Ramadan is a month of spiritual growth, but it is a time for mental and emotional growth as well. Here are 5 psychological benefits of fasting:
As I mentioned in my book, “How to be a Happy Muslim Insha’Allah,” the real source of happiness is a sincere relationship with Allah based on worshipping Him alone.
Fasting is a very special type of worship. Allah says in a hadith qudsi, “Every deed of the son of Adam is for him except fasting; it is for Me and I shall reward for it…” 1
Islamic scholars have many ideas as to why Allah says that fasting is for Him alone. Some say that there is no “showing off” in fasting, since only Allah can know for sure if a person is fasting. Some scholars say that the phrase “it is for Me” means that fasting is the dearest act of worship to Allah .
Fasting is difficult and proves your sincere faith in Allah . Psychology research shows that our behaviors shape our personalities; therefore fasting shapes us into more sincere Muslims.
- Fasting increases your self esteem.
Self esteem is how we feel about ourselves; our sense of self worth. A high self esteem directly relates to our inner happiness.
Fasting each day for a month is quite an accomplishment. Each day that we fast, we feel a sense of triumph. Not only are we obeying the command of Allah , but we are also gaining mastery over our physical desires.
We should feel good about ourselves because we are living a life pleasing to Allah rather than the materialistic life that majority of the people choose.
“Wealth and sons are allurements of the life of this world: but the things that endure, Good Deeds, are best in the sight of thy Lord, as rewards, and best as (the foundation for) hopes.” 2
- Fasting increases your sense of gratitude.
By experiencing long periods of huger and thirst, we realize what great blessings these are! Gratitude is important for psychological well-being and is also pleasing to Allah :
“O you who believe, eat from the good things We provided for you, and be thankful to God, if you do worship Him alone.” 3
“…If you are thankful, He is pleased by it in you…” 4
- Fasting increases social ties.
Psychology research shows that positive social relationships are necessary for emotional health. Islam encourages us to break our fast together. Fasting increases our feeling of unity with our ummah.
The Prophet encouraged us to eat with one another by saying:
“Whoever gives iftaar to one who is fasting will have a reward like his, without that detracting from the reward of the fasting person in the slightest.” 5
- Fasting increases our self-awareness and self-control.
“Whoever does not give up false speech and acting upon it and offensive speech and behaviour, Allah has no need of his giving up his food and drink.” 6
Fasting involves controlling what we say and do, along with our stomachs. It is normal to feel irritable or down when fasting for biological reasons. Being aware of these feelings will help us control ourselves.
Self awareness is important for psychological well-being because it prevents us from acting in ways that we may regret. Self-control is a trait of mature and emotionally healthy people.
Reminding ourselves about the psychological benefits of fasting will help us to love fasting even more.
What are other psychological benefits that you gain from fasting? Let us know in the comments section 🙂
29 replies on “5 Psychological Benefits of Fasting”
Thank you for give us knowledge about ramadan’s benefits in terms of psychology
You are welcome, Sufiyan. Thank you for your comment.
SubhanAllah. Alhamdulilah. Hungry for knowledge
JazakAllah for your comment
Thank you for this article. Im more convinced i did the right move to fast this Ramadan. I am a new to Islam, only a week before fast starts.
Thank you for your comment, Mohd. May Allah bless you for fasting for Him and we are all so happy that you have accepted Islam!
One of the many blessings Allah gave the Prophet (s) was brevity in speech (a few words with a deep meaning), when I’m fasting and looking for reminders I don’t want ‘war and peace’, cut to the chase! I’d say that sums up this article MarshaAllah very beneficial while at the same time being concise. 10/10 keep it up sis 🙂
JazakAllah khair for your very encouraging comment!
Maashaa Allah…. It’s an innovative thing….psychology is my long standing subject. I go through so many articles regarding benefits of Ramadan in psychological perspective….but those are not enough for me……alhamdhulillah after reading your article I got fulfillment in my subject psychology….jazakallah khairan ya ukhthi…
Wa iyaa kum Faizah. JazakAllah for your encouraging comment!
As salamu Aliakum … This article is very very useful and i loved it… I wasn’t knowing these many benefits of fasting and moreover Allah has great rewards for us for fasting.
Thank you for publishing this page.
Wa alaikum as salam Imtiyaz. Thank you for your positive words!
Very good Marsha Allah
Thank you Yasmin. Wa iyaa kum!
jazakillaaah khaira sister. when I’m fasting, I concentrate more in my salaah.
Wa iyaa kum, Farida. I also find that I perform better salah when I’m fasting. Alhamdulillah.
Jazak Allah Khairan for the inspiring article. Kindly let me know how I can share it? I don’t see any share icon Bless you.
Jazaanaa wa iyyaakum
Of course you can share inshaAllah 🙂
Not sure why you cannot see share icon, but there is a whole share bar on the left side 🙂
You can copy paste the link to share if you cannot see the bar 🙂
MashaAllah very Useful Very Informative, JazakAllah For sharing this with us ?
Thank you for your positive words, Hina. Wa iyaa kum.
Jazakaluha khayra jaza for the article. I believe you have well mentioned the psychological benefits of fasting in your article, yet I wanted to express the benefits in my own words and tone. For me a successful life is all about controlling yourself- from what harms and – to what benefits- all. It is the power of control that makes difference in our personality. I call this power the power of winning the other side of yourself. It is very difficult to consistently sustain this power. One major thing that can help you sustain this power is planning for an effective control mechanism and implementing it accordingly. If you are Muslim, you don’t need to worry too much about the aforementioned plan as ti is already in the religion;all you need is to implement. As a human being, it is obvious that you may be sometimes strong with the implementation and at other times poor implementer. Hence, you are given reminders and tools that help you refresh your implementing capacity. Can you guess one of those reminders and tools?
If you have said “Remedan”, you are with me. Look how Remdan is structured. It sets a control mechanism which is beyond the military system because it is multi disciplinary. Among many others, you think, see, hear, do and eat according to what Allah pleases. If you manage to control your as per Remedan protocols, I can’t see why you can’t control yourself to achieve your life goals, the goal of your life goals being “Jannah”. Let us plan for every piece in our life in a way that it adjusts with the Remedan protocols so that we can increase our level of control for our life in the other months insha’Allah. “What pulls that desire out of you and turns it in to real world action is not your level of motivation, but rather your plan for implementation. If you don’t plan out your behaviors, then you rely on your will power and motivation to inspire you to act. But if you do plan out when and where you are going to perform a new behavior, your goal has a time and a space to live in the real world.” British journal of health psychology. Allah knows best!!!
May Allah guide us all in to the right path!!!!!
Wa iyaa kum Kemal and May Allah (swt) bless you for your inspiring comment. I agree that Ramadan helps us to be successful in life by teaching us self control. I also agree that planning is very important for success.
I enjoyed reading this article, it sums up benefits of fasting very well. Thank you
Thank you for your positive words, Shazea
As salamu Aliakum … Very beautifully presents psychological benefits of fasting … i am aware of this benefits but after reading this article i started observing my self and feels blessed….
Wa alaikum as salam, Seema. Thank you for your kind words. I’m so happy you found benefit from the article.
jazakALLAH. consice and affective article mashALLAH
Wa iyaa kum, Irum. Thanks for your comment.