In Islam, menstruating women (and their husbands) have to adhere to certain rules; sexual intercourse, for example, is forbidden during the monthly period. Hugging, kissing or touching outside the genital area is still permitted. Generally, menstruating women are not allowed to enter the mosque or pray.
Another important rule occurs during Ramadan. The Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, when Muslims worldwide traditionally fast between fajr (before sunrise) and maghrib (sunset). Not eating is seen as a way to learn self-discipline, clean the soul and thank Allah.
Menstruating women (haa’idh) are not allowed to fast or pray during Ramadan. They have to make up for the missed days of fasting, but not for the missed prayers (as these occur five times a day and the fasting only happens once a year). Women who want to make up for the missed days, first have to be absolutely certain that their bleeding has stopped at night. Only then they can start fasting the next day. If the period stops during the day, then the woman should still eat and drink normally that day and the fasting begins the day after.
On internet fora there are a lot of complaints about the many menstruating girls and women during Ramadan. Mostly by men. Some examples:
‘Ramadan. A month when each girl is on her period.’
‘A girl in my school had her period during the whole Ramadan. I couldn’t stop laughing. Why not just say you don’t fast.’
‘I thought periods happened only about once a month, but with you it’s more like five times a month. Kind of a coincidence that it’s all during Ramadan…’
‘I noticed a lot of Turkish girls are menstruating the whole month when it’s Ramadan.’
‘Gee, again, what a coincidence, just when Ramadan starts. And then another period at the end, that’s one way to get through the month.’