely plaited to the degree that it will prevent water from reaching the roots of the hair.
Remember: if you become clean within the time of one of the prayers, you should immediately take a bath to perform your prayer on time.
From the book “Natural blood of women” by Sheikh Uthaymeen.
“That’s right, it’s a reusable menstrual product! If you haven’t heard of these before, you are probably pretty grossed out right now. But before you click away, read a little more, and I think you’ll understand the benefits of a menstrual cup, even if you don’t necessarily want to try one out.”
I thought I’d put TMI Tuesday to some good use and help spread this nicely informative article to people like me who were never taught at school that there are healthier, more comfortable and cheaper alternatives to the disposable tampons and pads.
I’ve been using a silicone cup for five years now (that’s sixty periods!) and I can’t even describe how much easier it has made that part of my life, how many period-related problems I no longer have to deal with. I too used to have a vague notion that menstrual cups were gross and and only used by tree-hugging weirdos, but then I made an effort to inform myself and now I couldn’t be happier with my choice.