If a car doesn’t have enough fuel, can it work?
The answer is no. Just like fuel is necessary for cars to work, our souls need spiritual fuel to overcome the struggles of this life and aspire for the reward in the hereafter. That is one of the goals and spiritual benefits of fasting in Islam that are discussed in this article.
Spiritual Benefits of Fasting
There are numerous acts of worship that Allah orders Muslims to perform to reach high levels of spirituality and fasting is one of the greatest deeds one can do to please Allah SWT.
Fasting in Islam means to abstain from food, drink and marital relations from dawn till sunset. Fasting could be obligatory as in fasting the month of Ramadan, which is one of the pillars of Islam, but there are also other types of voluntary fasting that follow the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad PBUH such as fasting every Monday and Thursday.
So, what are the spiritual advantages of fasting?
1. “…that you may become righteous”:
The most significant spiritual benefit that could be attained through fasting is mentioned in the Quran. Then, what does the Quran say about the benefits of fasting?
Allah SWT states in the Quran: “O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous.” [Al-Baqarah 184]. For a believer, fasting is a great tool to reach a higher level of piety or Taqwa which protects a believer from sin and evil doing. Moreover, this Taqwa and fear of Allah would be a source of ease and comfort for them.
2. Develop self-restraint:
One of the spiritual benefits fasting has is that it enables the believer to practice discipline and self-restraint by willingly abstaining from permissible human desires such as eating and drinking for a certain period of time. As a result, one develops a stronger ability to fight the urge to commit sins and not constantly follow the desires of the self.
In addition, one cultivates more stamina for greater deeds as he/she strives to fast during the day and perform prayer during the night.
3. The seed for patience:
Consequently, fasting is often paired with patience. Enduring this hunger and thirst for a certain period of time gives the means to maintain patience and determination in the face of temptations.
Therefore, Prophet Muhammad PBUH recommended fasting as a remedy for those who don’t have the means for marriage in the hadith: “0 young men, those among you who can support a wife should marry, for it restrains eyes (from casting evil glances) and preserves one from immorality; but he who cannot afford It should observe fast for it is a means of controlling the sexual desire.“
4. Avoid filling the worst container:
Overconsumption is considered one of the most dreadful afflictions of the modern age. Nonetheless, regulating the consumption of food and drink qualifies as one of the great benefits of fasting Ramadan and other forms of voluntary fasting.
Getting rid of the habit of overeating causes one to have enough energy to perform other acts of worship such as prayer and reciting Quran and reduces laziness.
Moreover, reducing the consumption of food and drink frees up more time that would have been otherwise dedicated for preparing and eating food. Instead, this time would be redirected for righteous deeds.
5. More spiritual, less materialistic:
As you empty your heart of worldly desires, you get closer to the Creator. You rid yourself of things that normally weigh you down to earth through being attached to your bodily desires. Instead, your focus is on the spiritual realm as you concentrate more on your prayer and Quran recitation without being distracted.
6. No one is watching:
Prophet Muhammad PBUH has warned us of the danger of boastfulness and arrogance since it threatens to eliminate the reward for our deeds. As for fasting, it is an act that is only done for the sake of Allah so it is a way to practice sincerity because no one would know if you break your fast but Allah, the All-Knowing.
7. “…And few of my servants are grateful”:
We often fail to notice the blessings that Allah has granted us because, with the passing of time, we get used to having them around. Fasting serves to remind us of these blessings since we spend much time without food and drink anxiously waiting for Maghrib so that we could break our fast.
8. Fasting builds character:
A side that must not be overlooked when it comes to the various acts of worship is their influence in building the character of Muslims and their effect on their manners. In addition to having stronger resilience and helping the poor, fasting serves as a reminder for Muslims to guard their tongues.
Muslims must not only abstain from food, drink and marital relations during the month of Ramadan, but they also must abstain from backbiting and gossip in order not to lose the reward for their fasting.
Health benefits of fasting:
Researchers have tried to answer the question: how many hours of fasting is beneficial? Their answers vary from 12 hours and up to 14-16 hours of fasting that results in improving people’s health.
There are without a doubt some health benefits that result from fasting such as regulating blood pressure and cholesterol, strengthening brain neurons in addition to improving metabolism and preventing chronic diseases.
However, the health benefits and the importance of fasting and prayer shouldn’t constitute the purpose of performing these righteous deeds since the thing that should matter the most to Muslims is the reward promised by Allah.
The Reward for Obligatory and Voluntary Fasting
Here, we will attempt to list some of the rewards and bounties promised by Allah for those who fast:
1.“Every good deed of Adam’s son is for him except fasting; it is for Me. and I shall reward (the fasting person) for it.’ Verily, the smell of the mouth of a fasting person is better to Allah than the smell of musk.” “Sunnah”.
2.Fasting and the Quran Intercede for the person on the Day of Judgment.
3.The gate of Rayyan is promised only for those who fast and it is closed after they enter Jannah from this gate.
4.Have your past sins forgiven by Allah SWT.
5.The duaa’ you make as you are breaking your fast is accepted.
6.Entering Jannah and escaping the Hellfire.
Ramadan Benefits and importance
Fasting cannot be addressed without referring to the holy month of Ramadan. The following points answer the question: Why is Ramadan so important?
- Ramadan is a glorious opportunity for repentance due to the fact that fasting Ramadan results in being forgiven for past sins. In addition, every night in Ramadan, Allah frees a number of His servants from entering hellfire.
- In Ramadan, the gates of paradise are open and the gates of hell are closed .
- Ramadan is the month of Quran. The connection between Ramadan and the Quran lies in the fact that the Quran was revealed to Prophet Muhammad during the month of Ramadan. Therefore, reciting Quran has been the main righteous deed performed by Prophet Muhammad, his companions and those that followed them.
- Fasting Ramadan is one of the pillars of Islam.
- Ramadan contains a night that is better than a thousand months which is Laylatul Qadr. It is observed by Muslims on the last five odd nights of Ramadan.
- It is the month of donation and Sadaqah for the poor and the needy.
- The importance of fasting and prayer is greater since the reward for righteous deeds is promised to be multiplied.
- The Shayatin are chained in Ramadan which leaves you face to face with yourself. It is a greater chance to purify yourself from its shortcomings. It helps you to know yourself better and hereby know how to overcome your vices.
- Ramadan is a time that calls Muslims to strengthen their brotherly connections as an Ummah. In Ramadan, all Muslims fast and more congregational prayers are performed.
Therefore, Ramadan benefits and importance do not only include the individuals but also affect the Muslim nation as a whole.
With these points in mind, you should be motivated to exert your best efforts during these few days prior to the month of Ramadan, as the companions of Prophet Muhammad PBUH used to prepare, so that you would not squander this great opportunity for forgiveness.
As the month of Quran is approaching, it is of the utmost importance for you to practice reciting the Quran properly with Tajweed rules.
Here at Almuhammadi Academy, we offer you the chance to enroll in our online Quran and Tajweed classes. These classes that are taught by our skilled tutors you will provide you with sufficient guidance and feedback on your journey of learning Quran. So don’t miss the opportunity and join our classes now!