The Creator says, ‘Fasting is Mine’. And by fasting, here, we mean the wider practice of self-denial that is practised during Ramadan, when we deny our lower self – our nafs – the freedom to derive certain sensual pleasures wherever and whenever it desires. Fasting is loved by the Creator more than any other form of worship in Islam. Fasting in Ramadan is thus the key to true, sincere, comprehensive and universal gratitude. This is because at other times of the year, most people who are relatively well-off do not realise the value of the bounties they receive, since they do not experience real hunger or true need. Those whose stomachs are full – especially if they are rich – do not understand the bounty there is in a single piece of dry bread. When the time to break the fast arrives, however, a believer’s taste buds testify that dry bread is one of God’s most precious and valuable bounties. During Ramadan, everyone, from king to beggar, expresses a kind of gratitude through understanding the true worth of those bounties.

Bediuzzaman Said Nursi’s treatise on Ramadan is presented here in its new English translation. His main work – the Risale-i Nur, is currently being re-translated into English, with a focus on the communication of meaning rather than on strict, word-for-word equivalence, which often obscures what the author is trying to say and makes reading more of a task for the reader than a pleasure.