1 – ESTABLISHING WILL POWER:
Fasting develops our character by strengthening our willpower and bolstering our patience. This is why fasting is sometimes referred to as patience and Ramadan is sometimes called “the month of patience”.
“Seek help in patience and in prayer”
(Surah Al Baqarah 2:45)
Some commentators of the Qur’an have said: “The word ‘patience’ here refers to fasting. It means ‘Seek help in fasting and prayer’.”
This is because fasting forces us to exercise our willpower and practice patience. Many of us need to constantly exercise our willpower to keep it strong. There is a psychological benefit in operation here.
Researchers into the causes of success say that success requires three ingredients:
All people wish to be strong, successful, and financially well of. Desires like these exist for everyone.
2. Strength or ability:
Most people have the mental and physical wherewithal and the skills that they need to succeed if they properly put their minds to it.
Strong willpower is one of the greatest reasons for success in both this world and the next.
Fasting strengthens the will and conditions a person to cope with difficulties in all aspects of his life. It helps to develop the very quality that only successful people possess, the quality of those people who can turn their desires into a reality by using skills and abilities that they have.
Fasting helps us to establish strong will power because in fast we learn to suppress our vain desires and hence develop self-respect and self-confidence and these are the ingredients required to establish will power.
We can see this feature very much in children when they keep fast for the first time. At the time of Iftaar (breaking fast), we can see that they are proud of their ‘achievement’ and depict a much confident and mature figure than they were before.
2 – PUTTING A CHECK ON VAIN DESIRES:
Many great thinkers and biologist have accepted the hidden benefits of eating less. Prophet Muhammad (SallAllahu Alaihi Wa Sallam), in general, advised us to stop eating when there was a little hunger left. In specific, the workshop of Ramadan was laid down for a comprehensive practice of suppressing the vain desires. He who can suppress the desires of hunger and thirst can suppress other desires as well.
Also a person who ‘thinks’ will never indulge into things Allah has forbidden during because in fast he even leaves the permitted things (eating and drinking) because Allah has ordered than how can he ever think of doing things which are not allowed in any case.
This is why the Prophet (SallAllahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) gave the following advice:
“O assembly of young people, whosoever among you has the wherewithal to marry should do so, as it will help him to lower his gaze and safeguard his chastity. And whoever is unable to do so should fast, because it diminishes sexual desire.”
[Sahîh al-Bukhârî (5066) and Sahîh Muslim (1400)]
The Prophet (SallAllahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) points out that fasting withholds a person from responding to his passions. Fasting keeps our compulsions in check by keeping us involved in a specific act of worship. This continuous connection with an act of worship helps us to refrain from unlawful acts, including those acts, like the forbidden gaze, that incite our desires.
3 – ESTABLISHING SELF CONTROL:
A person who doesn’t have control over ‘himself’ is always caught in ‘inferiority complex’ phobia. A person who cannot control himself can never develop leadership qualities. Fasting is an effective method to develop self-control and hence build our character.
Learning to refrain from eating and drinking even when there is a desire for it is all a practice of self-control. For this very reason Prophet Muhammad (SallAllahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) said that,
” Fast is a shield (which helps refrain from bad deeds)”.
4 – PEACE AND TRANQUILITY:
There is a peace and tranquility for those who fast during the month of Ramadan. Personal hostility is at a minimum, and the crime rate decreases.
Muslims take advice from the Prophet (SallAllahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) who said:
“If one slanders you or aggresses against you, say I am fasting.”
This psychological improvement could be related to better stabilization of blood glucose during fasting as hypoglycemia after eating, aggravates behavior changes.
5 – OVERCOMING THE COMPLEXES:
When we remain thirsty and hungry in ramadan we experience the affliction that the poor and needy people of the society experience the whole year. Hence, fasting is a way of bridging the gap between the different classes and in and out groups in the society. While fasting, poor people that all are equal in the eyes of Allah and wealth doesn’t matter in Allah’s eyes.
“Allah doesn’t look at your wealth and your body, infact he looks at your deeds”.
This very feeling helps the poor people to overcome the “inferiority complex”. On the other hand, rich people also realize the truth of the world and feel themselves equal to the poor hence eliminating pride and “superiority complex”.