By Ishola Haroon Balogun
There are innumerable benefits of fasting. One of the most prominent is imbibing the character of self restraint. Self restraint is really a difficult thing but with fasting in accordance with the dictates of Allah, it becomes easier and one therefore is able to forsake sin and develops the qualities of piety and abstinence. Fasting saves a person from sin because it develops self-restraint and drives away the passions that lead to sin.
Allah says, “O you who believe! Fasting has been made obligatory for you just as it was made obligatory for those before you, so that you may become pious. Q2:183
Fasting serves as a nutrition for the soul so that the soul gains strength by it. There is nothing as effective as fasting to curb carnal desires. Fasting opens the door to spirituality and lends vitality to one’s acts of worship and purifies the soul.
Another benefit of fasting is that it inculcates the qualities of Allah. Just as Allah does not need food, drink or carnal passions, the fasting person also abandons food and drinks during the fast and also adopts the qualities of the angels who are sustained not on food. The fasting person also gets the golden opportunity to be grateful to Allah during the days of fasting, when he also sympathises with the poor. He submerges his feelings with that of the poor who is hungry most of the time. This feeling allows him to adjust his life style and be more compassionate to the plight of the have nots.
Furthermore, fasting purges the body of toxins and diseases and is especially effective in purging phlegm.
Fasting harnesses the love of Allah and the prophet; and elevates one’s spiritual level.
Another benefit of fasting is that a person is fulfilling the command of Allah, thereby gaining proximity to Him.
Prayer of the day
Rabbana wa ‘atina ma wa’adtana ‘ala rusulika wa la tukhzina yawmal-Qiyamah innaka la tukhliful mi’aad
Our Lord! Grant us what Thou didst promise unto us through Thine apostles, and save us from shame on the Day of Judgment: For Thou never breakest Thy promise (3:194).