Muslimah’s Guide to Puberty: How to talk to your daughter about Adolescence

Goodbye butterflies and Princess dolls

As I rip out the butterfly wall paper I had so painstakingly installed 7 years ago and roll on the hot pink paint she picked for her bedroom wall, I want to hold on to her tight but she has started her journey to womanhood and all I can do is pray for her & guide her to the best of my ability. She has outgrown Gymboree but Justice is too ‘tween’ for her. My baby can barely make her bed, how will she handle adolescence? It is natural, I know but I want her to stay a child for a little bit longer. Puberty is a confusing and emotional time for young girls. Their bodies are changing; their emotions are raw and magnified. Having taught this workshop in our masjid & in my home several times, this is the first year my 9-year-old will participant. I think she is ready.

My cousin wonders why she needs to learn so early about puberty especially since she may not get her period until 11-12. There are a myriad of reasons why this channel of communication needs to be opened: because girls are maturing earlier every decade, because we live in a world of texting & Youtube, because they will hear about it somewhere; at school, at your friend’s dinner party or from an older, ‘wiser’ neighborhood teenager. She may hear nonsense and take it for fact.

If you google muslim-puberty-girls, there is a dearth of any usable literature or practical advice. All that shows up are X-rated websites with a few Islamic fatwas sites scattered in between. I did find one Yahoo group where young Muslimahs were desperately begging each other for info about how to clean themselves, wondering whether they should they pray or not. The poor women who answered their post had her facts wrong and kept hinting at ’secrets’ after they get married. That’s not what I want for my daughters. Instead of hearing snatches of conversation that confuses them even more, wouldn’t it be better to hear it from the woman whose womb bore them or an understanding teacher who can answer their what, when and whys.

Muslim girls need guidance and knowledge at this time, but this knowledge needs to stay within the confines of hayya (modesty).  In most American public schools, parents are given a choice of showing their girls a video about puberty. Many Muslim parents opt out of this program for good reason as the videos shown are ‘very graphic’ albeit in cartoon form and discuss how you get pregnant – you can read ‘Just around the corner’ movie reviews by moms and decide for yourself. Even if some Muslim parents discuss puberty, they do not explain the Islamic responsibilities that arrive after this stage in life. They need to understand these changes are from Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) and with them come a great responsibility; they are now adults in front of God.

I remember reading about ‘it’ in Judy Blume’s young adult novel ’Are you there, God? It’s me Margaret’ but never connected the dots that this would happen to me as well. When I finally reached puberty over summer vacation while visiting my Nani, I remember my aunts making kheer (rice pudding) and congratulating me, grown women giggling away with each other but no one ever told me what was going on.

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I felt guilty, like I had done something wrong, evil. In Muslim countries, many terrified girls look at soiled undergarments and wonder if they are dying because they are clueless, often it is taboo to talk about what is happening to them. Between these two extremes lies Islam’s golden, middle way.

Advice to moms:

It’s awkward for mothers to talk about this subject as well, so I designed this info in a class format with handouts for the girls – so a mother can talk to her daughter or a teacher can address her class and explain puberty in terms that even a 5th grader can understand.

After talking to many young Muslimahs and their moms, here are some practical suggestions I have for moms:

  • Inculcate the habit of wearing a camisole around at 8 years, this will help her get used to wearing something under her clothes. When you do purchase her first bras, make a date and take just her to the store.
  • Please buy her a small, separate trashcan as well (or reuse your diaper genie!) so she can throw away the used pads appropriately. Show her a private place where she can stash her deodorant, pantiliners and pads away from the inquiring eyes of younger siblings.
  • At this point in life, young girls can be gifted their own masallah (Janamaz or prayer mat), their own copy of the Quran and a tasbih, it makes them feel more responsible for their ibadah (worship).
  • She may want to sleep longer, so adjust her schedules. She may get moody; talk her through her feelings, as they are just as scared of their mood swings as you are.

You can give her this information in one formal class or a series of discussions, as you know your daughter’s learning style. Invite her friends, bake some brownies – make it mother-daughter time. Let them get their giggles out at the beginning- it soothes them and helps them when they see that all the girls are going through the same thing. I usually show the girls maxi pads, panty liners, and give them calendars to start their habit of marking their haidh (period). Another cute thing I hand out is a card that reads ‘Allah has chosen today to make me a young woman’. They can give this to their moms to let them know the day they get them-if they are too shy. I find it easier to show them an anatomical diagram of the uterus and use scientific terms of the body parts, without going into too much detail. Please feel free to use the information below,  just remember to give credit and make dua for me.

Muslimah’s Guide to Puberty handouts

Circle of Life: Start with a discussion on how it all begins and ends with Allah – our Creator

· Allah created the first human being Adam (AS) from dust

· Allah creates every baby in their mother’s womb – It is related from Anas ibn Malik that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Allah the Mighty and Majestic appoints an angel to every womb who says, ‘O Lord! A drop! O Lord A clot! O Lord! A lump of flesh!’ ‘Then if He desires to complete His creation, He does so and the angel asks, ‘Is it to be male or female? Wretched or happy? What is its provision? What is its life-span?’ This is all decreed in the mother’s womb.”

