Fasting weakens the Nafs/ego – The Nafs is that part of us that compels us to our animalistic desires. As we indulge our physical needs like food and drink, our Nafs is strengthened. By depriving our bodies of physical needs, the Nafs is weakened, and we are more inclined towards our spiritual lives.
Also, fasting encourages us to refrain from bad habits. As the hadith goes: ‘Whoever does not give up false speech and evil deeds while fasting, then Allah is not in need of his leaving food.’ (Bukhari, 1903). We want our fast to be as perfect as possible so that it is accepted, so we hold our words and actions to account more while fasting.
Fasting forgives past sins. And when our spiritual connection to Allah (SWT) is enhanced, we strive to be good and do good. Allah says about the fasting person: ‘He has left his food, drink and desires for My sake. The fast is for Me. So I will reward (the fasting person) for it and the reward of good deeds is multiplied ten times.’ (Bukhari, 1894).