November 2003: Page 1, 2, 3, 4

Submitters Perspective

Page 2


Cont’d from page 1

Ramadan and Blessings

God revealed the Quran into Muhammad’s memory during the month of Ramadan in the Night of Power (17:1, 44:3, 97:1-5). It was then gradually released from his memory in accordance with God’s will and written down by him with the help of Gabriel over a period of 23 years. Therefore Ramadan is a very special month for Muslims.

Ramadan is the month during which the Quran was revealed, providing guidance for the people, clear teachings, and the statute book. Those of you who witness this month shall fast therein. Those who are ill or traveling may substitute the same number of other days. God wishes for you convenience, not hardship, that you may fulfill your obligations, and to glorify God for guiding you, and to express your appreciation. (2:185)

The religious practices instituted by God are blessings from God. If we can practice our religious duties as we are supposed to, we get many benefits. Furthermore, these practices allow us to be more conscious of God in our lives. They essentially constitute the nourishment

required for the growth and development of our souls to make it to Heaven. They are for our own good. God is in no need of any of our prayers and worship.

Fasting During Ramadan

Fasting during the month of Ramadan is one of the obligatory duties for the Submitters. Since Ramadan is a lunar month and the lunar calendar moves through our Gregorian calendar, it makes Ramadan move through the seasons. Fasting allows us to learn self-discipline and restraint. It allows our soul to control our body and not our physical appetites and desires to control us. Fasting is therefore important for our salvation:

O you who believe, fasting is decreed for you, as it was decreed for those before you, that you may attain salvation. (2:183)

Thanking God

We are instructed in the Quran to fast during the month of Ramadan in order to glorify God and to express our appreciation to Him for guiding us.

The Quran gives us specific examples of what happens to the communities when they fail to remain appreciative of God’s blessings.

GOD cites the example of a community that used to be secure and prosperous, with provisions coming to it from everywhere. But then, it turned unappreciative of GOD’s blessings. Consequently, GOD caused them to taste the hardships of starvation and insecurity. Such is the requital for what they did. (16:112)

Furthermore, God gives us the example of Sheba's homeland. When they became unappreciative, God turned their beautiful, productive gardens into gardens with thorny plants and skimpy harvest (34:15-17).

With Thanksgiving Day falling right after Ramadan this year, let us remember that we need to be appreciative and thankful for the blessing God bestowed on us, not only during Ramadan, and not only during Thanksgiving Day or special occasions, but every single day.

Your Lord has decreed: “The more you thank Me, the more I give you.” But if you turn unappreciative, then My retribution is severe. (14:7)