It is the demand of instinct that man’s intelligence perpetually dominate his base self. However, owing to human weakness sometime it is the other way about and his base self-dictates his intelligence. Therefore, Islam has prescribed fasting to follow civilized behaviour and to cleanse his soul.
1. Fasting aids man’s intelligence to fully dominate his base self.
2. Fasting grows in man fear of Allah and deep devotion to him. Allah has said in the Quran ” Fasting is prescribed to you that you may become God fearing.” (al-Baqarah, 2:183)
3. A man who fasts sees his own humbleness, indigence, the greatness of Allah and His Power.
4. Fasting opens a man’s insight.
5. It also promotes farsightedness.
6. The fasting man finds the reality of things uncovered to him.
7. Fasting distances wild, beastly qualities in man.
8. Fasting gets man nearer to the angles.
9. Fasting affords man an opportunity to show gratitude to Allah.
10. Fellow feelings grow in a fasting man. This excellence is explained by realizing that one who does not experience hunger and thirst cannot understand the plight of the hungry and thirsty. He cannot value the blessings on him and be grateful to the Absolute Bestower of sustenances, the Absolute provider of livelihood. He may even thank Him with his tongue but he cannot show gratitude from the depths of his heart until his belly knows the pangs of hunger and his throat is dry with thirst, and his body knows the resultant weakness. Only when someone is separated from something to which he is deeply attached does he know the value of that thing in his heart.
11. Fasting is healthy for the body and the soul. The doctors of medicine agreed that little eating and drinking is good for a healthy body and the sufis stressed that it is excellence for the soul.
12. Fasting is like a spiritual nourishment for the man. It will serve as sustenance in the next world. Those who do not take the spiritual nourishment with them to the other world will be hungry and thirsty here and spiritual bankruptcy will be apparent on them in the next world. It is worth believing that everything provided to man in sustenances is from the treasures of Allah’s Mercy. So, whatever he abandons here, he will surely get recompense there and that will be better and superior what he surrenders here.
13. Fasting is a great sign of love for Allah. Just as one is deeply involved in someone’s love and gives up food and drink and even private relations with his wife, so too he drowns in the love of Allah and displays the same attitude. This is why it is not allowed to fast for the sake of anyone besides Allah.
Source: The Wisdom Behind Commands of Islam
Author: Shaykh Mohammed Ashraf Ali Thanvi