Learn about the benefits of Fasting & Ramadan
The benefits of Fasting & Ramadan
In the month of Ramadan Allah (almighty) showers his endless mercy upon the believing men and women. The shayateen (devils) are locked up and the gates of hell are closed. There are many secrets and wisdoms to fasting and particularly fasting during the month of Ramadan.
The ulema write that ‘the one who is fasting resembles the traits of the angels drawn near to Allah (most high), who do not eat nor drink nor disobey Allah in what Allah orders them to do but do as they are commanded.’ From this we understand the act of fasting is an angelic trait, thus signifying it is something which Allah (almighty) loves as the Angels do not have free will and do only that which Allah commands them to do. Thus, we should make it a habit to fast regularly throughout the week.
This not only helps detox the body however, also lightens the burden on the soul. The soul is a spirit which is burdened by the body it is trapped inside of. The lighter the body is the lighter the soul feels and the easier it is to worship Allah. The heavier the body is the more burdensome the soul feels, and the harder worship becomes. By fasting you are feeding the soul and depriving the nafs (lower desires) of hunger and sexual intimacy. Therefore, fast regularly so that your soul becomes less burdened, and worship becomes easier.
Furthermore, the scholars of tasawwuf mention that it is from the mercy of Allah (almighty) that He (almighty) legislates an action Fard (compulsory) for the believers. Allah (almighty) only makes those actions compulsory which He (almighty) loves. Had Allah not made them compulsory then we would not know what Allah (almighty) loves and thus we would not know how to become close to Allah (almighty).
The fasting of Ramadan is loved by Allah (almighty) and it is a means for you to get closer to Allah (almighty). There are spiritual veils between you and Allah and between you and the Beloved PBUH. Fasting during the month of Ramadan is a means to remove these veils caused by sins and to better your relationship with Allah and The Beloved PBUH. Use this month of Ramadan to divorce yourself from the world. Allah has made it easier for you in the month of Ramadan as the Shayateen are locked away. Build this connection with Allah (almighty).
Another benefit of fasting is that it encourages the rich to give to the poor. Is it not the case that when a rich person feels hunger and thirst, he remembers the poor and needy, so his heart becomes inclined towards them out of empathy and compassion? The Prophet of Allah, Sayyiduna Yusuf (Alay hi Salam) had in his hands the treasures of the earth, despite having such treasures he did not eat until hunger became severe for him. Thus, he was asked about it, to which he replied ‘[I remain hungry] so that I do not forget hungry.’ From this we learn that a spiritual benefit of fasting is that it develops the feeling of compassion and empathy in the heart of the believing person as for a short period of time they feel that which the poor and needy feel thus making their hearts more inclined towards giving.
Furthermore, the ulema also mention that reducing the intake of food and drink (via fasting) has two benefits. The first is that a person’s thinking is heightened (a person becomes sharper). This is based on the narration from the Prophet PBUH “the one whose belly is hungry; his thinking is heightened, and his heart is made sagacious.” Furthermore Sayyiduna Luqman (Allah is pleased with him) said to his son ‘O my dear son, when the belly is full, one’s cognitive thought falls asleep, wisdom is muted, and the limbs are disabled from worship and purifying the heart.’ Firstly, from the narration of The best of Creation PBUH we learn that your cognitive skills are at the peak of their powers whilst in a state of fasting. Often people at work or those who go to school and are sitting their exams make the excuse that we cannot fast as we won’t be able to concentrate. This is infact a myth and an excuse to not fast. The Beloved PBUH has clearly stated that the mind functions the best whilst the stomach is hungry. The Messenger of Allah PBUH is the most truthful. Thus, we should employ the acts of fasting outside of Ramadan as well as inside as there are many benefits of doing so.
May Allah allow us to benefit from the spiritual and physical benefits of fasting and the Month of Ramadan. (Ameen).