Period Struggles: Ramadan Edition

My conversation with mom~

Me: Mom, I'm getting late for class can you pack the breakfast for me? I'll eat it in the car.

Mom: You'll eat in front of the chauffeur?

Me: Yeah. If he asks anything I'll just tell him I have low blood pressure.

Mom: He's still gonna find it out.

Me: Exactly. So no use of hiding.

In my previous take, I mentioned that women on their periods aren't allowed to fast, but they have to cover up for the missed days once Ramadan is over. So it means on these days we're supposed to be eating like normal, but it just doesn't seem normal. Most of us love it, others like me actually hate it (I'll explain why).

Eating in daytime can be very awkward, embarrassing and guilty around people, because not all girls want people to know that it's that time of the month, or it's just plain rude to eat in front of fasting people despite being an exempt. Which is why, whether or not period is a taboo in the place where we live, it comes with its own struggles that are exclusive to this holy month for Muslim girls. It's sad to see it's not taken normally despite half of the Muslim population going through this. 💔

The Struggles

Eating... secretly

I remember when I used to sneak into the fridge/kitchen, take the food in my room and close the door before eating anything during my non-fasting days in Ramadan. I was once caught drinking water by my brother, and I had to pretend that it was an accident. How old were I? 12 maybe.

I'm glad I learned that there's nothing to be ashamed of as I grew up. Now I don't keep my meals a secret and nobody seems to mind it. I'm still told not to eat in front of others though. Judgmental people still exist who won't hesitate to conclude that I'm shameless, I don't care about them tho. Usually when I'm in class or hanging out, I excuse myself before taking a sip just because it's good to be polite. :) But usually I still eat/drink in a private place. Just how there's nothing to be ashamed about periods, there isn't anything to be loud about it either. Besides that I don't wanna drink water in front of fasting people who are thirsty themselves. In case they find me breaking my fast, I'm unapologetic.

Because of us girls hiding about it from boys so much, many boys don't know anything about it even in their 20's. Last year in Ramadan I was telling my ex that I was having lunch, expecting him to understand the rest by himself. He replied "I thought you never miss a day of fasting? Then why are you breaking your fast today?" I explained to him why I'm an exempt.

Irregular meals

Being the only one not fasting means being the only one eating regular meals. Think of this: When I'm fasting, I can at least eat two big meals: Iftar and Suhur. When I'm on my period, I usually don't get breakfast because I don't want to wake my mother up (because she cooked suhur last night), I skip lunch because I remain outside and I either don't join iftar or eat less in iftar time, mostly because my stomach is full with water. I don't eat much at night because I can't sleep well with a full stomach. :(

It could be anything you see, sometimes I have all regular meals properly, sometimes I only keep snacking on ice cream and chips. My father recommends me to wake up for suhur so that I won't have to worry about breakfast in morning, but I'm just too lazy.

Missing prayers

One day of period, one night of missed prayers. This is one reason why I actually wish my periods were shorter unlike other girls who would love to have period for the entire Ramadan. I have to make up the missed days of fasting anyway, but I won't get back those nights to pray Taraweeh anymore.

My parents said I can still do some stuff, like:

1) Listening to the Qur'an (because I can't recite/touch it during my menses).

2) Listening to Islamic lectures, reading hadith and other Islamic books and biography of prophets. (Or simply, expanding my Islamic knowledge.)

3) Cooking and serving iftar for people, even that pleases Allah. :)

4) Do Zikr, a kind of prayer performed to seek for Paradise in hereafter or repent for past sins from God. I personally like this the most.

Moral of the story, don't let something as natural as your menstrual cycle take your devotion to God and the spirit of Ramadan away from you. :)

But yeah, I have to admit I can't stop feeling misfortune if I have me period on THIS DAY...

Lailatul Qadr

It means "The Night of Decree" in Arabic. It is on Ramadan 27, and it's a very significant night because this was the date when the first verses of Holy Qur'an were revealed to our last prophet Muhammad (pbuh).

When I was small and begged my parents to allow me to fast, they said I can only fast on the 27th of Ramadan, because that is a special day and fasting on this day is equivalent to fasting the whole month. I happily agreed, fasted one day and told everyone in school that I fasted on all days. I was in grade 1. 😂

When I could not fast and pray on this day, I cried. Mom consoled me and advised me what prayers to do. I did what she said, to give my best on Lailatul Qadr.

The Perks

Do the struggles of being on your period in Ramadan outweigh its perks or is it the opposite? It honestly depends on the individual. For me the disadvantages definitely override the advantages, but it doesn't mean that it has no perks! In fact most girls love it. Some of the perks are...

1) I don't have to wake up for suhur, so I can get extra sleep.

2) I can drink water whenever I'm thirsty, since it's summer.

3) When mom cooks iftar, I help her to taste the food and tell her whether or not the amount of ingredients is perfect. This is the best perk, I feel useful. :)

4) This is actually one time when exam during periods do not suck. :p

5) That feeling of unity and acknowledgement from other girls who are also going through it is really empowering.

6) Most important of all, this month teaches me that only because excused from fasting, praying and reciting the Qur'an, doesn't mean I'm excused from devoting myself to God. I'm still supposed to perform other things that I totally can at any time of the month. This is a very spiritually empowering fact for us. :)

You could easily tell I don't enjoy my period in Ramadan much, right? :(

I hope this MyTake was interesting and you learned something new. Less than 10 days left for Ramadan to end (whoa! Time passes really fast indeed!) and I can't wait for Eid dayyyy ~I got a really fabulous dress for Eid woohoo~ oh but a few days before Eid I have my report card day too, imagine your report card day before Christmas, lol I'm tensed.


