During Ramadan, I asked my friend Dani about fasting. We read together from the Qur'an: "Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you" (QS. 2:183).
"Who is the verse talking about when it says 'those before you?'" I asked. "Isn't it the previous prophets?" He agreed. "Doesn't it make sense, then, to look at how 'those before' were told to fast?"
We looked together at Isaiah 58 and discussed how God is not impressed with empty actions. Instead, God accepts people who truly humble themselves, and through their actions demonstrate this humility and repentance.
I shared with Dani how sometimes when I fast, I wake up irritable and cranky, lashing out at my wife and being short-tempered with my son. If I behave like that, does God accept my fast?
After our conversation, Dani said he felt a need to re-examine his attitude toward fasting and other "religious" activities.
- Pray that Dani would continue asking how he can be acceptable to God, and that this would lead him to Isa al Masih (Jesus Christ).
- Pray that I would have more opportunities to share with Dani about true repentance through Jesus Christ.