Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, which lasts between 29 and 30 days. Practicing Muslims refrain from eating and drinking from sunrise to dusk, during this period.
The objective of this fasting period is to teach Muslims about patience, humility and spirituality.
The fasting month of Ramadan comes with some challenges for the Muslim woman.
While men will be busy in acts of worship such as fasting, praying, reading Qur’an, some women will spend part of Ramadan in the state of menstruation.
Sharifa Gatete, a 34-year-old Muslim woman sells clothes in Nyabugogo market. She says it’s so challenging for women when they get into their periods during Ramadan.
“When we are having our periods, we are unable to participate in fasting and praying during Ramadan. This makes us feel deprived of the blessings that come during this month,” Gatete adds.
Gatete says this is part of female nature so there is nothing they can do to avert it but just accept it even though it makes them feel less spiritual during Ramadan.
According to Sumayah Ingabire, a 27-year-old resident of Remera, fasting is a challenge if one is pregnant but it is a very rewarding month when it comes to building one’s faith.
“There is a time during the month of Ramadan and I was 8 months pregnant with my first child. I felt so bad that I could not fast but I made up for those days later,” Sumaya recalls.
Sumayah urges pregnant women never to miss out on the Ramadan blessings. She advises that they should always re-do the fasting whenever they are feeling better just like she did.
“Pregnant women are meant to make up for the missed days later on and fast,” she says.
Most people think that the most important part of fasting is going without food.
However, Hadijjah Mutesi says the most important part of fasting is refraining from bad behavior.
“Women have a habit of gossiping. Muslim women are required to avoid gossip, anger, haram conduct, images, music and anything that is not permitted in Islam,”Hadijjah says.
She adds that yelling at a taxi conductor or arguing with a person can possibly break your fast. She advises women to be humble and refrain from sinful acts and behavior.
Ramadan is also a great opportunity for women to reach out to others. During this time, women can give to the poor and carry out other acts of kindness.
Since women are the ones that play the mother role and other activities, it’s always good that house chores are evenly distributed so that they do not get over worked hence leading to a frustrating Ramadan.