September 2008: Page 1, 2, 3, 4

Submitters Perspective

Page 4

MASJID TUCSON United Submitters International

PO Box 43476 Tucson AZ 85733-3476 USA

Tel/Fax: (520) 323 7636

Masjid Tucson site:

Masjid Tucson e-mail:

Happiness is
Submission to God Alone

ISSN 1089-053X


My First Ramadan:

A Submitter’s Reflections

Beyond knowing that God commands us to fast, during my first Ramadan as a Submitter, I didn’t really understand why we fast all day. My initial understanding was that we should spend some time sympathizing with those less fortunate than ourselves. This is more an exercise of compassion rather than gratefulness. While compassion is valuable, however, an offshoot of being appreciative of our lives is having compassion for others.

Unlike our Contact Prayers and Obligatory Charity, very little is written in the Quran about Ramadan, but we take the ninth month of the lunar year to step back and celebrate the revealing of God’s word by counting our blessings during the daylight hours. It is a perfect time to reflect on our traits as believers and use the time to prepare and better ourselves as submitters.

I know that I am not accustomed to functioning when my energy is low. Like most people, concentration and comprehension of complex ideas is particularly difficult when hungry and thirsty. Before knowing much about Islam, I knew a Muslim who took the whole month of Ramadan off from work. Although sometimes we alter our everyday schedule, most of us have to continue life as usual. This is better for us, because we know that if we can make it through Ramadan each year, it will help us prepare for tests that may come in the future.

[2:155] We will surely test you through some fear, hunger, and loss of money, lives, and crops. Give good news to the steadfast.

This also gives us an opportunity to understand people who are less fortunate than ourselves. In general it’s easy for us as humans to take for granted what God has given us. Day to day we forget how difficult life is for other people all around the world. Most of us submitters have access to safe drinking water and food everyday.

For some of us, we are also much more appreciative of the sunset during this time. For me, the day begins to cool off, which is easy to appreciate after not drinking water during the day. In August in Tucson we often have temperatures over 100°F and I commute to school and work by bike.

Are we more appreciative of food and water after the sunset prayer during Ramadan? I am, but it now seems to me that Ramadan is a time to remind us to be appreciative the rest of the year. My understanding of Ramadan continues to evolve. I now see it as a continual training to focus on God’s words in (2:172):

“O you who believe, eat from the good things we provided for you, and be thankful to GOD, if you do worship Him alone.”

Also to strive for the traits of the righteous:

[3:17] They are steadfast, truthful, submitting, charitable, and meditators at dawn.

Chris J.