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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.
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
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)