Recite that which hath been inspired in thee of the Scripture, and establish worship. Lo! worship preserveth from lewdness and iniquity, but verily remembrance of Allah [God] is more important. And Allah [God]knoweth what ye do. [Quran 29:45]
Trust in God
When we know and trust in the complete power of God, we find peace and security by remembering that this all-encompassing force is protecting and sustaining us. This remembrance is what sacred rituals and ceremonial liturgies seek to evoke.
Religious institutions assemble lessons, sounds and images to generate this phenomenon but succeed only in manufacturing brief moments of ephemeral emotions. Often, our mundane and profane states of mind overwhelm the sacred presentation, leaving indifferent and bored participants.
Under special difficulties, or when in great need of, or great longings after, any particular mercy, for yourself or others, set apart a day for secret prayer and fasting by yourself alone; and let the day be spent, not only in petitions for the mercies you desire, but in searching your heart, and in looking over your past life, and confessing your sins before God, not as it wont to be done in public prayer, but by a very particular rehearsal before God of the sins of your past life, from your childhood hitherto, before and after conversion, with the circumstances and aggravations attending them, and spreading all the abominations of your heart very particularly, and fully as possible, before him [Jonathan Edwards, “The Young Professor”].
Fasting vitalizes rituals and liturgy by adding an intimate dimension. By personally committing yourself to a spiritual fast, you add a mystical element to traditional and orthodox customs. Fasting helps to bring the thought process back in line with spiritual affirmations. It helps Divine Light to penetrate the heart and inspire the mind.
Remembrance is an ever-present shelter available to the believer. When our sincere belief in God permeates the soul, our faith provides a shield that prevents external corrosion. Fasting reinforces our spiritual armor by deflecting material allurements and blocking sensuous intrusions.
By remembering the protection and mercy that God provides, we alleviate anxiety and assuage our grief. Remembrance of God caresses our intellect and soothes our thoughts.
And keep thy soul content with those who cry unto their Lord at morn and evening, seeking His Face; and let not thine eyes overlook them, desiring the pomp and glitter of the life of the world; and obey not him whose heart We have permitted to neglect the remembrance of Us, one who follows his own desires, whose case has gone beyond all bounds. [Quran 18:28].