September 2008: Page 1, 2, 3, 4

Ramadan 1429

Volume 24 No 9

In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Submitters Perspective

Monthly Bulletin of the International Community of Submitters Published by Masjid Tucson

Fasting: A Blessing in Disguise

Ramadan Information and Reflections

Ramadan is the month during which the Quran was revealed, providing guidance for the people, clear teachings, and the statute book...(2:185) We also understand that God revealed the Quran into Prophet Muhammad’s memory 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 (also spelled as Ramadhan, Ramazan, so on) is a very special month for Muslims.

Be Thankful to God

The religious practices instituted by God, such as fasting, are not ordeals but rather great opportunities for us to develop our souls. They are blessings from God. If we can practice our religious duties the way we are supposed to, we get many benefits. Furthermore, these practices allow us to be more conscious of God in our lives. We know that “God never burdens any soul beyond its means....” (2:286)

and that “The remembrance of God is the most important objective....”  (29:45).

Someone once said “We don't need more to be thankful for; we just need to be more thankful.” How true! We have so much to be thankful for. Additionally, if we are thankful to God, He rewards us with more, as God has decreed that “The more you thank Me, the more I give you…” (14:7). Therefore, if we are appreciative, it is for our own good (31:12). God does not need any of our worship or any of us, but He is pleased for us if we make the right choice and decide to be appreciative (39:7).

No Hardship in Religion

Not only has God given us this great blessing of fasting in Ramadan, He is also compassionate in accommodating every kind of situation. For example, “if one is ill or traveling, an equal number of other days may be substituted. Those who can fast, but with great difficulty, may substitute feeding one poor person for each day of breaking the fast…” (2:184).

Of course, if one volunteers to do more righteous works, it is better. God wishes for us convenience, not hardship, that we may fulfill our obligations, and to glorify God for guiding us, and to express our appreciation (2:185).

God knows us better than we know ourselves. He is the One who created us. Even though He gives us alternatives to perform our responsibility when we are unable to fast, He emphasizes that if we can fast, it is best for us (2:184).

Benefits of Fasting

Besides nourishing our soul, the real self, fasting also has numerous, scientifically proven benefits for our physical health and the mental well-being . The time, length and nature of the fast all contribute to its overall positive effect. Fasting gives our digestive system a rest and improves our physical health. In his book “Fasting and Eating for Health,” (ISBN 031218719X) Joel Fuhrman, M.D. notes that

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