Skip to main content

Fasting - A Hardship to Relieve All Hardships

There is genuine power in the practice of fasting that is recognized in almost every spiritual tradition in the world.

Fasting, we are told, can purify the mind and elevate our consciousness by refining our perceptions; giving us a more meaningful perspective on reality.

Self-restraint is an act of volition that can give us a sense of empowerment and raise our self-esteem.

When we exercise control over our physical motions, we end up harnessing the power of our spiritual emotions and channeling them in the direction of our greatest priorities. This is not just a spiritual principle but a law of nature. Fasting gives us strength.

THE POWER OF FASTING

Of course, the power of fasting does not reside in the act itself but with its corresponding intention. Without the proper intention, fasting is a purely biological phenomenon. Without the right intention, hunger becomes a hunger for fuel, not faith.

With the proper intention, fasting induces a kind of passivity which reminds us that we need rest. We need to rest from the mundane, the superficial, the meaningless. With the proper intention, food becomes a sacrament, drink becomes an elixir of life. And fasting gives us a sense of exaltation. The ordinary becomes sacred.

CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING:

No matter how much emotional stress you might be under, luckily your nervous system cannot sustain a single emotion for any indefinite length of time. The adage that emotions are fleeting is literally true.

Prolonged emotional Pain can morph into euphoria, anxiety can morph into depression and vice versa. No emotion lasts for too long, even if the circumstances that produced it do.


We assume that emotional stress or pain is more difficult to bear than physical stress, but this is not the case. Emotional pain has the infinite space of our minds and imagination to hide and incubate. Emotional pain can be mythologized and glorified and propel us to craft narratives of triumphalism.

Great tribulations compel us to craft stories of transformation. Emotional pain ignites our spiritual energies that can give us hope, strength, self-determination, identity formation and of course – faith.

SPIRITUAL DEVELOPMENT

There is a reason that tribulation is often the impetus for spiritual development. It is God’s (Rahma) blessings upon us that we are equipped with tools of creativity and imagination, that not only allow us to triumph over pain but to catapult us into higher states of consciousness. Tribulations can become opportunities to demonstrate character and faith.

But physical pain, the kind that cripples us, like hunger, thirst, cold, and disease has no place to hide. It can only exist within the four corners of our finite bodies.

Physical pain cannot be romanticized. When it hurts it hurts! When you are shivering from cold, or cramping in hunger, or dying of thirst, you cannot demonstrate character, you cannot suffer in silence or with dignity. There is nothing sentimental about that kind of pain.

A little pain might force you to gain perspective, to see the bigger picture, and lift your spirit; Prolonged physical pain can break it. When you are cold and hungry, you are just that- cold and hungry.

Fasting is a hunger without the corresponding anxiety that comes from actual deprivation. There is no comparison between the volitional religious practice of abstinence and self-restraint and the kind that knows no options, no choice, no glory.

And yet when people are in deep emotional pain they subconsciously seek physical stress as a way of alleviating their anguish. Several studies support the claim that self-inflicted pain and stress can lead to feeling better.


Generating physical stress relieves the emotional. Is it any wonder why some people engage in self-destructive behavior?

We make the mistake of assuming that physical self-destructive behavior is preferable to the emotional pain of dealing with tragic loss or circumstances. It is only a lack of faith and imagination that leads us to believe this. Fasting during Ramadan, should help us to break these ingrained patterns of thinking.

HOW?

When we fast with a proper intention, we are engaging in a God-sanctioned form of voluntary physical stress designed to alleviate some of our worst heartaches. Fasting is a form of emotional healing. It’s a form of physical stress that can relieve emotional pain.

It directs your nervous system and your emotions toward the immediate. And it takes your mind off emotional trauma by giving you the gift of perspective, but without the corresponding anxiety that you would feel if you were genuinely in a state of poverty and deprivation.

Fasting is a reset button that reminds us that physical discomfort is not just an escape from the emotional, but a way of facing the petty little claims it has on your life.

You have food, shelter, water, warmth. Your voluntary abdication of any of that is a reorientation, a reset and relief button you can push to get away from the fleeting world of emotional drama. It’s a button that you have at your disposal.

Like any other God sanctioned means to dealing with Life’s realities, Ramadan provides a context for us to reclaim power over our lives in a way that is not pathological, because it is not anti -social but communal, and not self-destructive because it is self-exalting. Ironically, fasting is not a hardship, it is actually the hardship that relieves all hardship.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

SEX BEFORE MARRIAGE AND ITS CONSEQUENCES.

In the name of Allah, most compassionate and most merciful. “From among the signs of the Hour (end of time) are that religious knowledge will be taken away (by the death of religious scholars), ignorance will prevail, drinking of alcoholic drinks, and there will be a prevalence of Zina.” – Prophet (saw) We begin our topic with these words of our beloved Prophet. How true were his words? We live in a world where all these things are prevalent and unfortunately in our Muslim community as well. Many of our Muslim brothers and sisters are trapped in the evil of Zina and it has become a norm for them, as a result they don’t even consider it haram and unlawful. Allah says in holy Quran: Sūrah al-Isrā’, 17:32: “And do not even approach zina, for it is an outrageous act, and an evil way…’’ We are not going into detail about why Zina is unlawful but in this article, you will find the consequences of this sin. How this affects a life of a person physically, mentally, spiritually and so

MUSLIMS MOURN ALI BANAT - THE MAN ‘GIFTED WITH CANCER’

It’s a sad day for all those who knew Ali Banat, the young man gifted with cancer. Ali Banat was an inspiring Australian Muslim philanthropist whose diagnosis of cancer motivated him to dedicate his life to charity work. “At this point in my life, Alhamdulillah I have been gifted by Allah with cancer throughout my body and I have changed my whole life to helping people,” he said. An Inspiration to Muslim Youth A man of a kind heart was known for his charity work over the past three years. One of his biggest achievements is MATW project, (Muslims Around The World) launched in October 2015 to assist those less fortunate in the poverty-stricken areas of Togo, Africa. He was an inspiration to Muslim youth, dedicating his big fortune to charity work. His organization built mosques and schools for the less fortunate in Africa. May Allah accept it from him! Indeed, to Allah we belong and to Him we shall return. May Allah have mercy on our brother Ali Banat and make it easy

THE MAN WHO INSPIRE MILLIONS OF MUSLIMS EVEN WHEN HE IS PASSED AWAY (ALI BANAT)

Ali Banat is a sydney born who was diagnosed with Cancer and doctors have given him only 7 months to live. Despite his circumstances, he considers this a gift from Allah. Ali Banat, is a young man who, in his own words, was “gifted” with a stage 4 cancer throughout his body. He was given just a few months to live but took this great test as an opportunity to change his life. Upon receiving this news he immediately sold his business, gave up his lavish lifestyle and prized possessions and began a new mission to give up his Dunya and work for his Akhira. Ali has humbly dedicated the remainder of his life to helping those who are far less fortunate than him and in doing so, set up the charity MATW Project (Muslims Around The World) which has already changed the lives of so many. Being diagnosed with cancer is like death sentence for many. But this is not the way Australian Muslim Ali Ali Banat sees it. For him, the sickness is unquestionably a gift from Allah. “At this point in m