O ye who belevie!
Fasting is prescribed to you
As it was prescribed To Those before you,
That ye may (learn) God-cousciousness.
Qur’an, Surah Baqara, 2:183
Allah enjoins upon us, as the fourth pillar, fasting. He says He has commanded fasting that we may learn self-restraint. He has commanded fasting as He commanded it upon people before us, that we may learn self-restrain, that we may « tattaqoon », experience God-consciousness; that we may learn to guard against evil.
Fasting – that you may learn self-restraint. Why is self-restraint important to be successful? The Prophet (PBUH) pointed out that the strong man is not he who is a good wrestler, but he who can control his anger. He who is able to control the appetites and the passions; control his anger. Everybody can fight but everybody can’t win, and this is the whole sense of gaining control over oneself, the discipline that is required, that is necessary, to succeed.
Fasting – that you may learn to guard against evil. Fasting -that you may increase in your remembrance of Allah, for in fasting Muslims give up things that are lawful; Muslims give up food and drink; they give up the conjugal rights they have with their spouses. Muslims give up these things, during the hours of fasting, to gain God-consciousness; to come to a deeper understanding of their religion, of their Lord.
In this manner, therefore, a Muslim increases his remembrance of Allah, concentrating on pure and good things. This gives him an opportunity to purge himself other things that are unclean. Fasting is a tool, a program. Fasting – so that ye may learn self-restraint appreciate what is or real benefit.