14 Nov What are the spiritual benefits of fasting?.Part5
h. Fasting teaches how to be trustworthy
Fasting teaches believers to be trustworthy and to protect everything that is entrusted to them. Those who fast know well that Allah knows what is in their minds, and that He is the Knower of the Unseen (Ghayb), all that lies beyond sense and perception and are thus hidden to our perception. Nobody but Allah knows whether they are observing the fast or not. A person abstains from food, drink and all kinds of sins only for Allah. They refrain from eating when they can and even if there is no one to see them. They go on fasting when it is possible to do otherwise. They do not break the fast because they do not want to breach Allah’s trust in them.
This conduct is reflected in every action of Muslims who observe fasting and therefore they are cautious and careful in protecting all goods that are consigned to them, in awareness that the All-Knowing Allah sees and knows whatever they do.
i. Fasting teaches how to keep oaths and promises
Fasting, in which trustworthiness is best characterized, is the best act of worship, as it is a kind of agreement between Allah and His servants. The believing servants will desist from certain things for a definite period of time and thus show that they are loyal to their oaths. Moreover, by doing this, they will improve their sense of loyalty and trustworthiness through fasting and this characteristic will become a part of their lives.
They will become the epitome of trustworthiness in social life and this attribute will make them happier in both worlds.
j. Fasting teaches contentment
Fasting becomes a barrier between people who are fasting and the evil delusions that Satan continuously whisper into their ears. It gives the believers the strength to deny the carnal self and Satan control over the body, for the believer’s faculties are closed to physical nourishment, sensual relations, and worldly affairs.
Thus, they free themselves of the pressures of their carnal self and body and begin to lead a life of honor and dignity. This is the characteristic con signed to believers by the Almighty Allah.
In the Noble Qur’an Allah says:
“…to Allah belong all honor and might, and thus to His Messenger and the believers…” [al-Munafiqun 63:8].
k. Fasting teaches patience
One of the major benefits of fasting is that it trains believers to be patient. While observing the fast, believers undergo a period of training, because they do not eat when they feel hunger, do not drink when they feel thirst, and patiently say, “I am fasting,” when somebody upsets them. When they thus bind their hands, feet, tongue, lips, and ears, patience becomes Buraq, a heavenly steed, taking them on their journey toward the Almighty Allah and His pleasure.
The nervous system plays a very important role in the body. If the nerves belonging to the tongue are paralyzed then a person cannot speak. If the nerves belonging to the legs are paralyzed a person cannot walk. Our life is endangered if the nerves do not work properly. Nervousness is a state of mind related to the nerves and the nervous system. A person who is nervous is uneasy and finds it hard to be patient. Many fights and quarrels occur when people are feeling nervous and suffer from the resulting impatience.
In a tradition, the Prophet says:
“Fasting is one half of patience, patience, too, is one half of faith.”
Thus, it is evident that fasting is related to faith. People whose faith is strong do not commit crimes or sins; they can control their nerves and they are patient. It is easier for those who observe fasting to be patient, for fasting dissuades the unlawful desires that mislead the soul.
l. Fasting teaches perseverance and endurance
People may lose everything they have: their wealth, their friends and even their children. They may become poor and miserable any time, any place. They may become afflicted by incessant sorrows all at one time.
Therefore, they need to prepare their body and soul for such unexpected misfortunes.
Observers of the fast are equipped and prepared for such calamities because they are able to show patience against the most basic sources of distress, such as hunger and thirst and to adjust their bodies and souls to more sorrowful events and situations that they may have to face in the future. In the case of such an affliction, they will not easily lose heart or give up struggling for better conditions. They will persevere and fight against problems, difficulties, and torments.
What is more, fasting re-molds and re-shapes the souls of the observers of the fast and grants them a strong, resolute, and unyielding character. Those who fast do not give way to worldly pains and do not yield to injustice. Thus, fasting trains believers so that they never give up their principles for any worldly gain. This is the perfect and ideal character defined and praised in Islam.
m. Fasting brings about a sense of order and harmony
Fasting provides the believer with a sense of order and harmony. Such time periods of fasting as sahur (predawn meal) and iftar (breaking the fast in the evening) help the believer toward a more orderly and harmonious life. Believers are more eager to observe the Daily Prayers at the predetermined time for each Prayer. Also, they observe the congregational Tarawih Prayer, which only occurs in Ramadan, the month of fasting. All these time periods bring discipline and harmony to the life of believers.