by Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, The Promised Messiah and Mahdi

The Islamic Guardian (UK), July to September 1981 Issue (Vol. 2, No. 3, p. 3)

“The month of Ramadan is that in which the Quran was revealed,” (The Qur­an, 2:185)

is sufficient to show the greatness of this month. Saints have considered this month to be outstanding for enlightening the heart. There is in it an abundance of visions. While prayer purifies the self, fasting illumines the heart. Purifying of self means that one should obtain deli­verance from low desires, and the illumination of the heart causes visions through which the believer sees the Lord; the above verse hints at this. Without doubt, there is a great reward for fasting but sickness and human needs deprive man of this blessing.

It is appropriate that one who feels that he may be so deprived should pray to God:

“O Lord, this is your blessed month of which I am being deprived. I know not whether I will live another year.”

He should pray to be granted the strength to fast, and I am sure God will give him that.

I believe that when a person begs the Lord with truthfulness and sincerity not to deprive him of the blessings of this month then the Lord does not deprive him. If he falls ill in this condition then that sickness becomes a blessing for him, for in any action it is the sincerity of purpose that counts. A believer should prove himself courageous for Allah. A person who is deprived of fasting but in his heart he wishes if only he was well and able to fast, and his heart cries for this, then the angels fast for him provided that he was not making excuses. The Lord will not deprive him of the reward. However, there are many excuse-finders in this world, and they think that, as they can deceive people, so can they the Lord; but He knows your intentions.

When a person accepts hardship in God’s way He turns to that person in mer­cy. But those who turn themselves from such hardships, He sends other difficul­ties their way and rescues them not. As to those who put themselves into hardship, He delivers them. It is incumbent on man not to be kind to him­self but be such that God is kind to him; for man’s kindness for his self is hell for him while God’s is heaven. Ponder on the story of Abraham who (in God’s way) was willing to have himself thrown into the fire. God saved him. But those who want to save themselves from fire are the ones thrown into it. This is submission and Islam — that you do not turn away from what you encounter in Allah’s way.