· The baby develops from one stage to the other until it reaches full term. In the Quran, Allah tells us: It is He who has created you from dust, then from a drop of seed, then from a clot; Then He brings you forth as a child, then ordains that you reach the age of full strength and afterward that you become old – though some among you die before – and that you reach an appointed term, in order that you may understand. (40:67)

· By Allah’s will the baby is born and progresses through life from one stage to another

· Until her time on Earth is complete and she returns to her Creator

What is it?

Adolescence (balughat) is a stage of development when your body goes through changes at a fast rate under the effect of hormones produced in the body by the will of Allah (Taa’la).

· Every baby girl is born with two ovaries

· and a uterus – a muscle the size of your fist where a baby can grow

· Allah produces hormones called estrogen and progesterone in your body

Changes in body will include:

· Hair grows on the underarms and in the private area – Muslims should shave these areas at least every 40 days – using wax, creams or shavers

· Sweat glands develop – take regular showers as body odor tends to increase at this age

· The chest starts growing so it can produce milk when you get married and have a child

· The ovaries release an ovum (egg) every month

· The uterus prepares a thin layer of tissue to receive the ovum

· Upon puberty, the uterus shed this thin layer of tissue every month and it discharged from the body. This is your monthly period or menstruation.

Why do we get it?

Little girls are starting to become women – the process takes several years but you have to learn to carry yourself like a Muslim woman. Over time, your body matures so that one day it will be ready to be a mother when you get married. A healthy, able body is a trust from Allah. Allah made it, so He knows best how to take care of it and he tells us how through the Quran and Sunnah – by doing halal and staying away from haram.

The Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said, ‘This is something that Allah has decreed for the daughters of Adam.”  Unlike Judaism, Hinduism or Christianity, Islam does not view your period as a curse. Our faith does not teach any connection between menstruation and Eve or the first sin – Islam does not preach that women are the source of evil. We believe that Adam and Hawwa (AS) made the choice to disobey Allah together.

When will I get it?

In Islam, puberty cannot begin before the age of nine. Even if you do not menstruate by the age of fifteen (Islāmic years), you will have reached the age of puberty. A girl’s first period usually begins between the ages of 9 and 16. The average age is 12.5 years. You and your best friend will probably not get it the same day or even the same year. So relax!!! As long as you are eating healthy and sleeping enough hours you have nothing to worry about. It is a special time chosen by Allah and it will happen when your body is ready of it.

Some signs that your body is getting ready:

· Developing Breasts – First, you’ll get breast “buds”. (Your breasts then can take up to 3-4 years to fully develop.) Generally, you will get your period 2-3 years after your breasts start developing. The average age for breast buds is 10.5 years

· Growing Pubic Hair -Right after your breasts start to form, you’ll start developing pubic hair. It will be soft and thin at first, and then gradually become coarser. Your period usually arrives around 1-2 years after the hair development.

· Discharge -This is the big sign. You’ll start to experience vaginal discharge that will be either white or yellowish. If you like, you may want to start using panti liners to protect your underwear. This is from Sunnah, the women of Madinah used to wear a piece of cotton wool (karsoof). Your period may start around 6-18 months after the start of discharge. A girl’s first few periods are usually light. You will lose about two to five tablespoons of blood over a period of two to eight days.

There’s one more way to figure out when you’ll start menstruating: Ask your mom. You’ll probably get your period within a year or so of when she got hers.

Now that I have it, what should I do?

Basic Supplies

  • Lots of pads.
  • A change of clothes kept in your locker at school.
  • Tylenol, Panadol, Midol or Advil.
  • A hot water bottle.
  • Lots of chocolate!

· Use a pad to wear with your underwear. Change the pad as often as you need to stay dry and comfortable. Keep some underwear exclusively for use during these days.

· Be prepared. You should start carrying pads around with you in advance of getting your period. If you find yourself stuck at school without a pad , go ask your school’s nurse.

· If at any point while at school your period leaks through your clothing, excuse yourself to the office and get them to call your mom to bring you something to change into. These clothes are now najis and need to be washed. Avoid wearing white or light-colored pants and underwear during the week of your period to cut down on the chance of visible leakage as well.

· During your period, you may get cramps- which is because your uterus is contracting- use a hot water bottle, exercise, drink hot tea and cuddle with your mom. If it really hurts ask your doctor if it is OK to take pain medication.

· It is perfectly normal not to have a regular pattern or habit the first few months or even few years. Start keeping a calendar and keep track of your habit, lots of rules depend on this.

· Make sure you wrap your used pad and throw it in garbage. It is really bad manners to leave them in plain sight. Do not flush down the toilet. You are not a little kid anymore; be a proud, clean Muslimah!

· During your period, you are excused from salah. This is a gift from Allah (SWT), as he knows how much a woman is suffering. Do not cut all connection with Allah. Do make wudu, sit and make dhikrdua, read salawat/durood etc. so you don’t lose the habit of praying 5 times.

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, “… a woman can neither pray nor fast during her menses” (Sahih Muslim).

·You don’t have to make up the salah, however; the menstruating woman must make up the missed fasts after Ramadan.

Aishah (RA) said: “When we would have our menses during the lifetime of the Prophet, we were ordered to make up the days of fasting that we had missed but were not ordered to make up the prayers that we had missed.”

