Shaykh Najm ad-Din Kubra’ (q.s.): The 22 Benefits of Fasting

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

Shaykh Najm ad-Din Kubra’ (q.s.) wrote a booklet, “The Treatise of the Bewildered, Ecstatic Traveller.”  It is a short Sufi text on spiritual practice of which the part dealing with fasting will be shown.  The shaykh made it clear that fasting has 22 benefits.

It is resemblance to spiritual beings, because they eat nothing of what we eat.

It is the restraining of the ego, which incites towards evil, being, thus the enemy of Allah (s.w.t.).

It is the obtaining of a distinction as, “The fasting is for My Sake and I Reward it.”

It is the receipt of a Recompense without end as:

… “Those who patiently persevere will truly receive a reward without measure!” (Surah az-Zumar:10)

It is the purification of the sins of the ego.

It is the washing away of the dust of the ego from the tablet of the spirit, so that the inscriptions of the inner sciences may appear, as:

Truly he succeeds that purifies it, and he fails that corrupts it! (Surah ash-Shams:9-10)

It is the ability of no longer seeing by means of the eyes of the heart of roads which imply a detour, because when we get hungry the arrogance, which can be found in the eye of our heart may take a leave.

When we are fasting, we close off the roads to Satan.  These roads are the veins in our body and the demon moves about in the veins and skin.

It provides a shield against the demon and against Hell as “fasting is a shield.”

Our name gets Inscribed in the list of the sincere ones, as fasting is an act of devotion in which hypocrisy and showing off have no place.

It gives us an understanding of the suffering of the hungry and thus being able to treat them with compassion and mercy.

It gives us two joys, as “the one who is fasting has two joys: one when breaking the fast and the other when meeting with one's Lord.”  This means there is one joy when we break the fast, not because of the prospect of eating bread, but because of having fasted for a day for the sake of the Satisfaction of Allah (s.w.t.) so that on the Day of Resurrection He will Offer Provision.  The other joy is the Vision of Allah (s.w.t.) on the Day of Resurrection.

It gives us a healthy body.

It empties the worst of containers, because “there is no worse container than your belly.”

It has to do with deserving of trust, because fasting is the Trust of Allah (s.w.t.) as no one is Aware of the faster except Allah (s.w.t.).

It has to do with keeping our promise, because when we express our intention to fast, then this is a promise we make to Allah (s.w.t.).

It will give us the rank of trust, because if, “you do a voluntary fast, then you are in command of your soul.”

It will give us something good in our account: if we complete the fast then 100 percent good is written in our account and if it is not completed, we still can add 10 percent.

It has been promised by the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) that “the intention of the believer is more perfect than his acts”.  If the action is so excellent that when we complete it with sincerity, then we can write 100 percent, nevertheless there is still the danger that when hypocrisy and showing off enter, our fasting will just be in vain.  But with a pure intention, this is not the case, because our intention is an act of our heart.

Angels are unaware hereof.  Other human beings are also unable to perceive our intention.  Thus, there is no room for hypocrisy and showing off.

It helps us to avoid silly and foolish speech.  “A futility is not counted against a faster after his next prayer” is a promise of the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.).

No matter what, if we are fasting, we receive the Help of Allah (s.w.t.), because:

Nay seek (Allah’s) help with patient perseverance and prayer ... (Surah al-Baqarah:45)


O ye who believe!  Seek help with patient perseverance and prayer: for Allah is with those who patiently persevere. (Surah al-Baqarah:153)


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