As rewarding as Ramadan can be, it is not an easy month. And the hardest part isn’t even restraining from food or drink — but realizing that there are layers & layers of dirt within that need deep cleaning. It’s in being hyper aware of your flaws, whether they be angry impulses, weakness of the eyes/ears/mouth, or an inability to avoid the sins that have become a part of your daily routine. It’s a month-long spiritual journey where there are constant highs and lows.
For women, it can be even more difficult, for a variety of reasons — including not being able to fast because of menstruation, pregnancy, needing to breastfeed, other other health conditions like postpartum bleeding. A lot of times, women tend to feel at a spiritual low when they are unable to fast and pray — AKA they experience ‘Spiritual FOMO’. We also tend to feel a strange sense of guilt for not fasting, forgetting that all feminine concerns are a part of Allah’s creation and plan — and all He creates and wills is crafted with perfection and wisdom.
Not being able to fast is not a punishment for those of us who are trying to find closeness to God. It is actually a blessing in disguise — a part of the many challenges that He has gifted us. For a woman to not pray or fast when she is unable to is considered a form of ibadah(worship) in itself, so you are really not missing out on anything, or even slacking.
I struggle with my sense of positivity and even spirituality every Ramadan when that time of the month rolls around. This time in particular, it hit me really hard. I was feeling so down, and instead of focusing on all that I could be doing — I dwelled over how I can’t fast or pray and submerged myself into feeling [wrongly] purposeless. I wanted to change that, so I spoke to some of my friends to hear their perspective. We came up with a couple different action items that women can take to improve their relationship with God, even when we can’t fast or pray.
There is so much we can still do when we are not fasting or praying to improve our relationship with God and develop a deeper bond with Him. However, we tend to overlook those deeds because of being in a slump — subconsciously upset about our situation, that God in reality has blessed us to be in. Remember that as women, we have been given challenges that end up being beautiful blessings in disguise. We are rewarded abundantly for our patience, the pain we endure, and how we handle unfortunate circumstances. May He give us the ability to take full advantage of this month, especially these last 10 days of Ramadan.
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