The fact lies on the saying that nothing is for nothing. Even a small termite has extreme importance to a farmer as far as soil fertility is concerned. Allah commanded Muslims to observe fasting in the holy month of Ramadan with the aim of boosting faith and righteousness. Apart from charging Iman, fasting comes with countless lessons that remain in the hearts of Muslims when it departures. Here is the outline of some of them.
Fasting is the training for the soul, purification of the heart, lowering of the gaze and protection of the lips from lies and gossiping. The thirty days break of backbiting, smoking, greedy and other inhuman acts modifies automatically the human soul and finds it easy to dump them outside Ramadan.
Fasting ensures unity of the Muslims as they spend most of their time together in the Mosques and other Islamic occasions such as places of Iftar. They feel the pangs of hunger and eat together in spirit of brotherhood, love and devotion. It is this time that the relationship between the rich and the needy Muslims reaches its climax as they share necessities of life such as food and other items.
Physically, fasting enhances bodily health. It gets rid of contaminated matter, eases stomach, purifies the blood, eases the working of heart and refines personal characters. Thus, all carnal desires are hindered and expelled.
Fasting installs endurance. As you know that refraining from food, drink and other desires from dawn to dusk is a severe test to its very limit yet a Muslim takes this challenge and behaves normally. He/she endures from all abuse directed to them from any angle and is only allowed to say that I am fasting no matter how extreme it may be.
Virtues of Fasting
Virtues of fasting are endless. Fasting helps in refinement of manners, especially those related to truthfulness and discharging trusts. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Whoever does not abandon falsehood in word and action, then Allah does not need that he should leave his food and drink.” (Bukhari) What we learn from this Hadith is that we must pay attention to the purification of our manners.
Fasting makes the soul shining. Fasting refreshes the soul and cheers up it from its lethargic state, while excessive eating makes it blind and dark just as excessive water destroys crops. Excessive eating makes a man dull and stupid and deprives a man from the power of thinking.
Fasting helps in drawing closer to Allah . This is achieved by reciting and reflecting on the Qur’an during night and day, attending the taraweh prayers, remembering Allah, sitting in circles of knowledge and, for those who can, making `Umrah. Also for those who can, making I`tikaaf (seclusion) in the last ten days of Ramadan, so as to leave all worldly pursuits and seclude oneself in a Masjid just thinking of Allah and His endless blessings, so as to bring oneself closer to Allah.
Fasting helps in acquiring patience and strong will. Allah has mentioned patience more than seventy times in the Holy Qur’an. So, when one fasts, and gives up one’s food and drink, and one’s marital sexual relations for fasting hours, one learns restraint and patience. A Muslim should not be characterized by anger, emotions or short tempere but faith, love, calmness with strong will and reasoning.
Fasting helps in striving for righteousness and sincerity and staying away from riyaa’ (showing off). Righteousness and sincerity (Ihsaan) means to worship Allah as if one sees Him, and even though one does not see Him, He sees all.