Spiritual Benefits Of Fasting

Spiritual Benefits Of Fasting, Benefits Of Fasting In Ramadan

Author: Muhammad Hashim Bastawi

Sawm or ‘fasting’ is an ` ibadah, an act of worship in Islam, regarded as its pillar and sign,  Allah  has made fasting obligatory on Muslims and has given orders for its obligation in verses 184-185  of Surah Al-Baqarah. Allah Almighty says:

يٰٓاَيُّهَا الَّذِيْنَ اٰمَنُوْا كُتِبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الصِّيَامُ كَمَا كُتِبَ عَلَي الَّذِيْنَ مِنْ قَبْلِكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُوْنَ  (البقرة: 184)

O ye who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you, even as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may ward off the evil; [Al Baqarah: 184]

By saying لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُونَ (so that you be God-fearing), the text has pointed out to the inherent quality of fasting which contributes significantly to one’s ability to become abstaining from the sins and God-fearing. Fasting grows into man a power which helps him control his desires, which is really the foundation of Taqwa تقویٰ , the very special term of the Holy Qur’an which has been tentatively translated as fear of God, abstinence, and the warding of evil.[1]

Spiritual Benefits of Fasting

Fasting is a means of attaining great spiritual benefits, and through it, a person can set the ladder of spiritual progress by creating an extraordinary spiritual revolution. Some of the spiritual benefits of fasting are mentioned below.

    1-   Achieving a meeting with

عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ، عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ: «كُلُّ عَمَلِ ابْنِ آدَمَ لَهُ إِلَّا الصَّوْمَ، فَإِنَّهُ لِي وَأَنَا أَجْزِي بِهِ، وَلَخُلُوفُ فَمِ الصَّائِمِ أَطْيَبُ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ مِنْ رِيحِ المِسْكِ». (صحيح البخاري: 5927)

It was narrated from Abu Hurairah that the Prophet (ﷺ) said: “Allah said, ‘Every good deed of Adam’s son is for him except fasting; it is for Me. and I shall reward (the fasting person) for it.’ Verily, the smell of the mouth of a fasting person is better to Allah than the smell of musk.”[2]

    2 –   Shield against evils

Fasting protects a person from evil and protect against satanic attack, It is mentioned in another hadith:

عَنْ مُعَاذِ بنِ جَبَلٍ قَالَ: قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ “‏ الصَّوْمُ جُنَّةٌ ‏”‏.‏ (سنن النسائي: 2226)

It was narrated that Muadh bin Jabal said: “The Messenger of Allah said: ‘Fasting is a shield”. [3]

   3 –   Occasions of reciting the Holy Quran

There is a close connection between Ramadan and the Quran; the Qur’an was revealed in this blessed month. Gabriel used to study the Quran one time with the prophet during Ramadan, and in the last Ramadan, he used to study the Quran two times with him. In Ramadan, there is an opportunity to recite a lot. According to the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet, everyone should do at least one round of the Qur’an. The Caliphs have also repeatedly drawn our attention to this matter.

There is a hadith about the mutual relationship between Ramadan and the Qur’an:

عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ عَمْرٍو: أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ: ” الصِّيَامُ وَالْقُرْآنُ يَشْفَعَانِ لِلْعَبْدِ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ، يَقُولُ الصِّيَامُ: أَيْ رَبِّ، مَنَعْتُهُ الطَّعَامَ وَالشَّهَوَاتِ بِالنَّهَارِ، فَشَفِّعْنِي فِيهِ، وَيَقُولُ الْقُرْآنُ: مَنَعْتُهُ النَّوْمَ بِاللَّيْلِ، فَشَفِّعْنِي فِيهِ “، قَالَ: «فَيُشَفَّعَانِ». (مسند أحمد: 6626)

Abdullah Bin Amr reported that the Prophet (ﷺ) said: “Fasting and the Qur’an intercede for a man. Fasting says, ‘O my Lord, I have kept him away from his food and his passions by day, so accept my intercession for him.’ The Qur’an says, ‘I have kept him away from sleep by night, so accept my intercession for him.’ Then their intercession is accepted”.[4]

  4 –  Patience and endurance

One of the spiritual benefits of fasting is that it develops patience, courage, tolerance and endurance in a person.

عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ: أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ: ” وَالصِّيَامُ جُنَّةٌ، وَإِذَا كَانَ يَوْمُ صَوْمِ أَحَدِكُمْ فَلاَ يَرْفُثْ وَلاَ يَصْخَبْ، فَإِنْ سَابَّهُ أَحَدٌ أَوْ قَاتَلَهُ، فَلْيَقُلْ إِنِّي امْرُؤٌ صَائِمٌ “. (صحيح البخاري: 1904)

Abu Hurairah reported that the Prophet (ﷺ) said: Fasting is a protection, [i.e. from acts of disobedience in this world and from hell in the next. Pt. vi.] and when the day of the fast of any of you comes he must not use vile language or raise his voice, and if anyone reviles him or tries to fight with him he should tell him he is fasting.”[5]

This hadith tells us that the fasting person should also avoid quarreling, and if someone quarrels with him, he should only say that I will not quarrel because I am fasting. It teaches patience and tolerance. That is why the Holy Prophet (ﷺ) called the month of Ramadan the month of patience and said: “that the reward of patience is paradise”. [6]

  5 –  source of self-accountability and self-examination

One of the spiritual benefits of Ramadan is that fasting becomes a means of self-examination:

عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ قَالَ: قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: «مَنْ صَامَ رَمَضَانَ، إِيمَانًا وَاحْتِسَابًا، غُفِرَ لَهُ مَا تَقَدَّمَ مِنْ ذَنْبِهِ». (صحيح البخاري: 38، صحيح مسلم: 760)

Abu Huraira reported God’s messenger (ﷺ) as saying, “He who fasts during Ramadan with faith and seeking his reward from God will have his past sins forgiven; he who prays during the night in Ramadan with faith and seeking his reward from God will have his past sins forgiven.

So if we spend Ramadan in a state of accountability, then the benefit of it is that past sins will be forgiven and the desire for future good deeds will increase.[7]


   6 –  The habit of spending for Allah’s sake

The month of Ramadan gives us the habit of spending for the sake of Allah,  It was mentioned in a hadith:

عَنِ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ، قَالَ: «كَانَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ أَجْوَدَ النَّاسِ، وَكَانَ أَجْوَدُ مَا يَكُونُ فِي رَمَضَانَ حِينَ يَلْقَاهُ جِبْرِيلُ، وَكَانَ يَلْقَاهُ فِي كُلِّ لَيْلَةٍ مِنْ رَمَضَانَ فَيُدَارِسُهُ القُرْآنَ، فَلَرَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ أَجْوَدُ بِالخَيْرِ مِنَ الرِّيحِ المُرْسَلَةِ». (صحيح البخاري: 6، صحيح مسلم: 2308)

Ibn ‘Abbas said that God’s messenger (ﷺ) was the most generous of men, and he was as generous as possible in Ramadan. Gabriel used to meet him every night in Ramadan and the Prophet would go over the Qur’an to him. When Gabriel met him he was more generous than the wind which blows freely.[8]

Also there is a hadith that the Messenger of Allah, (ﷺ) used to release all the prisoners in the month of Ramadan and would reward every needy person with rewards.

The habit of spending also guarantees the rights of the people. Thus, we learn the lesson about the rights of people through charity in Ramadan.


[1] Ma’ariful Quran by Mufti Taqi Uthmani.

[2] Sahih Bukhari (5927)

[3] Sunan an-Nasa’i 2226

[4] Musnad Ahmad (6626)

[5] Sahih Bukhari (1904)

[6] Sahih Ibn e Khuzaimah (1887)

[7] Sahih Bukhari (38) Sahih Muslim (760)

[8] Sahih Bukhari (6) Sahih Muslim (2308)

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