Pulling Out the Prayer Dress

Assalaamu alaikum everyone! Men, if you’re easily embarrassed, now is a good time to stop reading. I’ll give you a hint about the topic of this post: women have a menstrual cycle.

Now, this is a post about my reflections and subjective opinion. I write this with the intention to say what I feel, personally, and perhaps give you all another perspective. This is in no way considered based in Fiqh. It’s just me, and how I feel.

You know when you’re really busy with life and you think you don’t have time to fit in the ritual salat? Me too. All of us run into it at one point or another – we’re too busy, our iman is at a low point, and we just really don’t want to get caught with our foot in the sink in a public bathroom. I’ve often heard men mention (complain) along the lines of, “women are so lucky, they don’t have to pray for a week every month.” Well, guys… it’s not that much fun.

“Separation makes the heart grow fonder.”

It’s a common phrase, and it’s absolutely fitting. Once we’ve been excused from salat for a few days, we are able to remember the stark difference that it makes in our lives. For me, I am forced to remember how having that five-to-ten minute break in my schedule throughout the day helps me to get refocused, breathe, and actually accomplish the tasks I need to complete in a more positive state of mind. I know many people who recommend doing dhikr in the same spot you pray in, reading the Seerah, and other forms of connection during menstruation to help fill the gap. For me, nothing beats the connection of salah – the active movements, the comfort of repetition, the vulnerability, and the glorification.

There are articles I have read that remind us that the time of menstruation isn’t a “vacation”. While I don’t disagree with the premise and explanation that is provided, I personally wish to contradict that analogy in the slightest way. Have you ever been on a vacation, where the first day seems relaxing – but by the end you’re yearning for your regular routine? That is the feeling to which I can relate. I yearn for that five minutes outside the steady stream of stress that is the world. I yearn for that moment to be in a position that is nearest to God.

A challenge for all of us, most certainly including myself, is to find that joy and comfort of rolling out the prayer mat for the first time in a little while – and hold onto that fondness in every salah.


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