Are you curious about Ramadan coming? Do you know anything about the social benefits of fasting in Ramadan and the other moral and spiritual benefits? Indeed, it’s time to explore what are the moral, spiritual, and other benefits of fasting in Ramadan?
As Islam is a perfect religion, its instructions have their effect on all the levels in Muslim life. Thus, what are the social benefits of fasting in Islam? In other words, what are the benefits of fasting for society?
It’s recommended for the Muslim to offer Iftar (the meal for breaking the fasting after the Sunset) for the other Muslims.
The Prophet (pbuh) says:
“Whoever gives Iftar to one who is fasting will have a reward like his, without that detracting from the fasting person’s reward in the slightest.” [Ibn Majah]
One of the other social benefits of fasting in Ramadan is to experience the feelings of others. Thus, you can sympathize with the poor, help them and thank Allah for His favor on you.
As the devils are chained up in Ramadan, the Muslim is ready to exert more effort to help others in this month. Also, as the reward doubles in Ramadan, the Muslim hurries to serve his society. For sure, this is recommended in general but in Ramadan, it’s highly recommended.
To begin with, morals have a high rank in Islam in general and in Ramadan in specific. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) says:
“ If anyone relieves a Muslim believer from one of the hardships of this worldly life, Allah will relieve him of one of the hardships of the Day of Resurrection. If anyone makes it easy for the one who is indebted to him (while finding it difficult to repay), Allah will make it easy for him in this worldly life and in the Hereafter, and if anyone conceals the faults of a Muslim, Allah will conceal his faults in this world and in the Hereafter. Allah helps His slave as long as he helps his brother.” [Muslim]
Also, Ramadan helps the Muslim to increase the level of alert in his deeds and transactions:
Al Ghazali, a Muslim scholar, said: fasting is of three degrees: the fast of the common folk, that of the elite, and that of the elite of the elite.
The fast of the common folk is to refrain from food and drink and sexual desires.
The fast of the elite is to restrain the hearing, sight, tongue, hand, foot and other physical faculties from committing sin. This means to stop backbiting, malicious gossip and lying. Also, it means to stop listening to singing, music and the like, as well as to stop doing corruption.
The fast of the elite of the elite is when one frees oneself from unworthy concerns and worldly thoughts, and refrains from thinking of everything except Allah, may He be glorified and exalted.
Moreover, true Muslims feel highly spirited in Ramadan for many reasons.
The first one is that Allah has made fasting Ramadan and spending its nights in prayer out of faith and in the hope of reward a means of forgiveness of sins. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) says: “Whoever spends the nights of Ramadan in prayer out of faith and in the hope of reward, his previous sins will be forgiven.” [Nasa’i]
Moreover, fasting Ramadan is a means of expiation for the sins committed since the previous Ramadan, so long as one avoids major sins.
Indeed, sins are the burden that refrains the Muslim from progress in his relation with Allah. Thus, the forgiveness of sins means to free the Muslim to come closer to his Creator.
The second reason is that man is a mixture between body and soul. When he exceeds in fulfilling the needs of his body over his soul, he spoils this soul. Thus, it’s Allah’s Mercy to guide man to the way of his true happiness and salvation through making the balance needed between the body and the soul.
By the coming of Ramadan, many changes happen in the universe helping in motivating the soul of the Muslim. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) says:
“ When Ramadan comes, the gates of Paradise are opened and the gates of Hell are closed, and the devils are chained up.” [Bukhari]
One of the spiritual benefits of fasting is the present that Allah promises to offer for the fasting Muslim. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) says:
“ There are two joys for the fasting person: the joy when he breaks his fast, and the joy of when he meets his Lord.” [Bukhari]
Although it’s better to consider all the moral, spiritual and social benefits of fasting in Ramadan, the main benefit that the Muslim has to consider is to fulfill Taqwa; the fear of Allah, as well as submission to Allah.
The main reasons for breaking fasting in Ramadan are sickness, pregnancy and breastfeeding (in specific cases), traveling, menstruation period for the women, old age and compulsion.
For the sick person, it’s a condition to fear that fasting may make his sickness worse or that it will slow down his recovery or damage a part of his body.
As for pregnancy and breastfeeding, breaking fasting is allowed on the condition that they think there is a risk that they or their children may become ill or more ill, or be harmed or may die.
If the Muslim breaks fasting for the coming reasons, sickness, pregnancy and breastfeeding (in specific cases), traveling, menstruation period for the women, then he/she makes up from other days.
However, for the old age, if the one can’t make up, or for those who are not expected to be healed of their sickness, then he/she feeds one poor person for every day he/she misses.
Finally, when Allah identifies Ramadan in the Quran, He says:
“ The month of Ramadan [is that] in which was revealed the Quran, a guidance for the people and clear proofs of guidance and criterion…” [Quran, 2: 185]
Thus, what is your goal in this Ramadan to come closer to the Quran?
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