Stages of Human Phyche:
Sigmund Freud, very famous neurologist and the founder of psychoanalysis, divides Human psyche into three parts:
- Super ego
This correlates to what Quran teaches us about ourselves, Quran defined these stages as –
- our Nafs,
- our Qalb
- our Ruh.
Id or Nafs & how it commands to so Sin:
The first, the Id or Nafs is our basic animal-instincts, our desire to eat, our sexual desires and our desire for shelter and rest. Quran defines it as:
Indeed the nafs that overwhelmingly commands a person to do sin.[12:53]
Basically the Nafs asks for instant gratification – if you are hungry the stomach wants to be filled and it has no concern whether you fill it with something pure & permissible or you choose something that is impure or Haram.
Similarly, when one is overwhelmed by the sexual desires, the private parts need their satisfaction and contentment regardless the source of that pleasure is allowed or otherwise.
Our Main goal: Attaining Taqwua
Now being Muslims our main Goal is the pleasure of Allah SWT and attaining Taqwa – i.e. the consciousness of Allah. The constant feeling that Allah SWT is watching and being mindful of what we do/eat/have is allowed and from permissible means.
And in Quran, the main purpose of Fasting is described – so that we can attain taqwa.
“O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, so that you may attain Taqwa.” (2:183)
How fasting helps attain Taqwa
While a person is fasting, they are abstaining themselves from even the Halal and pure, which is otherwise permissible for them. So during fast, one is thirsty and they have drinks in their fridge – allowed drinks, but the person who is observing a fast will curb that desire, and stay away from it solely because of Allah, and the pleasure of Allah.
In a spur of a moment when they feel like being intimate to their spouses and the spouses are there, in their homes, but they will stay away and control their desires only for the sake of Allah.
30 days of this rigorous exercise where one even stay away from the Halal, just to avoid the displeasure of Allah SWT empowers them to stay away from haram and impure things/acts/food/relationships for the rest of the year.
So staying away from Halal during a month of Ramadan equips the Muslims with the self control so that they can stay away from Haram during the rest of 11 months of the year.
And hence the purpose of Fasting is served.