I have posted this earlier, but if you missed it then here it is again.
The term fasting is actually an inadequate word for the Arabic Saum. It does not just mean abstinence from food and water but also self restraint, being careful, getting empowered against evil, avoiding overstepping the Laws, exercising caution, strengthening one’s ‘self’, preserving the ‘self’ against deterioration and good conduct. It is a means to discipline the heart and mind. This is in stark contrast to the way fasting has come down through history. Hermits, ascetics, saints, Sufi mystics, conscientious objectors, political prisoners etc have all used fasting for getting closer to their god or pressurising changes on politicians (the suffragettes of England and Gandhi are two examples of this latter). The Quran has the different approach to all other man made ideologies in that we are asked to develop our “selfs”, to have a strong personality that does not disintegrate under hardship but bears this with patient perseverance. A one month training course, not to short, not unbearably long, is prescribed for us. When we deny ourselves the instinctive life giving benefits of food and water we are exercising a most profound effect upon our selfs; babies instinctively suckle, they are not taught this, and we have to learn to overcome this, albeit for a few hours. It would not be a test if there were no hardships and it is the way we approach this that allows us to benefit from the fast or not do so (many people look like zombies during the month of Ramadan, not cleaning their faces properly in a vain attempt to look pious!)
When we succumb to our base desires, our personalities are diminished. We may think we have gained something, a new mobile phone, a watch, a girl or boyfriend, but these materialistic gains make us lose something from out selfs. Having healthy bodies is a must, but development of our minds is regarded by modern science to be just as important as physical prowess. Take athletics; how many times have you seen extremely fit individuals on a running track “psyching” themselves up for a race; we see people enduring extreme hardship when climbing mountains and it is only the mentally strong individuals who achieve this, not your average “Joe”. The limited mental training period for us normal humans is the fasting of Ramadan.
Fasting should remind us about those who “have not” and we should feel ashamed that the world was given to us by Allah with enough resources for everyone but it is the satanic mindset influences of the man made systems that are running the world today that has resulted in the abject poverty we see.