The Wisdoms of Fasting
Sheikh Muhammad Bin Saleh Bin ‘Uthaymeen
The sheikh discusses in length about obligatory actions and how fasting is an obligatory action.
One of the results of fasting is that it causes a person to gain Taqwah (piety). As Allah (SWT) says, “Oh you who believe, fasting has been prescribed upon you just as it has been prescribed upon the people before you so that you may attain piety.” Fasting is all about acting upon obedience and leaving the disobedience. As the Prophet (SAW) said, “Whoever does not leave off false speech and false conduct, Allah has no need of his leaving off food and drink.” (Bukhari) The fasting person should not curse someone back if they are cursed, as the Prophet (SAW), that they should say I am fasting. This is a reminder to the person cursing them, as well as a reminder to the fasting person.
From the rulings of fasting is that the heart should be busy with remembrance of Allah. Once a person spends time with their desires, then this will lead them to heedlessness. For that the Prophet (SAW) advised us to not eat too much food. As he (SAW) said, “The son of Adam cannot fill a container worse than the stomach, he should eat just enough to keep his back straight, but if they must eat more than they should leave one third for food, one third for drink, and one third for air.” (Ahmad, Nisaee, Ibn Majah) In Saheeh Muslim there is a hadeeth on the authority of Handhala, who was one of the scribes for the Prophet (SAW), where he said, “Handhala has committed hypocrisy” The Prophet (SAW) said, “And what is it?” He said, “O Messenger of Allah, when we are with you, you remind us of Hell and Heaven and it is as if we can see it with our eyes. But when we go home to our wives and kids
From the wisdom of fasting is that the fortunate person will know the amount of blessings that Allah (SWT) has favored them with, from the food, drinks, and relations with the spouse. Many people are not fortunate enough to have these blessings, so they will thank Allah (SWT) for them. This will also cause them to remember their brother who is less fortunate than them. Who will in most cases go to sleep cold and hungry, but will instead go to sleep with clothes and food. This is why you see the Prophet (SAW) the most generous and even more so in the month of Ramadhan when Jibreel would come to him and teach him the Qur’an.
From the wisdom of fasting is that it is training for controlling the soul, and the power to stop yourself. For indeed the person is inclined to evil except for whom Allah shows mercy. It also breaks down a person and makes them more humble. It will give them humility to the Creator, and kindness to the creation.
From the wisdom of fasting is that the blood becomes less flowing and more constricted when a person is hungry and thirsty. This will cause the flowing of shaytaan to be less as well, because indeed the shaytaan flows through the bloodstream of the son of Adam. As it is related in the Saheehayn by the Prophet (SAW). So it will decrease the whispers of the shaytaan, and will decrease the episodes of desire and anger. As the Prophet (SAW) said, “O youths! Whoever amongst you is able to marry, then let him do so; for it restrains the eyes and protects the private parts. But whoever is unable, then let him fast, because it will be a shield for him.” (Agreed upon) So fasting is a protection and suppression of the desires.