Why Fast? Motivation From Revelation

Bismi Llahir Rahmanir Rahim

by Naielah Ackbarali

Fasting the month of Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam. As such, it is a tremendous act of worship, and engaging in it only makes the good qualities of a believer even better.

Allah Most High tells us in the Qurʾān (2:183) that fasting is a deed that was ordained upon previous faiths, and the faith of Islam falls in line with that God-centered tradition.

Fasting the month of Ramadan was prescribed for Muslims in the second year after the hijra. So, when we fast, we are sharing in an act of worship that Muslims have been partaking in for several centuries.

Not to mention, there is so much goodness in the act of fasting. The numerous health benefits are the rave of today’s times, but that’s not why we fast as Muslims. We fast for the sake of Allah Most Highout of true faith in Him and the message that He sent to mankind.

For some, fasting may outwardly appear difficult. With our never-ending to-do-lists and growing opportunities to engage in this worldly life, the idea of fasting can provoke worries of drained energy and lesser productivity. However, Allah Most High quells these fears when speaking about fasting in the Qurʾān.

Allah Most High says:

﴾…But to fast is best for you, if you only knew…Allah intends for you ease and does not intend for you hardship and [wants] for you to complete the period and to glorify Allah for that [to] which He has guided you; and perhaps you will be grateful.﴿

[2:184-185]

My dear sister, fasting is what is best for us, regardless of the minor disruption that it may cause in our everyday routine. We are not losing anything when we refrain from food, drink, and sexual touch during the day. We are only winning with Allah Most High, which means that we will win in the Next Life for eternity inshaAllah.

Nevertheless, if any of us are ever in doubt about why we need to fast, or if we are in need of motivation to ease our worries, then we should ponder about what the Prophet ﷺ told us about fasting.

The Prophet ﷺ said:

“Allah, the Mighty and Exalted said, ‘Every action of the son of Adam is for himself except for fasting. Fasting belongs to Me and only I reward for it.’ Fasting is a shield. When any one of you is fasting, he should not be foul in his speech nor raise his voice with quarreling. If someone insults him or fights him, let him say, ‘Verily, I am fasting’. By the One in whose hand the life of Muhammad is in, the changed breath from the mouth of the faster is more fragrant to Allah than the scent of musk. The one fasting possesses two joys: when he breaks his fast he rejoices and when he meets his Lord he rejoices in his fasting.”

[Bukhari & Muslim]

My dear sister, think about the fact that the Lord of the Worlds, Creator of every atom in this universe, and the Owner of the Day of Judgment, has told us that fasting is only for Him. When we deprive ourselves of food, drink, and fulfilling our sexual desires, Allah Most High loves it, claims it for Himself, and will compensate for it with a mighty reward whose value is only known to Him. Our changed breath due to leaving food and drink is symbolic of the sacrifices that we make for His sake, and we will rejoice in it in the Next Life.

The Prophet ﷺ said:

“Verily in Paradise, there is a gate called ar-Rayyān. Those who fast will enter it on the Day of Resurrection, and none but they will enter it. It will be said, ‘Where are the fasters?’ They will then proceed to enter the gate. When the last of them have entered, the gate will be closed and no one else will enter it.”

[Bukhari & Muslim]

My dear sister, fasting is a ticket to Paradise. It is a way to our Lord. It is a door to spiritual excellence. It is a means to pleasing Allah Most High. It is a sacrifice that we all make together – as a family, as a community, and as an ummah. InshaAllah we will enter the al-Rayyān gate together and it will not be closed on any of us.

The Prophet ﷺ said:

“Whoever fasts Ramadan motivated by sincere belief and in expectation of the reward, his past sins will be forgiven.”

[Bukhari & Muslim]

My dear sister, fasting the month of Ramadan is a special opportunity for spiritual renewal and a revival of the soul. Fasting cleanses our bodies, minds, and hearts. It clears away our book of bad deeds and it refocuses our attention back towards our true purpose – attaining Allah Most High’s eternal pleasure and recommitting ourselves to following His divine command. Fasting helps us to gain taqwa, make shukr for our blessings, and realize our neediness to Allah Most High.

In addition to pleasing Allah Most High, fasting has many personal advantages. The scholars list several wisdoms and benefits in fasting:

  • It benefits the body.
  • It breaks the lower ego’s hunger for desires.
  • It subjugates the devil’s whispers.
  • It purifies the heart.
  • It cleanses away sins.
  • It is a way to gain tremendous reward.
  • It raises one’s station in the Next Life.
  • It draws one nearer to Allah Most High in one’s affairs.

Allah Most High is the Most Generous of the generous. He will grant us success whenever we perform an act for His sake. He will gift us with the treasure of true faith. He will forgive our sins. He will elevate our station in this world and the Next.

May Allah Most High accept our fasts, transform our lives, and bestow upon all of us eternal bliss inshaAllah.

Check out our FREE Fasting For Women course for the rulings related to fasting.

© Muslima Coaching, All Rights Reserved.

Comments or Questions