14 Nov What are the spiritual benefits of fasting?.Part2
b. Fasting helps the believer ascend to the level of the angels
Human beings have characteristics and faculties that are both carnal and spiritual.When they avoid their carnal feelings, these feelings weaken and the spiritual faculties prosper. Allah the Almighty has provided humanity with the will power to descend from a most exalted rank to the lowest of the low, or vice versa. Therefore, sometimes humans can be more revered than the angels and become closer to their Lord, while at other times some people are worse than any devil.
“Surely We have created human of the best stature as the perfect pattern of creation; then We have reduced him to the lowest of the low. Except those who believe and do good, righteous deeds, so there is for them a reward constant and beyond measure” [at-Tin 95:4–6].
The difference between human beings and angels is that humans have a carnal soul. Angels cannot eat, drink, have sexual relations, or be rebellious to their Lord. Because of their intrinsic characteristics they are occupied with the remembrance of Allah (dhikr) and worship continuously:
“They speak not before He speaks, and they act in all things by His Command. He knows what is before them and what is behind them, and they do not intercede except for him whom He approves and for fear of Him they tremble” [al-Anbiya’ 21:27–8].
As for humans, they need food and drink to maintain their physical existence. They can rebel and they can commit sins. However, a true believer who observes fasting, controlling their desires and abstaining from food, drink, sexual intercourse, backbiting, and brutality is able to achieve an angelic stance.Such people may even surpass the angels.
Allah is pleased with them and He holds them up to the angels as an example.
c. Fasting teaches the worth of blessings
Allah the Almighty has ornamented the Earth with numerous blessings and has given them all to humanity, the caliphs, or vicegerents, of Allah on Earth. Each day they receive lavishly prepared dining tables, one after another. Their sustenance is sent to them from the Heavens via the trees, each of which gives a different fruit in a different season of the year and the Earth nourishes them with every kind of delicious provisions.
“He has granted you all that you would ask of Him. Should you attempt to count Allah’s blessings, you cannot calculate them. But humankind is innately inclined to extreme misjudgment and ingratitude” [Ibrahim 14:34].
Both the Earth and the skies were created to serve humanity. Allah, the most Gracious, gave us countless favors but unfortunately, for the most part we are unaware of these bounties. We are like a fish that is in the sea but is unaware of the water. Fasting helps us to become aware of the blessings of Allah and to appreciate them.
d. Fasting teaches a person how to economize
Fasting teaches people how to economize, a form of behavior that is recommended in Islam. During Ramadan, fasting takes on the role of a teacher who instructs us on how to economize. People who are accustomed to buying whatever they want without thinking too much will learn to be thrifty and careful. No matter how thirsty or hungry they are, they have to wait until sunset before eating or drinking something.
The pleasure the believer obtains at the time of breaking the fast becomes greater than the pleasure the glutton obtains from overeating, as this is accompanied by a weariness and lack of ap petite resulting from such excesses.
Through fasting believers are taught to economize, and their frugality leads to contentment.
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