The Spiritual Side of the Fast | Ramadan Fasting

The spiritual side of the fast
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Bismillah ir rahman ir rahrim,

Fasting is an Ibadah but as much as that, it’s also something else. Here’s why we need to look into the Spiritual side of the fast.

One of the basic reason why we fast and get deprived of its benefits is “Running from reaching the heart of the fast”. We can simply understand it by counting our regular practices during the time; we refrain from all sort of temptations such as drinking, eating, and avoiding all types of pleasuresome activities but barely explore and experience the meaningful side of the fast. We either burden ourselves with a lot of workloads so to forget that we’re fasting or sleep till half of the day.

These consequences take place when there’s a vague or weaker concept about fasting. Whereas Fasting is a practice that regulates spiritual awakening. It destroys the concept of “ego” or “I” from oneself and makes them submissive towards the God Almighty.

 “O you who believe, fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may develop Taqwa.”

(Quran 2:183)

Allah has ordered us to observe fast
not only to reserve unity with previous religious lineage but essentially to develop Taqwa. Now Taqwa is an Arabic word that is either taken as developing God-fearing attributes or piety (being super religious) but here we miss the most important part and that is being “God Conscious”. The major reason for not registering God-consciousness is looking upon the outer side of the fast and skipping its spiritual side.

“Allah SWT.., says that Every deed of the son of adam is for him expect Fasting. For it is for me and I will reward it”

( Bukhari and Muslim)

All our deeds are a shield or protection for ourselves. Our namaz, charity and every good deeds are for us but Fasting is solemnly kept for Allah Azzawajal. A lover does everything to please the beloved and a little positive gesture from the beloved turn the Autumn into spring. Now imagine if the beloved is the creator of Arz o sama (sky, earth and everything in between). No philosophy can ever justify the scale of his reward.

Live in a state as He is seeing you.

Fasting helps us get internally stronger. When we leave the self-pleasures, it gives space to our soul to flourish and when we know that we’re doing it for Allah – witnessing his supreme presence – that’s when we spiritually connect with him.

The Holy Prophet (PBUH) and the Spiritual Fasting:

Fasting helps us to have self-control and self-restraint; these two factors are the absolute need of human from the beginning. Satan influences the natural urges of humans and tries to keep them away from gaining purity of heart, mind and soul. The Holy Prophet (PBUH) taught the believers to gain total control over their feelings, thoughts and actions by observing fast.

  • Rasool Allah said, Whoever does not give up false statements (i.e. telling lies), and evil deeds, and speaking bad words to others, Allah is not in need of his (fasting) leaving his food and drink.
    (Sahih Bukhari Hadith No 6057)
  • The Messenger of Allah (saw) said: “There are people who fast and get nothing from their fast except hunger.” (1690 Sunan Ibn Majah)
  • “When anyone of you is fasting, let him not utter evil or ignorant speech. If anyone speaks to him in an ignorant manner, let him say: ‘I am fasting.'” — Prophet Muhammad (saw) (1690 Sunan Ibn Majah)

Fast incredibly helps the believers to handle their thinking, emotional and behaving patterns; this way the soul gets a pathway to bloom within the human body. Allah Azzawajal created humankind with his light ‘Noor’ and to find that light within us, we’ll need to purify ourselves fully.

The Three Levels of Fasting:

According to Imam Ghazali, there are Three Levels of Fasting.

The First one of an ordinary kind; in which you refrain from food drink, and physical urges. The first level of fasting is basically about following the Islamic jurisprudence (all that makes a fast valid), People cannot attain much by entering this level.

The Second one is of the special kind; where you refrain from all the immoral acts by controlling your sight, hearing, tongue, hands and feet as well. The example of the second kind of fasting involves improving oneself by preventing lies, deception, backbiting etc. A believer gains closeness with Allah SWT by reaching this level of fast.

The Third one is of the elite kind; where you fast from your heart and mind by detaching it from worldly concerns and thoughts. The third level is attained by the lovers of God.

Lesson learned:

The secret of experiencing the spiritual side of the fast is “self-correctness and detachment.” i. E., Abstinence from prohibitions, negative emotions, and attaching oneself with Allah. It is obtained by the truly wise and believing beings.

Tips for Spiritual Fasting: The Personal Reflection

  1. Be God-Conscious. Fast and Worship as if Allah Almighty is watching you.
  2. Know that You’re controlling your Nafs and leaving your desires for Allah.
  3. Enjoy your Ibadah (Prayer and worship). Look at it as an Interaction between you and Allah the gracious and the most merciful.
  4. Read and Learn a new word of dua, dhikr or Quranic ayah that matches your current mood or situation. The purpose is to develop a sense of connection with God.
  5. Fasting is a protection for you from all the major sins, so give up on the smaller sins. Guard your all five senses against all the evils. Take yourself out of Negative Influence.
  6. Try to remove “I” and follow the “You Attitude.” “Be a Healer and a Giver.”
  7. Train yourself to cleanse your heart and soul by avoiding everything that does not concern you. i.e, Idle talk, curiosity in someone else’s affairs etc.
  8. “If you omit temptations from your life then what life is all about?” Contemplate upon this fact.
  9. “Am I fasting as a ritual, for a reward or to connect with my Creator?” Ask Yourself,
  10. If Allah wouldn’t award me would I still fast?” Ask Yourself.


Fasting has been denoted as a physical exercise; where you stop consuming edibles, drinkables and control the bodily pleasures but as much as that, it’s also, a spiritual exercise. It trains the body to attach with its soul by nourishing and purifying the Nafs/ego/self. The human Nafs is refined by eliminating all sort of evil tendencies from the oneself.. ie, greed, lust, anger, jealousy, arrogance, stinginess, malice, lies etc.

Whenever a person get lazy or feel tiresome during fasting hours , it’s a sign that the Nafs needs to be controlled and a healthy relationship with the creator wants itself to be established.

Fasting or worshipping without “God Consciousness” is just exertion. Therefore, keeping an eye on the spiritual side of the fast is essential. As for those who sleep more during the fast and miss their daily prayers, there’s a higher possibility that they miss “Khushu” in the prayer because when someone knows that God is always watching, for him everything starts to fall into the right place.

May the Almighty help us getting closer to him and the luckiest among all are those, who find pleasure (spiritual connection) in their ibadah. Happy Ramadan.