(Sahih Al-Bukhari)

· After you are sure the bleeding has stopped than make ghusl *Handout. Women used to send ‘A’isha (RA) little boxes containing pieces of cotton cloth which still showed some yellowness.

‘A’isha would say, “Do not rush [to do ghusl] until you see white cotton,” meaning by that purity from menstruation.’After you are sure that all discharge has changed to white then you are ready to make ghusl and get back to praying five times a day. “When we purified ourselves by doing ghusl after menstruation, we were allowed a small amount of light perfume.”

· Every religion has a corner stone, the cornerstone of is Islam is hayaa (modesty). We should try to act on this principle in every action of our lives. Don’t discuss your period around boys, men and younger sisters.

· Most importantly, the pen has started flowing, every action is recorded now. You are responsible for your salah, your fasting in Ramadan is compulsory, hijab becomes obligatory. Congratulations!

FIQHI ISSUES: I am not an a’lema, please always refer to a scholar for detailed questions on menstruation. However there are some basic fiqh questions that every Muslimah should learn and can be discussed in follow up sessions. The following are according to the Hanafi/Shafaee madhab and has been reviewed by Mufti Ibrahim Qureishi.

Purity is islam is of two types Hukmi (ritual)and Haqeeqi (real).

You may be bleeding but still not be impure or you may not be bleeding but you could be impure. For example: bleeding stops after two days and resumes on fourth day so you weren’t bleeding on day 3 but you were impure. In istihadha, you are bleeding but are ritually pure.

ISSUE 1 
If a young girl experiences bleeding for the first time, then it should be observed whether it continues for three days and three nights (seventy-two hours). {According to Imâm Shafi’î (R.A). for twenty-four hours.} If it does, then it is menstruation.

ISSUE 2
If bleeding continues for more than three days and three nights and stops at any time within ten days and ten nights, then all of it would be menstruation, similarly all of it would be menstruation if bleeding continued for full ten days (two hundred and forty hours). {Fifteen days and fifteen nights according to Imâm Shafi’î (R.A).}

ISSUE 3
If bleeding continued for full ten days and ten nights {Fifteen days and fifteen nights according to Imâm Shafi’î (R.A.)} then the ten days and ten nights will be menstruation and the bleeding beyond it is chronic discharge (istihadha).

Since any bleeding beyond ten full days is chronic discharge (istihadha). She should take a bath after ten days and start her prayer. The minimum amount of time between two periods is 15 days, if you start bleeding before the fifteen days then it is also istihadha. In istihadha, a young woman has to pray regularly – just change her pad, clean her private parts and make a freshwudu before each salah.

But if a woman is a mo’tâda [one who has a normal set menstruation period] and bleeding continues beyond her habit, then it should be seen, if it stops within ten days, all of it is menstruation and if it continues after ten days, then only the days of her habit would be regarded as menstruation and the days after that is chronic discharge (istihadha).

Therefore, she should make up the prayer for the days beyond her habit. If she has a habit of seven days and she bled for twelve days then only seven days would be menstruation and the rest chronic discharge (istihada). But if she bled for nine or ten days only then all of it is menstruation.

ISSUE 4
If a mubtadeah keeps bleeding continuously for a few months, then in every month ten days from the day when bleeding started, these are of menstruation and the remaining nineteen to twenty days are of chronic discharge (istihada) e.g. if bleeding started on the fifth of a particular month, the days between the fifth and the fifteenth of every month are of menstruation and from the fifteenth to the fifth of the next month are days of chronic discharge (istihada). Note: the Islamic (lunar calendar) is used regarding Islamic matters.

ISSUE 5
If a woman notices blood for three full days and three nights or more, or any number of days up to ten days and ten nights and then remains clean for full fifteen days or more, and again sees blood for three or more days then both bleedings are called menstruation and the days in between are regarded as a period of purity.

ISSUE 6
If a woman notices blood for three days and three nights or more and then remains clean for fifteen days or more and again sees blood for less than three days then the first bleeding was menstruation while the second bleeding is chronic discharge (istihada) because the bleeding was for less than three days although the period of purity was for fifteen days.

ISSUE 7
If a woman notices blood for less than three days and three nights and after full fifteen days or more sees blood again for less than three days then both bleedings are called chronic discharge (istihada) and she will be regarded as pure for all these days.

As soon as the bleeding stops within three days, she should make ritual ablution (wudu) and start her prayer during the last stages (end part) of the mustahab [preferable] timing (i.e. just before disliked or makruh timing). She must also make up prayers for those days which she has missed while she was bleeding.

ISSUE 8
If a woman who is ritually pure puts on sanitary pads, etc. at night and in the morning when she removes it; she finds it to be blood-stained, then her menstruation starts only at the time when she sees the blood.

ISSUE 9 
If a menstruating woman notices no sign of blood on her pad, then the clean period will be counted right from the time the pad was put on.

credits: Dr. Rida Bashir’s lecture, Fiqh of Menstruation by Shaykh M. Ibrahim Palanpuri

Related on Muslim Matters:  Quandary of Female Vaginal Discharge: Pure or Impure?

