Allah, all praises and glory be to Him, in His infinite wisdom, has ordained that we should fast. He tells us in the Qur\u2019an:\r\n\r\n\u201cO believers! Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may attain taqwa.\u201d\u00a0\r\n\r\n(Surah al-Baqarah:183)\r\n\r\n\r\nFasting is a way for us to achieve piety and fear of Allah, or\u00a0taqwa. The fasting person feels hunger in their stomach whilst their heart is being purified. Through restraining our desires, we \u00a0draws closer to Allah, all praises and glory be to Him.\u00a0Fasting in this month of Ramadan is a training for our soul. It helps us to remember Allah and our true purpose in life. It is our secret between ourselves and our Lord, something we do for Him alone, and as such, Allah promises us a special reward:\r\n\r\n\u201cWhoever fasts the month of Ramadan with faith and hoping for its reward shall have all of his previous sins forgiven for him.\u201d\u00a0\r\n\r\n[Recorded in Bukhari and Muslim]\r\n\r\nBy the mercy of Allah, our fasting will also intercede for us on the Day of Judgement. The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said:\r\n\r\n\u201cThe fast and the Qur\u2019an shall come as intercessors on the Day of Resurrection. The fast shall say,\u00a0\u2019O Lord, I prevented him from\u00a0his food and drink during the day, so let me intercede for him\u2019. The Qur\u2019an will say, \u2018I kept him from sleep\u00a0during the night, so let me intercede for him.\u2019 Then they will be allowed to intercede.\u201d\u00a0\r\n\r\n[Recorded in Ahmad]\r\n\r\nFasting is also a shield for us against our carnal desires. It helps us to lower our gaze guard our thoughts and protect our limbs. In this way, it serves to shield us from the punishments of the Hell-Fire. The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:\r\n\r\n\u201cFasting is a shield from the Hell-fire like one of your shields shielding you while fighting.\u201d\r\n\r\n[Recorded in Ahmad]\r\n\r\nThe Companions of the Prophet, peace be upon him, used to cry with happiness when Ramadan arrived and weep our of sadness when it passed. They knew the very essence of fasting as a means of drawing closer to Allah and they strived to make sacrifices for the sake of Allah during this blessed month. They stayed up during its nights bowing and prostrating themselves with tears and humility. They passed its days in remembrance, recitation, learning, propagation and giving counsel.\u00a0Fasting was a delight and a source of internal peace for the early Muslims. They trained their spirits towards its objectives, purified their hearts with its teachings and disciplined their souls with its wisdom.\r\n\r\nFasting also ensures the unity of the Muslims. They fast and break their fasts at the same time. They feels the pangs of hunger and know that others feel it too. They sit to eat together in the spirit of brotherhood, love and devotion.\u00a0It is from Allah\u2019s infinite wisdom that the act of fasting purifies our bodies as well as our souls. It rids the body of contaminated matter, purifies the blood, eases the stomach and the workings of the heart.\r\n\r\nThere is a great secret in fasting: that is to worship Allah and seek His pleasure by submitting to His orders and surrendering to His laws and by forsaking one\u2019s desires. Fasting therefore represents the triumph of the Muslim over their desires and their inner selves. It is half of patience. Whoever is unable to fast without any good reason, will never master their selves or conquer their desires. Those who are patient and can master their desires, they are the successful ones.