Fasting a way to God- consciousness
There are certain wisdoms in Allah’s rules, regulation, and creations. Some, which Allah make known, others, which he keeps it in His knowledge of unseen. The wisdom behind ordaining fasting is:
“O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed
for those before you, that you may acquire piety (Taqwa).” (2: 183)
One can perceive and experience lot of benefits and insights in fasting, but the real and ultimate wisdom of fasting, an act of worship, is as same as any other worship (2: 21) to achieve piety. Piety according to Islam comprises all goodness, which include execution of all kind of virtue, abandonment from all sins, and abstention from that which is neither classed as virtue nor as vice. Ubayy bin Ka’ab (R) responded that piety is walking on a thorny road, ‘cradling up the cloths and trying best to avoid the thrones’, when Umar (R) asked him what piety is (Tafsir Ibn Kathir)?
Fasting is to abstain from food, drink, sexual activities, normally permissible, with the intention of doing sincerely for Allah, the exalted alone. A person refraining from Halal things for a month, hoping to earn the pleasure of Allah and out of fear of His punishment, can and should be able to refrain from doing forbidden (Haram) for the rest of the year. Throughout fasting, a Muslim trains his soul, body, surroundings, family, and society to attain Taqwa by discarding things that he loves as his desire. He shows outwardly that he has chosen what Allah loves over what he loves. It thus represents the triumph of a Muslim over his desire and the preponderance of a believer over his inner self. So ‘fasting is a shield’ [Sahih Bukharee] as said by Prophet Muhammad (S), a shield which guards against Allah’s anger and punishment, as Ibn Rajab al- Hanbali (R) defines Taqwa.
Allah has revealed through Prophet Muhammad that a fasting without accomplishing the ultimate goal of fasting, i.e., piety or God- consciousness does not help much a believer. Prophet Muhammad (S) said: “Whoever does not abstain from false speech, and acting upon that false speech, Allah is not in need of him leaving his food and drink” [Sahih Bukharee].