72 / View Comments

72 responses to “Muslimah’s Guide to Puberty: How to talk to your daughter about Adolescence”

  1. M.M. says:

    JazakAllahu Khair for writing about this topic.

    Its vital to educate our young girls about this subject before they experience it themselves because without this knowledge, it just leads to confusion.

    • Yasmeen says:

      Thank you sister for sharing this topic with us i am currently 11 years old and thanks to you i know what is happening to my body. I think this was very helpful…JazakAllahu Kair

  2. Muslimah says:

    Thanks for sharing this. I remember meeting some younger girls at a masjid who were in one of the weekend schools, and feeling bad for them because they knew they coulnd’t pray, but were also told they can’t go out on the playground during recess time to play – so they sat alone inside the closed classroom. I was like “huh?”

    I am also curious how many women allow their daughters to wear tampons, instead of just pads, considering the fact that the under garments are cleaner, they have more free range in motion, once you are used to them, you don’t even notice they are inserted, unlike pads which slip around, etc. Since Islamically we know that a women doesn’t lose her virginity this way, then why not create this as an option?

    I’m curious what taboos are surrounding this? Until I met Muslims, I never knew a single female growing up into adulthood who used pads. The only reason I heard from Muslims that they only used pads, was that it was “shameful to insert something” internally.

    Thoughts?

    • M.M. says:

      Yes, that’s true tampons do not break your virginity but they do break the hymen and this is some cultures is something that is disliked before marriage.

      ( Not that I agree with that thinking or anything! I agree with you, there is much more freedom when wearing them but I guess its up to mothers to decide this ).

      • Hena Zuberi says:

        Salaam sisters-

        Tampons are an option- I honestly don’t know if they break any ‘rules’- don’t think so but I can ask. Some moms I spoke to were uncomfortable letting their daughters use them even though the moms use them. They are not as common in predominantly Muslim countries maybe as M.M. said because of the affect on the hymen.

        As for the girls who were not allowed on the playground- that is precisely why this topic should be talked about so misinformation is dispelled and girls are not treated like they did something wrong! So much cultural baggage piled on in the name of Islam.

      • Muslim Sister says:

        I have to comment that the hymen does not get “broken” by anything, this is a myth. The hymen is a porous membrane that actually STRETCHES normally WITHOUT anything being inserted into the vagina. It stretches from exercise, moving around, etc…it doesn’t pop and you won’t bleed when this stretching happens. And there is no hymen breaking during the first instance of sexual intercourse. I learned this from a sexual health educator who co-teachers Muslim girls with me on this topic and it’s sad that cultures within Islam are perpetuating this myth! Tampons are fine to use since they won’t break anything…it depends on the comfort level of the girl and the religious views of herself and her family. Let’s educate ourselves on what the hymen actually is from a medical/physiological standpoint and stop perpetuating myths that cause girls to get scared if they DON’T bleed after their first sexual intercourse.

        • kendra says:

          I am sorry to inform you that you are wrong . You do bleed the first time that you are with your husband. If you do not bleed this may mean that you have ruptured it somehow. Many athletic girls had this happen to them . Also woman that ride horses daily ( not many ppl do this anymore ) even falling the wrong way, my daughter was 5 and she jumped on my back suddenly from the couch I leaned back to fast and she fell backward and she landed with her foot hitting her private parts she was in pain and when she used the bathroom there was blood. I called her dr and the dr said she may have ruptured her hymen altho she was was scepticle I have never had that happen to me and I grew up playing like a boy .

  3. ayesha says:

    jazkAllah for writing in so much detail and answering questions I have even as a much older girl! you explain things soo well, and leave no room for doubt.

  4. ummi says:

    mashallah,may Allah reward u for ur efforts.
    i have boys and am wondering how to approach pubrty with them?

    • Hena Zuberi says:

      InshaAllah the Muslim guide to Adolescenece is almost complete, I will be posting it it in MAy inshaAllah.

      • Anonymous says:

        Asalamu alaikum, above information made me satisfied so I wanna ask dat it’s said during 1st time of menstruation girls should nt go out nd 1 of my friend came for school it was her 1st time so is there no restriction in that please answer me i really wanna no????

        • Dear Sister

          There is no such restriction on going out of the house during your menses.

          Aly

          *Comment above is posted in a personal capacity and may not reflect the official views of MuslimMatters or its staff*

  5. Zayna says:

    Masha’Allah and Jazak Allah Khair. I’m not a mommy yet, but just sent the link to my sisters and they couldn’t thank me (you actually :)) enough!

  6. Sadaf says:

    Hena, this is wonderful. JazakAllah for posting it.

  7. naz says:

    jazakallah for this article. it was very much needed.

  8. Thanks for the good article. Parenting is extremely important and many parents do not put the in time and effort their kids deserve. =(

    Allahu Musta’an,

  9. children should be allowed to have CHILDhoods, and not forced into adulthood by a sex-mad society. Maybe if we didn’t bombard young people with messages of how great and “perfectly safe” sex was in every television program, magazine article and new pop song, then they wouldn’t be doing the things they do.

