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In the Name of God: The Extremely and Eternally Loving and Caring 

Ramadan ended on June 25, and I cannot lie, it is very cool to be able to drink coffee in the morning again, and drink coffee in the afternoon when the sun is still out, and eat dinner and still have several more hours of daylight to enjoy, and, and, and. While the fast of Ramadan was about piety, reflection, humility, discipline, connection to God, spiritual purification, recitation of the Qur’an, among many other things, it was also about gratitude:

God desires that you complete the number of days required and that you declare His perfection for His having guided you aright and that you render your thanks unto Him. (2:185).

Gratitude.

As soon as I sipped my Venti Cinnamon Dolce Breve Mocha on June 25, the day of Eid, I was extremely grateful. Grateful that I no longer had to fast, but also grateful that I was blessed to finish the month and partake in its (truly) difficult ritual. And now, with the fast and its difficulty still fresh in my mind, I am grateful for every cup of coffee that I can have with the sun still shining brightly.

The challenge will be staying grateful for every cup of coffee that I have when the sun is still shining brightly for the rest of the year. For, that is the point: we have to guard against taking the blessings we enjoy for granted. We have to remain grateful for everything with which the Lord blesses us, and that gratitude should move us to worship Him, get closer to Him, and help those who are not as fortunate as we.

And do you know what the best part is? That gratitude protects us from the punishment of God:

What purpose does God have in punishing you if you are grateful and believe? And God has always been ever responsive to gratitude (literally: thankful) and all-knowing (4:147)

Our gratitude should be the main driver of our worship of God, not the fear of His punishment, even though His punishment is severe and must be feared. And in response to that grateful worship, our Lord is thankful in return. That is part of what the fast of Ramadan teaches us, and it further confirms the truth that our God, the One Whom we worship and adore, is truly an Awesome, Beautiful, and Beloved God.

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