From Issue: 1047 [Read full issue]
Mastering, controlling the passions is traditionally known as moral healing. Anything that reinforces and strengthens the power of reason to attract the heart, the center of self, towards the Real, the Truth, serves to morally heal and balance the self. Prescribed fasting is one of the best disciplines to reinforce values about what is right or wrong for the believer.
For the believer, remembrance of the afterlife and the eternal possibility of self gives life meaning and connection to the unseen world. It is this 'eternal possibility of self' which, for the believer, needs to control 'the preservation of the species' or lust and 'the preservation of the individual' or anger. If a person does not believe what he or she is doing is the right thing to do, is a reinforcement of the eternal possibility of self, there will be inner conflict. This inner conflict will cause two effects: either a weakening of will power which will, in turn, undermine the believer's ability to attain the goal he or she set forth to perform the prescribed fast in the month of Ramadan or secondly, the believer may fast, but it will be an even greater struggle than it has to be. Once the values of the believer are clarified, resulting in a relaxing of the tension between attachment to this world vs. attachment to the eternal world, the struggle within the self becomes more manageable and with greater chance of success. The prescribed fast then becomes a means for the believer to express gratitude for the blessings one has received.
Ramadan: Motivating Believers To Action, "Moral Healing Through Fasting" - Laleh Bakhtiar