Fasting has a number of noble goals and objectives. Ramadan is a time of discipline and training, and many of the lessons and benefits learned during Ramadan should be carried forward for the next eleven months.
- Attainment of God Consciousness and Piety – Fasting builds piety. A person fasting refrains from food, drink and intimate relations to please God. They could hide and eat and drink, but don’t, as they are aware that God is watching. God says, “O you who have faith in Allah and follow His Prophet, Allah has ordered you to fast, as He ordered those before you, so that you may become mindful of Allah, protecting yourself from His punishment by doing good actions – fasting being one of the best of these.”[2:183]
- Glorifying God – Ramadan is a month of worship. Muslims do not just fast, but the fasting should motivate them to worship God in other ways. In particular, we glorify God for having guided us to His worship. God says concerning fasting, “…He wants you to complete the right number of days and to glorify Him upon the completion of Ramadan, on the day of Eid, as He helped you and made it possible for you to fast.” [2:185]
- Thanking God – fasting allows us to appreciate God’s many blessings upon us. We often take things like food and water for granted, while being fully aware that there are many in the world who do not always enjoy these blessings. We could easily have been in their situation. We also thank God for His blessings of faith and guidance, and knowing the Quran and the Messenger Muhammad. God says about fasting, “…, so that you thank Allah for guiding you to this religion which He has approved for you.” [2:185]
- Spiritual Development – Ramadan allows us to improve our spiritual side and character. Just as we train our bodies and refrain from enjoying food and drink during the fasting hours, we must also train ourselves to abstain from sins and hurting others. With an increase in faith and piety, there should come an increase in good character and higher morals. Muslims should always refrain from losing their temper or harming others, especially while fasting.