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Most Helpful Guy

  • Thank you for this insightful composition. Your use of English is super. The topic is so interesting for me who was once an atheist and now a Christian. I'll forever remain interested in Islam and all religions.

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Most Helpful Girl

  • Interesting, thank you. I know hardly anything about Ramadan, I appreciate this insight!

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    • You're welcome. :) I know most of my readers are non-Muslims so I make sure you guys can understand easily.

Join the discussion

What Guys Said 9

  • I don't think you should worry about what others think. If you are strong in your faith and you believe God really set the rules and not just Mohammad, you only answer to Him. I was given a Quran by an Imam and after looking at it, I told him that there are things in there that a good God would never say. The Imam told me I had a bad version of the Quran that was given to the Mosque and offered to give me a different one. That, in itself, told me that the message isn't all from God. Mohammad added things and also did things a Good God would have him do. I have no problem with people believing the Quran and being faithful to it. I wouldn't take away your right to your religion and practicing it. I just disagree with a lot of it and choose not to have it in my life. I wouldn't expect you to want to take away my right to my religion either. Do what you feel God would be good with, not all those around you.

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    • Did I talk about taking away rights anywhere... :/

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    • What country are you in?

    • Bangladesh.

  • You should prioritize your health over fasting, even though you don't even fast for an entire day.

    Irregardless I can relate, to fasting being hard ( not the period part ) we us Christians we go 24-48+ hours without any food at all only allowed water and devote that entire time to nothing but worship and study, sometimes people will go days or weeks without food.

    It ain't easy but believe me God understands at least our God does, if you have to stop fasting because it's having a ill affect on your health or condition.

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    • You mean fasting on regular days?

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    • Yeah I did already but it was a while ago.

      But regardless your health should always come first, God regardless of what God you serve should understand that.

  • We in the US never jer anything about women and Ramadan. Only abut professsional athletes who have to fast.

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  • Just don't eat when Muslims are present. But an illness too is a valid reason to interrupt fasting. So is traveling.

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    • My sister could fast during get pregnancy, her doctor have her a strict diet routine for nighttime and she was completely fine doing it.

      It's best to not miss fasting unless absolutely necessary.

    • I remember duscussing it with a middle aged Tunisian, somewhere in S Tunisia. He said he wasn't allowed to fast because kt could cause him stomach pain.

    • Oh then it's okay. People who are unable to fast are excused.

  • This is extremely nice :) .. Well written and well said :)

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  • Here's a tip for women on their period: stop being Muslim. All of the above problems are solved!

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    • Wow! Never thought of that! Thanks for the amazing tip. :)

    • Here's a tip for you, @John_Doesnt: look at the article and not who wrote it. Are you so irrational as to focus only on the different culture and belief system and not the content?

  • You can read and touch the quran when you're on your period

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    • Nope.

      You have to do ablution/wudu before reciting the Qur'an, which is why we cannot touch the Qur'an during menses.

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    • That's nice. Thank you! :)

    • Yeah sure anytime

  • What is a Pepe meme doing on a Muslim post? Like, I love your post, it's well written and insightful, but that frog is messing me up a little. Do you know what it's affiliated with at all?
    By the way, why can't you touch the Quran during your menses?

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    • Lol, just a pepe meme chill!

      Women cannot touch the Qur'an during menses because of the constant bleeding. ^^

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    • So it's not just women who can be in the state of ablution. I feel that this important to know, thank you for answering my questions so well!

    • I mean, in a state where they can't touch the Quran. I misread your answer a bit XD.

  • Very informative about Ramadan Kareem

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What Girls Said 8

  • This is super interesting.

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  • ... immediate confusion about everything to do with this.

    Probably not a great introduction to this concept huh haha

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    • You mean my conversation with mom? Oh, I thought you guys could easily make sense of it once you read the whole take, I'm sorry! ^^;

      I wanted to show by the intro that eating is not an easy thing during periods in Ramadan. Did you find difficulty in understanding the rest of the post?

    • No your writing is easily legible. I can make perfect sense of what you're SAYING. Just not what any of it MEANS XD. I've simply never been introduced to the concept of Ramadan. I dont even know what that is.

    • Then read my previous take. I wrote all basic things about Ramadan there. Read that and come back here again, then see if you have any more confusion. :)

      My previous take is linked at the beginning of this post.

  • This was really insightful and interesting. I love hearing about religions.

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  • People do find it rude. Best to eat and drink in hiding and make up the week after. I used to participate. Now I do not

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    • I did mention that I eat in private. But in case anyone finds out, I let them know that I'm an exempt. ^^;

  • This is awesome XD

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    • by the way why can't you pray/recite Quran while on your period?

      I'd assume you just do not fast on period because it could be too much for you physically

      or why can't girls fast while on their period? Maybe im missing the real point here...

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    • I dont get it but fine XD

    • by the way nice to be able to talk to you again

  • Very interesting and well written :-)

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  • Lmao great take!
    Quick question: I know that girls and women on their periods and pregnant women don't fast during Ramadan, but are there also exceptions for people with certain illnesses and conditions to not fast?

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    • Yes. If you're in a condition that forbids you from fasting, yes it's excused. But either you have to fast for the missed days later or feed one poor person a meal for every fast missed.

  • This is incredibly well-written, thank you

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