June 2015: Page 1, 2, 3, 4

Shaban 1436

Volume 31 No 6

In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Submitters Perspective

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


If you live in Australia or South America or lower Africa, Ramadan this year will be easy for you. Short days, late sunrise, early sunset. Just like skipping lunch. But for most of us, this Ramadan will include the longest day of the year. For those of us in the desert southwest, that also means the hottest days of the year. For those in places like Sweden and Canada, it may be cooler but it means there’s practically no night at all.

For me, personally, this means I’ve come full circle. My very first Ramadan was mid-May to mid-June, and I never thought I could survive it. The days were long, but mostly they were very hot. How could I possibly go some 16 hours without a drink of water? Food maybe I could manage, but no water? And, of course, that’s what most of our friends say to us when we tell them about Ramadan—“No water?!”

I managed that whole first Ramadan, though there was a day I can still remember when I just said, “That’s it! I need a drink of water!” But God distracted me and made the feeling pass. I managed it because God made it possible.

So, now as I approach a Ramadan that will include long, hot days, I know that I can not only  manage it, but embrace it. I can make it through because it’s God’s command and I choose to strive to obey His commands. Not because it’s fun or comfortable—it isn’t. But it is rewarding and energizing and I feel the growth of my soul. And I’m more than willing to make a few sacrifices of creature comforts for the far better rewards that God promises (2:200-2).

This is the true blessing of Ramadan. We live in a world adorned with so many beautiful things that tempt us and distract us. This is God’s gift to us. But it’s also His test. We can’t get so caught up in this beautiful world that we forget the One who created it. So to help us He gives us practices to draw us back from the worldly temptations and put our focus back on God. The five daily Salat prayers allow us to turn our thoughts to God. Zakat and charity allow us to remember that all gifts come from God and when we share His gifts to us with those less fortunate, we are placing the rewards of the Hereafter above the rewards of this world.

Then there’s Ramadan. Ramadan is a practice that allows us to do

both—remember God and remember those less fortunate. When we feel hungry or thirsty on these long hot days, we can immediately remember that the reason we’re not eating or drinking is because God told us to fast. So we remember God. We say to ourselves, “I’m not going to let my body rule my soul. I’m going to tame this unruly body and put my soul in charge. God is in full control of everything.”

At the same time, we are reminded that a large percentage of the world’s population faces hunger and thirst every single day. Too many children go to bed hungry. Too many people have to walk miles to fetch drinking water that we wouldn’t consider safe to drink. We turn on a tap and water flows. We have to be appreciative of that. We walk in a market and are assaulted by choices of cereal, soup and all kinds of snacks. This is a blessing from God. When our stomach rumbles during Ramadan, we get the opportunity to say, “Thank You God.”

And then we get to enjoy breaking the fast. When we do this with friends, it becomes a joyous celebration. But it’s not a celebration of being able to eat and drink. It’s a celebration of the One

Cont’d on page 2

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