I used to be the kind of Muslim who didn’t care much for rules. Matters such as how you fold your arms when you pray seemed to be a way to divide and police people. Isn’t it the spirituality, the intention, that matters?
It was due to this newfound respect and adab for fiqh that I attended a workshop on the Fiqh of Taharah (Purity) at a mosque in Markham. It was specific to the subject of menstruation and was for females only.
Overall, I learned that Islamic legal rulings give a holistic, universal treatment of female bleeding that can be applicable to all women. For example, in the Hanafi school of thought, a period is only considered a true menstrual period if it is at least three days, and if the time that has passed since the last period is at least fifteen days. There is a specific way a woman is supposed to monitor the start and end of her period—for example, her period doesn’t start from the time she starts the bleeding, but the time she sees the blood. It may seem like common sense, but to know that this was the conclusion that legal experts sanctioned provides a strange kind of comfort and ease.
I started using Clue right after that and have been consistent with it since. Clue has allowed me the uphold the injunction to know one’s cycle from both a fiqh and reproductive health perspective. The initiative was founded by a successful award-winning social entrepreneur who sees infinite possibilities in marrying data analytics and reproductive health.
The user experience is seamless and the app itself is a mini encyclopedia of facts related to things like menstruation, birth control and PMS. Without exaggeration, it has allowed me to get in touch with my body by observing and getting to know it.
Should my body behave differently, I will have my reference points for knowing my habit, knowing what is natural for me, because my body is not a machine.
Rituals and rules give us certainty and knowledge gives us power. Thanks to these beautifully simultaneous occurrences: attending the course and beginning to use Clue, I now have a growing understanding of my body I didn’t have before, both in the worldly and in the spiritual realms.