Let’s Talk About Sanitary Pads. Period.

A society can progress and reach the pinnacle of excellence only if it regularly and thoroughly does self-introspections. Sometimes individuals get euphoric and start believing that everything around them is perfect and there’s no area that can or should be improved upon. This is the moment when the decline of the society begins and leads to a further sorry state.

Superficially, things might seem perfect but there can be areas which have never been discussed/pondered over and then when suddenly someone speaks up about such ‘unethical’ stuff, many snap up and lose their minds.

Mentioning words like menstruation, periods, sanitary pads, tampons etc. are easy triggers for pseudo-intellectuals to burst into rage and behave as if it was the end of the world.

On the evening of March 14, 2017, popular entrepreneur and social activist Javid Parsa posted on his social media account that some visitor had forgotten a set of sanitary pads at his restaurant in the city center. It only took this one little post to blow up the euphoric bubble around many of us to make the dark reality evident.

Here’s the post:

As simple as the post was, it didn’t take much time for a few people to react and term this gesture as unethical and immoral.

One of the trolls went ahead to comment abusively. Javid was too cool and owned him back.
What is an ethical mistake?
Some demanded an apology, while others appreciated the gesture.

This is exactly what was expected to happen. Because we haven’t as a population given enough space to such matters. After all, when was the last time you could mention words like these publicly? Are sanitary pads and tampons really something females should feel ashamed of? Are we doing justice to our thought if we make females feel ‘awkward’ for just having monthly episodes of ‘something that is never to be talked about’?

When I contacted Javid and asked him about the frenzy, his response was a hard hitting truth, as he said, “We all know how much our sisters struggle to even buy packets of sanitary pads.”

Coming to the religious aspects as many people quoted Prophet’s (ﷺ) sayings; had this been a taboo according to our religion, the prophet (ﷺ) would’ve never talked about it. In fact, he rather encouraged his wives to talk to Muslim women as to teach them correct practices of Ghusul and Taharah; as well as tell them about other obligations during and after menstruation.

Moreover, there’s a separate ‘Book of Menstruation’ in Sahih Al-Bukhari. Holy prophet (ﷺ) was the most compassionate and comforting husband as it is clear from the following ahadith:

  • `Aisha (r.a) said, “We set out with the sole intention of performing Hajj and when we reached Sarif, (a place six miles from Mecca) I got my menses. Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) came to me while I was weeping. He said ‘What is the matter with you? Have you got your menses?’ I replied, ‘Yes.’ He said, ‘This is a thing which Allah has ordained for the daughters of Adam. So do what all the pilgrims do with the exception of the Tawaf (Circumambulation) round the Ka`ba.” `Aisha added, “Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) sacrificed cows on behalf of his wives.”
Sahih al-Bukhari Vol. 1, Book 6, Hadith 293
  •  The Prophet (ﷺ) used to lean on my lap and recite Qur’an while I was in menses.
Sahih al-Bukhari Vol. 1, Book 6, Hadith 296
  • While I was laying with the Prophet (ﷺ) under a single woolen sheet, I got the menses. I slipped away and put on the clothes for menses. He said, “Have you got “Nifas” (menses)?” I replied, “Yes.” He then called me and made me lie with him under the same sheet.
    Sahih al-Bukhari Vol. 1, Book 6, Hadith 297

If a proper self-introspection is done, we as a society would realise that there are many areas we need to progress as a whole and only then can we dream to reach the pinnacle, InshaAllah!
And how can we address these areas? The answer is simple, let’s talk more about them.

So, let’s talk more about sanitary pads without being ashamed of it being unethical or immoral.

P.S: When was the last time you felt ashamed of forgetting your phone at some place you visited?

P.P.S: ‘Gaash’, an initiative started to help underprivileged children is starting another campaign for awareness about child abuse in Kashmir as to how the victims get discouraged to speak up. However, the evil exists. Definitely, a powerful campaign we are all looking forward to.

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