According to The Holy Quran and the Prophetic traditional teachings, Islamic Fasting has a unique moral, spiritual and social characteristic.
Fasting means “self-discipline”, in other words, it means “Totally avoid all sexual and food desires from dawn to sunset with the intention of fast, during the entire month of Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic year. Fasting is a very special act of worship because it is something that is between the fasting person and God.
The Spiritual and Moral Benefits:
- It brings a fasting man/woman closer to his/her Creator (Allah).
- One develops a sense of love for the Holy Quran, as this month brings along with it an opportunity towards a special dedication, and also a love towards its recitation, understanding and remembrance.
- I’tikaf, is observed, and in doing so observer gets a better concentration and more time towards praying, reciting the Holy Quran and undergoing other religious activities.
- Punctuality in the five compulsory prayers helps fasting person develop a habit of offering prayers regularly and punctually.
- The Tahajjud prayer is more widely observed in this whole month. The faithful leave their warm beds in search of the Bliss of Allah and ask duas.
- The Tarawih prayer is an event that allows faithful to hear the Holy Quran from beginning to end.
- Fasting person refrains from doing any evil deed during fasting.
- Observer of fast is prepared for radical changes in one’s life, as the start of this month brings similar changes to observers daily schedule.
- One develops a sense of unity and brotherhood with fellow Muslims all over the world by sharing the same religious experience i.e. fasting. Equality and uniformity is observed, as both black and white, wealthy and poor, master and servant, act according to the will of Allah.
- Through fasting, the wealthy realize the essence of the word hunger, and thus become more dutiful towards the rights of the poor, the orphans and the needy. Thus one is more careful towards the giving of charity and bringing about other pious deeds that can lessen the problems of the poor.
- It develops the habit of eating moderately and avoiding wastage of food.
- Lailat-ul-Qadr i.e. the Night of power falls in this month, and provides an opportunity for asking forgiveness from Almighty Allah.
- Allah forgives the previous sins of the fasting men and women when they seek His forgiveness honestly with devotion.
Fasting purifies the mind and helps a person gain control over his ego and base desires as well as teaches a person how to modify his behavior and change bad habits into good ones. Fasting also teaches patience, thankfulness and modesty. These are all qualities that Muslims strive to perfect and fasting is one way that helps inculcate them in our daily lives.