    The teenager prégnances and the sheer madness of sex education teaches nothing about morality. A fifteen years girl has a child from a thirteen year old boy. They and their parent are very proud of the child and grand child. Now two more boys claimed that they are the fathers of the child. DNA test will prove the child’s paternity. This means that the girl had multiple sexual relations. Britain’s rate of teenage pregnancy is the highest in western Europe. This is a clear indication of broken society. It is an eye opening for the Muslim community who send their children to state schools with non-Muslim teachers.

    Sex education and contraception in schools make children as quasi adults, capable of making their own life choices. Children are being taught that sexually transmitted diseases could be easily treated and there is no acknowledgement of the emotional harm of premature sexual activity. The truth is that more sex education and contraception are provided to children and teenagers, the more they fall pregant. Studies have shown that access to contraceptions and sex education, sexual activity and conception and prgnancy rates go up.

    The teaching of sex education could not curb teenage pregnancies. Infact, it has simply increased it. The spectre of hidden epidemic of sex crimes inside Britain’s classrooms has emerged after Scotland Yard revealed there have been nearly 900 rapes or sex attacks in schools. The vast majority of victims were school children under the age of 16. As many as one in three were under 11.

    According to official figures, nearly half of babies are now born out of wedlock. They are more likely to suffer social.mental and emotional problems. Researchers have revealed the migrants in Britain are more likely to have children within marriage. If Muslim children keep on attending state schools with non-Muslim monolingualk teachers than there is a possibility that teenage Muslim girls will have children out of wedlock.

    The sexualisation of children by the government, Dept of Education, ‘pregnancy advice centres’, social workers, school nurses, media aimed at teen girls, contraceptive industry lobbyists, fashion industry and the welfare state to name just a few, is a crime against humanity.

    It is also gross hypocrisy for the police to prosecute paedophiles when the government is overseeing boy scouts being given condoms from the age 11 and girls of the same age being told it is OK to have sex if they use ‘protection’. Boys and girls at age 11 are not allowed to marry but they can have sex and produce children. Every parent is worried about his child being indoctrinated into the idea that gay and sexual promiscuity is “normal” modes of behaviour. At the same time, all parents have the right to control their children and it is their Duty to control them.

    It is an eye opening for the Muslim parents who keep on sending their children to state schools with non-Muslim monolingual teachers. Bilingual Muslim children need state funded Muslim schools with bilingual Muslim teachers a s role models during their developmental periods. Muslim teachers are in a better position to teach sex education to teenagers according to Islamic perspectives. There is no place for a non-Muslim child or a teacher in a Muslim school. State funded Muslim schools are crucial for social cohesion, religious and cultural harmony. They are preparing children and young people to face the challenges of life in modern Britain and to also contribute in a positive way to wider society. Muslim children will develop self-confidence and self-esteem. According to TES, pupils make more progress at Muslim secondary schools than anyother type of schools. They are promoting tolerance and support the spiritual, moral, social, linguistic and cultural development of pupils.
    Iftikhar Ahmad
    http://www.londonschoolofislamics.org.uk

    • Hena Zuberi says:

      Brother I don’t understand- you seem to be preaching to the choir-you and I are saying similar things- I agree that they should remain children and not grow up too soon.
      I agree with

      Muslim teachers are in a better position to teach sex education to teenagers according to Islamic perspectives

      that is what we are trying to do. Every single time I hold this workshop 100% of the girls know more than their mothers ever could imagine they knew- They need to be educated about these topics from an Islamic perspective.

      please add any links that you may have helping teach it from an Islamic perspective.
      JazakAllah khair

  10. Sarah says:

    Great article! JazakiAllahu khayrn :)

  11. umm.esa says:

    JazakiAllahu khyran for sharing this information.

  12. Middle Ground says:

    Salam

    Due to the lack of any half decent Islamic books about this, I bought this Christian focussed book from Amazon for my daughter:

    http://www.amazon.com/Facing-Facts-Truth-About-Design/dp/1600060153/ref=pd_cp_b_3

    • Hena Zuberi says:

      Wasalam,
      Interesting but sad- I have thought about developing this into a book but honestly I am having a hard enough time getting people to share this article or facebook it- It is too awkward, don’t want the boys/men to read it just because it is so accessible, some think I am being too open about my experience. I tried to balance hayya and information.

      What did you think of the book?

      • Jeremiah says:

        Jazakillah khair to the author.

        Please, if you have the time and resources develop this into a book, inshAllah. This could be a valuable resource for the weekend schools. We also need one for the boys. I am sure you are familiar with the resistance from many parents once the chapters on purity for salah are being discussed. Some parents want to completely skip the parts on what makes ghusl necessary even when their kids are in middle school! It makes the rest of the year really awkward.

      • sumaiya says:

        MashaAllah amazing article, and JazakAllahu Khairan for sharing it. And I agree with jeremiah that you publish a book about this, even for boys. We can definitely use it as parents, Islamic schools can use it and even Masjid Qur’an/Islamic classes can use it. I teach my girls this every year in our evening Islamic classes at the masjid so it would be nice to teach from a good book and give the girls the book with Islamic guidelines, a calender, etc. so that they can always look through it. And I’m also sure if there are any single Muslim dads out there, they’d love this book.

  13. Ibn Muhammad says:

    According to Sheikh Yasir Qadhi, there is no such thing as Adolescence in Islam.

    • Marwa says:

      Well, there is.

      • Sister says:

        There isn’t.

