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Since Islam is a religion for both men and women, women also play very important role in this holy month of Ramadan.
Women hold the kitchen for men and their children in terms of preparing food for the breaking of the fast.
Is preparing food the only role they can play in this holy month? She-she-she had an interview with a prominent woman in Islam, Aja Maimuna Yadalieu Savage, and the following is her remark on Ramadan and women.
She-she-she: Could you please give us a brief background of Ramadan?
Aja Savage: Ramadan is the holiest of months in the Islamic calendar. This is a month in which the message which is communicated to Adam and Eve by Allah (SWT) when they made a mistake by eating the fruit of a certain tree they were asked not to eat. They were tempted by ‘shaytan’ and they ate up the fruit.
They were therefore demoted and sent down to live on earth but they were promised by Allah (SWT) that guidance will be sent for mankind and whosoever follows the guidance will be one of those who will go back to heaven.
The Quran itself tells us that during the month of Ramadan the Quran was revealed as guidance of mankind. The message was also sent down on the Night of Power which is in Ramadan. Ramadan is part of the five pillars of Islam. Every Muslim should bear witness that there is no God but Allah and that Muhammed (SAW) is a servant and messenger of Allah.
She-she-she: What is the role of women in Ramadan?
Aja Savage: Women are part of creation. When Allah created man, he created woman out of man meaning he created men and women and both of them were asked to serve Allah. The role of a woman during Ramadan is no difference from that of a man because the main purpose is for the woman to serve Allah.
During the month of Ramadan the role of a woman is to fast from sunrise to sunset, abstaining from water, other drinks and from having intercourse with a man. Every woman must fast but in case of menstruation or child birth, the woman should not fast even if she wants to fast.
The woman that is pregnant and is advised by the doctor not to fast, should not fast. A suckling mother and she needs enough milk for her child must not fast but she is not free from it; she will pay a day for a day in later days when she is able to do so.
The role of a woman in this month is to keep the month holy because it is the holiest of months; it is the month in which the holiest of books was sent to the holiest of messengers and the holiest of angels from Allah (SWT).
Women must make sure they make the intention of fasting either by doing the tarawi prayers or by declaring. Women must get up as early as 4:30 in the morning prepare some food, wake up the husband and children, and make them eat.
It is the women’s role to make them pray and she must also pray because most women will fast without praying. The Prophet said if a woman prays five times daily and fasts during the month of Ramadan, guards her chastity, obeys her husband; when that woman dies all the doors of heaven shall be open for her to enter.
It is important for the woman at home to try to monitor the activities of the children: which films they are watching or the kind of music they are listening to and make sure they listen to Quranic messages and pray. Women should also cover their body during the Ramadan.
Women are most of the time engaged in vain conversations and during the Ramadan is not only the mouth that should fast; our eyes should be fasting, what we are looking at will be shown to us during resurrection; our ears should be fasting, and our legs should be fasting.
She-she-she: Should women cover their body only during the Ramadan?
Women should continue putting on the veil even after Ramadan. The command for the use of the veil is not only meant for the month of Ramadan.
Unfortunately most of us women cover our body when we are attending funerals or when our husbands died and we are in a state of mourning, when we are ill, during the cold season and when going to Islamic conferences.
Islam did not say that the veil must be used only in the month of Ramadan. The Prophet of Islam said that when a woman reaches the age of puberty, nothing should be seen of her except the face and the palm of the hands.
He says in the Quran too Allah proclaims all the prophets to tell their wives and daughters and all the believing women that they should go out of doors with their veils on.
She-she-she: Can women sit in the mosque or recite the Holy Quran during Ramadan?
Aja Savage: Women can sit in the mosque just like men; they can read the Quran because the Quran is for both men and women. The message in the Quran is for men and women.
Women must read the Quran, especially in this holy month of Ramadan. Women must read the Quran and we cannot leave it to men to read for us. They can sit in the mosque in a specific area dedicated for them with a condition that most be fulfilled like using the veil to cover her entire body and most desist from talking.
She-she-she: Can women wear perfume, makeup or lipsticks during the Ramadan?
Aja Savage: Ramadan is a holy month and we must keep it holy. Women should not apply all these things during Ramadan or even after Ramadan. They can only do it at home for their husbands.
Allah stated it clearly in the holy Quran that they should not display their beauty or their ornaments except to their husbands or their fathers, their sons or little children.
During the month of Ramadan no woman should expose her beauty to other men out there, especially while fasting.