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The religious practices instituted by God are blessings from God.
If we can practice our religious duties as we are supposed to, we
draw 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 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.
God tells us to fast 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 bless-ings. 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 during
Ramadan this year, let us remember that we need to be ap-preciative
and thankful every single day.
Your Lord has decreed: "The more you thank Me,
the more I give you." But if you turn unap-preciative, then
My retribution is severe. (14:7)