        Your either a child or an adult.

        • Hena Zuberi says:

          Speaking legally, you are one day a child and then an adult. Fiqh rules that do not apply to children, start applying as adults the day they reach puberty . No doubt about it- we can’t say ‘oh she is only 11- even though she got her period she is too young to be expected to pray 5 times a day’

          Baligh means developed. A human is said to be baligh when they have attained the age of puberty or what fiqh has defined as ‘adulthood’, when a child is not a child anymore and becomes responsible for his or her deeds for which they may entail punishment on Judgement Day.
          True Form: بالغ

          However, there is a physical process that takes starts a couple of years before puberty is reached. Islam is not just law or Fiqh-it is our total life- your Islam is also your body, your feelings, your understanding, sense of responsibility. Just like in childhood there are physical stages: a newborn, an infant, a toddler, being an adolescent is also a stage. This stage needs to be addressed and discussed.

          Many parents ignore this crucial stage and then it too late. That is why we are instructed to start Salah training your children at 7 and at 10 the practice of praying 5 times a day must be established. If a child attains puberty the very next day after she turns 10, she is on the spot “legally an adult”.

          .

  14. Ify Okoye says:

    A good and free way to keep track of your monthly cycle is through monthlyinfo.com. You can graph your menses and they offer pretty accurate predictions and a reminder email before the start of your next period.

  15. Hina says:

    good job, hena, masha’Allah! i’m sharing this with all of my girlfriends and they are most appreciative. may Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) reward you for your hard work in educating our kids in a gentle, intelligent manner. aameen.
    wassalaam,
    hina

  16. Hena Zuberi says:

    Salaam to all the sisters who read and appreciated it- i understand that this is a sensitive subject.
    Please use the info, talk to your daughters, nieces, there are many girls who may not have moms- host a workshop at your home!
    I hope and pray that Allah (SWT) helps us fulfill our responsibilities and raise pious children who please Him. Ameen

  17. D. Khan says:

    Jazak Allah for sharing all these wonderful tips. I have a 2 year old daughter and have always wondered how I would talk to my daughter about this topic. This is exactly how I would want to talk to my daughter, so thanks for sharing. I am sure I’ll be digging this article up when the time comes.

  18. xainab says:

    Very educative indeed!

  19. Sarah says:

    Please, I think it would be a very good idea to make a post for girls who know about sex but their mothers haven’t told them a thing!

    My mother hasn’t told me about about sex, not a word, and I’m fourteen! The truth is that it’s partly my fault as I didn’t tell her when we had sex education in seventh grade. I’m in an international school in a Muslim country so the chapter was strictly scientific and there wasn’t really anything explicit. However, by the next year dirty jokes were everywhere, and I deal with them all the time, although they’re never directed at me as I’m muhajaba and most people act like I’m off-limits *eyeroll*. I think that I’m extremely lucky in the fact that I actually went on my own and read my father’s hadith books last year and found out about porn, homosexuality, marriage and love within marriage etc on Muslim sites. I’ve had crushes ever since about first grade, but never told my mom as her attitude has always been ‘kissing/hugging/love/dating is haraaaam”. I’d love to be able to casually talk to my mom about boys, crushes, sexuality, what I think about Islam and stuff but I just can’t approach her! So that none of you get the wrong idea, although I’ve had deep crushes, talked and laughed and teased my friends about them, I have never flirted or dated (couldn’t if I wanted to anyway). The flirtiest things I’ve ever done are lend a guy a book or laugh at a joke. Also I’ve always disapproved of swearing with my friends (they do it anyway), as well as disapproving of their never-ending language, “that is so gay”. Bastard, suck my ballz, all these are pretty normal phrases around me at school. I don’t mind a dirty joke, say between girls but I hate it when it’s suggestive and between guys and girls. I’ve since made up my mind on lots of Islamic topics and have my own ideas/views, but we live in a very close space and I’m embarrassed to be seen reading Quran or ahadith or religious books as it always makes me feel as though I’m being fakely religious. I feel very free and easy at school, had debates with teachers and showed my views, but when I’m at home it’s like I’m in a different world!

    Does anyone have some help for me, please? Thank you.

    • Hazem says:

      Your post suggests already part of the help you’re asking for. It looks like you feel you’re living a “double life”: the so called religious life and worldly life. In Islam, there is no separation between religion and life. You live by your Islam. If you chose (or were forced to) not to discuss with your parents, then there should be a way you educate yourself more islamically. This will create a bigger gap in yourself between the two worlds you live in. Read more in details about the issues of Fiqh and purification that present these “sensitive” topics within the boundaries of Hayaa and religion. Make a lot of dua’a and in shaa Allah I’m sure you’ll be able to decide which path you want to follow. More precisely, you’ll feel comfortable (in shaa Allah) when reading Quran, performing Salah, etc… but you’ll feel disturbed when mingling with the company you;ve mentioned.

      May Allah guide you to the good company that gives you help and support in this Dunyia.

