Monday, January 17, 2011

Only Women Bleed: Menstruation and Prayer in Islam

The overwhelming, sometimes innocuous message being sent to women is that they are naturally dirty and spiritually defiled. That their menstrual cycle is something to be hated and feared. That they cannot walk into a mosque, touch a Qur’an, recite the Qur’an, or become an imam. That it takes women longer to memorize the Qur’an or achieve a religious education, because they are out of commission for 25% of the year. That they cannot cut their hair or clip their nails while menstruating due to impurity. That they cannot touch a prayer mat. That if they apply henna to their skin while menstruating, their impurity will last as long as it takes the temporary tattoo to wash off. That it makes women weak, lacking, imperfect and second class. That if you pray you are a sinner. That it’s a reason why more women are in hell than men. That if you question the ruling not to pray, or feel it is unfair, you aren’t faithful enough — or worse, are deluded by Western notions of equality. This is a bit more involved than just being told you can’t pray.
More at: Wood Turtle

Check out the full article. I'm not sure I'm ready to accept her conclusion; though I appreciate her argument. Regardless, the excerpt above resonated with me with respect to the experience many Muslim woman have.

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