Benefits Fasting in Islam
Benefits Fasting during Ramadan:
My dear brothers and sisters in Islam,
This blog is a follow up of What about Fasting in Ramadan which you may wish to read first before proceeding to the Benefits Fasting during Ramadan.
(E) One month’s continuous training
Allah put to test a Muslim’s faith for full one month in a year and to the extent a man emerges successful from this trial, his faith becomes firmer and firmer. This is, as it were, both a trial as well as a training.
When you deposit anything as a trust with somebody, you are as if testing his integrity. If he proves successful in his test and does not commit breach of trust, he develops greater strength to bear the burden of trusts and becomes more worthy of trust.
Similarly, Allah puts our faith to severe test continuously for one month, twelve to fourteen hours a day, and when you emerge triumphant from this test, further ability develops in you to refrain from other sins due to fear of Allah.
Therefore, realizing that Allah is the Knower of the unseen, you should abstain from breaking His law even covertly, and on every occasion, you should duly remember that day when everything will be exposed, and without any consideration, you will be requited good for good and evil for evil. This is the purport of the following verse:
“O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous” (2:183)
(F) Long practice of obedience
There is another peculiarity of fasting. It makes one obey the injunctions of Shariah without break for a long period of time. The duration of Salah is not more than a few minutes at a time. The time for paying Zakat occurs only once in a year. In Hajj, however, the time spent is long but its opportunity comes once during a lifetime, and that too not for all.
As against these, fasting is an exercise in following Shariah-e-Muhammadi for full one month in a year, day and night. You have to get up for Sehri early before dawn, stop all eating and drinking precisely at the breaking of dawn, do such and such work and abstain from such and such work during the day, take Iftar in the evening exactly at the time of sunset, then have dinner and relax, then hurry up for Taraweeh.
In this way, every year for full one month, from dawn to dusk and from dusk to dawn, a Muslim is kept continuously tied up with rules and regulations like a soldier in an army, and then he is released for eleven months so that the training he has received for one month may show its effects, and if any deficiency is found it may be made up in the training of the next year.
(G) Favourable collective environment for training
It is not expedient in any manner to impart training of this type of each and every person separately. You see in the army also that every individual is not ordered to do parade separately. All have to rise simultaneously on the sound of the bugle and have to work together on hearing the bugle so that they may develop the habit of working unitedly as a team and along with it all may assist in the training of each other, i.e. whatever is wanting in one person’s training may be made up by other and the deficiency in the second person may be removed by the third person.
Similarly, the month of Ramadan was earmarked for fasting and all Muslims were ordered that all of them should fast together. This order has turned individual Ibadat into collective Ibadat. The moral and spiritual benefits accruing from fasting by one person are increased a million fold if millions of people fast together.
The month of Ramadan fills the whole atmosphere with the spirit of piety and virtuousness. In the whole nation, the farming of piety flourishes. Every person not only tries to avoid sins but, if he has any difficulty, his many other brothers who are fasting like him come out to help him. Every person feels ashamed to commit a sin while he is fasting, and the desire automatically arises in everybody’s heart to do some good work, to feed a destitute, to clothe a naked man, help one in distress, to take part in some good work being done anywhere and prevent evil if it is being indulged in openly at some place.
A general environment of goodness and piety is created and the season starts for the flourishing of beneficial activities just as you see that every crop grows luxuriantly at the peak of its season and is found covering the fields all over. For this reason Rasulullah ﷺ said that:
“Every deed of man gets some increment or other from Allah. One good deed flourishes ten times to seven hundred time. But Allah says: fasting is exempt from this. It is exclusively for Me and I give reward for it as much as I want”.
From this hadith we come to know that all deeds flourish both in proportion to the motive of the doer of the good deed as well as its results, but there is a limit to their development. In the case of fasting, however, progress is unbounded. Ramadan is a season for the flourishing of goodness and piety, and in this season not one but millions of person jointly water this garden of virtue, the compass can expand immeasurably. The more you perform well-motivated deeds in this month, the greater will you avail yourselves of its blessings, and radiate their benefits to your other brothers; and if you maintain the effects of this month at a high pitch during the subsequent eleven months, to that extent this garden will flourish, and thus developing process will go on infinitely. It will be your own fault if you circumscribe it by your own lack of action.
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