    • Erum says:

      Yeah, that’s so true. My mom told me about periods the day I got my first one. And she hasn’t told me anything about sex, obviously living in a non-Muslim country, I have to hear it all the time at school. And it sort of makes me guilty knowing about it. About boys, yeah I’ve had huge crushes too and considering the fact that if I told my mom she would kill me, I just deal with it. I don’t usually talk to boys, but if they talk to me and one of my brother sees that he goes straight home and tells my mom and my moms like why was he talking to u? And I’m like what the hell?! It’s not like its a crime and all he said was hello, why don’t u talk much? Another thing, I’m thirteen and my mon doesn’t by be proper bras, she just buys me those vests, the ones that eight year olds wear that have lace on the neck. My mom gets really annoying all the time she’s always making me do the housework. I swear i really wouldn’t have a problem with that, but when she says your a girl and look at your brothers, they do all the work I really want to kill myself. I’m like hello woman?! Who unloaded the dishwasher right now or who just vacuumed the whole house? Of course, I don’t have the guts to say that cuz I’m scared of her. I think she wouldn’t really care if I died. She’s got a problem with everything I do, in school, I have to bring 90 percent in every subject and when I do, she’s like why? Why not 100 percent? I wish my life was better. Wow this has almost nothing to do with what u wrote, but Im posting it anyways because I know there’s more girls like me who will read this and be happy to know there not alone.

      • Dear Erum

        As we grow up and reach that stage in life where we become adults but the people around us fail to recognize it, it can be very frustrating. When parents refuse to accept that we are no longer the cute kid but an adult with a new found look on life and feelings that were previously not there, it can make you scream and shout and punch someone in the face.

        We all go through this, and it is very easy as an adult to tell someone at 13 oh this is a phase you will get through it. But your feelings are now, your anguish is real. While I am a parent, I still have several years before my eldest reaches that age but I hope I will be prepared to recognize the stage of his life and sit and talk with him on this subject. However, one thing that I learnt as I grew up is that whatever the case may be, respect of parents is mandated to the utmost by our Creator and thus it may be better if one sits down (with whichever parent one is closer to) and start with your love and respect for them and carry on to describe how things are changing for you and you are growing up. Talk about your feelings and how their not recognizing these feelings makes you feel. It may seem awkward to you and may be the last thing you want to do. And I don’t even guarantee your parent(s) will understand it but in the long run it will definitely make things better for you InshaaAllah.

        However, make sure you point out that bringing this subject up does not mean you disrespect them in any way.

        -Aly
        *Comment above is posted in a personal capacity and may not reflect the official views of MuslimMatters or its staff*

        • Erum says:

          No offence, but I wasn’t expecting a man to answer, and if u were such a loyal muslim u wouldn’t be reading ‘girls puberty’

      • Muslimmah says:

        It’s really bad what your mom is doing with you.This attitude towards children leads to children towards negative things .i must say parents should give children proper respect and confidence to make them a better person in society.at this stage you really need some good and sins re friend who soothes you at this point that you feel you are not alone as far as your mother thinking living in a society like this you don’t talk to boys is really ridiculous either ppl change their places if they want to live like a real Islamic society.i specially suggest mothers should be very caring and loving for girls specially just eye upon them and teach them about good and evil education is necessary.first educate them well

  20. Bayan says:

    It would be a whole lot nicer if parents told us about adolescence and sex instead of leaving it till we’re twenty…

  21. UmmZayn says:

    jazakillah khayr, this is very much needed for our community. i just noticed a typo in your handout, the last sentence in the pink box of the last page reads:

    “Don’t forget Allah just you cuz you have your P”

  22. Sister says:

    Salaam,

    I’m a teem and I have a question. It said that your period counts from the time you actually see blood.
    Sorry about being graphic but I need to have this question answered.
    The night before I started, I noticed that my discharge was a slightly different colour in that it was white but to me there seemed to be some kind of a very, very light pink colour. But I couldn’t tell if it was blood because it was very faint.
    I went to check and when I wiped myself in that section it seemed to be clear. I did that quite a few times, but one time I saw something very small and red, but it didn’t absorb into the tissue it looked like a dried stain. I wiped myself againn and there was nothing there.
    the next day I began my period, so do I start counting from the night before I started my period or on the day I actually saw blood and I’m certain i started.
    I’m asking because I last for ten days.

    Jzk :)

    • Hena Zuberi says:

      Sorry for taking so long to answer- was double checking the answers with people of knowledge. According to rulings once your discharge changes color your period or menstruation commences:

      Discharge of any color—red, yellow, muddy, green, black, or earthy—
      which a woman sees in the days of menstrual bleeding is considered
      menstrual discharge and her menstruation will continue until the discharge
      is pure white or there is no discharge. Once blood flows onto the external
      skin of the vagina (i.e., out of the inner lips),ḥayḍ commences.
      This is irrespective of whether it flows out to the outer lips or not. If some cotton, a
      pad, or a tampon is inserted into the vagina whereby the blood cannot flow
      out, then as long as the blood remains in the vagina and no blood is seen on
      the outside of the cotton, menstruation has not commenced. When blood
      appears onto the inner lips of the vaginal opening (or on the external visible
      area of the inserted cotton wool), menstruation will commence from the
      time the blood is seen.

      Example: If a woman inserted a piece of cotton or tissue in the internal
      vagina at night and in the morning she saw blood on the tissue,
      menstruation will be calculated from the time she saw the blood.

      If you continue bleeding after the ten days, it will be considered istehaadha.

  23. Shazia says:

    Jazakallah for all your advice. Its clear and informative and still modest. I need to tackle this topic soon with my daughter and was feeling very lost as to where to begin. Im so glad I found Your website. May Allah reward you for your sincere hard efforts!

  24. Holly Garza says:

    MashaAllah!!!! May Allah reward you for all your efforts!!! Ameen

    This is the absolute best article/blog/handout I have seen in 2 months!

    One of the sisters asked me in the home school page if I knew of anything and it has been a long search of crazy, obscure, untrue, irrelevant options. This is by far the best! JazakAllah Khayer I will share it with her

  25. Young Muslimmah Lady says:

    Jazakallah Khair for writing about this `taboo` in which not many people would feel uncomfortable talking about. It is vital for young Muslimmah’s to know such things to let them know you’re not a little girl anymore and you’re becoming a young modest Muslim lady. This has probably helped many, many, many young Muslims understand all this before confusion hits them.

    • Nidsthewriter says:

      mashallah.. thank you for giving this valuable information.. may allah bless you for taking the effort to share the knowledge.. :-)

  26. […] Muslimah's Guide to Puberty Tags:   hayd · menses · menstruation · period · ramadan · Ramadan 2011 · Ramadan11 · Spirituality · adhaan · alhamdulillah · allah · ameen · bukhari · du'a · dua · eid · insha'allah · masaajid · masjid · muhammad · salaah · subhanallah /* */ About author […]

  27. Khaoula says:

    I have a question?Can a Muslim girl who is still a virgin wear tampons in Islam?Please help me all my friends wear them and I never asked my mom but am inshallah planning on. I really want to wear tampons but deen is more important to me.

  28. Salizah says:

    JazakAllah Khair.. May Allah reward you for all your efforts!

  29. amina says:

    Thank you so much for the article it is amazing I am only 12 and I got mine when I was 11 and a half years old anyway this is amazing thank you it was very educative and helpful allah hafiz

  30. ummiumar says:

    Jazakallah for the article its perfect. Do u have some info about puberty in boys too since being a mother i think its more difficult witjh boys .

  31. A says:

    It’s been a while since I read this and I am still passing it on to others ma sha Allah. Has the boys version come out yet? I haven’t seen it…

  32. […] in a different society. When I got my period, she told me what a shameful thing it was, [read Muslimah's Guide to Puberty: How to talk to your daughter about Adolescence] and how I had to hide it from my whole family.  To the point that I even woke up with my family […]

  33. Naeema Halim says:

    Great article I must say..but pls clarify,should at this stage 9 onwards,should we just tell the girls about puberty and menstruation..what about the actual process of baby birth,how the ovary is fertilized by the sperm..thats the toughest part..how to convey that and at which stage ,because when we will tell them about ovary and babies,they would ask this question.Please advise

  34. Zainab O. says:

    May Allah reward you abundantly , may He accept it a an ibadah for you and a hujja for you on the day of Qiyam. Ameen. We really need this and yes may Allah make it easy for you to publish it and the boy’s version as well . An e-book will be a good start, insha Allah

  35. Free Palestine says:

    what if you get it for only one month and dont get it any of the next months :( what DOSE THAT MEAN?

  36. malaika says:

    My daughter is 11 and everyone in her class has waxing or shaving but I didn’t start shaving until I was 18 what should I do let her shave or wait?

  37. Umm Afraz says:

    Masha Allah, a much needed article! Very beneficial!
    BarakAllahu feeki fid-dunya wal aakhirah!

    Is the Muslim’s Guide to Puberty published? I can’t seem to find it.

  38. Fatima says:

    JazakAllah! This covers almost all the things that concerned me. My little girl is showing most signs of puberty now, for which i have already explaind almost everything about her first period (as this page tells). But The only question that bothers me (which i hv skipped so far) is “how does pregnancy really happen, and The mating processes etc!
    I hv not discussed sex with her, and i am really unsure what to tell, and how much to tell her? She is going to be 12 yrs in 2 months time, and mentally she is still a small little child !
    I m lost!

  39. Khadija says:

    I am 12 yrs of age and have started my period but r we as Muslims allowed to tell our fathers, etc about starting our periods.
    Also Jazaakallahukairun for explaining this in so much detail. May Allah reward you.

    • Hena Zuberi says:

      Congratulations! May Allah make this an easy transition for you. There is no Islamic reason not to tell your father as now you have become baligh and many rules such as those of salah and fasting have started to apply to you, but please keep your local culture in mind.

  40. Jenna Chowdhury says:

    I’m reading this article in 2016 and it is so refreshing and vitally important to have this kind of education available for young girls. This is not always an easy topic to discuss with family but there is some excellent advice in this article. My daughter just recently started her period and I had her read this article which proved to be very helpful. I also bought my daughter a monthly subscription box from a company called Madame Ladybug which delivers pads/tampons directly to your home. They also have a first period box for young girls which I bought for my daughter and she loved it. I highly recommend it, especially if you feel awkward buying feminine hygiene products in public. Thank you for writing this article, so very important!

  41. Rahmah says:

    Mashaa Allah. Jazakallah khayran for this article. It is quiet helpful

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