10 Psychological Benefits of Ramadan
Channel: Haleh Banani
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Salam aleikum, there are 10 psychological benefits to fasting and every single one of the psychological benefits I'm going to share with you is actually a way towards attaining Jannah it's amazing how Allah is preparing us, preparing us both emotionally psychologically, and spiritually to attain Jannah Bismillah was Salatu was Salam ala Rasulillah. Imagine that every society actually every evil in society is a result of lack of self control, whether you're talking about murder, whether it's sexual harassment, whether it is stealing, everything extramarital affairs, all because of a lack of self control. Now, imagine if every single person was trained to overcome this kind of
their their weakest of desires. Imagine that if they are empowered and trained to gain discipline, how empowering would that be when someone knows how to deal with their desires and control their impulsivity? Well, this is what month of Ramadan is all about. It actually is a training ground it's a bootcamp to get us in line, both physically and spiritually. So I will share with you these 10 psychological benefits and we will draw upon how it's going to help us in attaining Jana,
Otter item and it Kochava Isla who howa who if I add that so Kuno Isley he woke healer, have you seen the one who takes us his God his own desires, then would you be responsible for him settle for gone, I am number 43. There are some people who are completely succumbing to their desires, whether that is a desire for wealth, whether it's for fame, whether it is the desire for the opposite gender, and they are totally surrendering to that, and that becomes their god, that's the that becomes everything that is important to them. And we need to be careful about this. And we're going to train ourselves in this beautiful month month of Ramadan, how to take control of that. Now when
we are talking about the benefits,
the benefits, the psychological benefits, each step, each one actually makes us prepare to go to Jana. All right, well, I'm mum and wife, I'm mom and Hoff, I'm alcohol Amara, he wanna Hanoch sign ILAHA satin nun Jen Natta he and my love. But as for he who feared the position of his Lord, and prevented the soul from unlawful inclination, then Paradise will be his abode. So there is this feeling that when a person has reverence and love and respect and fear in their hearts for Allah, it will prevent them it will protect them, they may be inclined towards those kinds of temptations. But as soon as they come close, they pull away because they don't want to look bad in front of Allah.
Just like when you have a very respected teacher, someone that you admire, whether it is your whether it's a parent, whether it is a teacher, and you always want to look good in front of their eyes, it prevents you from making any mistakes, we need to have that same awareness. Now the first psychological benefit is discipline, right? It teaches us discipline, when we are fasting, we are learning to control ourselves and anything great that is to be accomplished requires discipline. Now, whether that is within your studies, whether that is in work, whether it's in having the you know, the best bodies and being healthy, it requires discipline. And when we practice that
discipline, when we see that it is a time that we adjust to very difficult circumstances. We're able to give up water we're able to give up food, we're able to
To give up our desires, and this will train us if we can control those desires, then it gives us the strength to desire to control so many other desires. And how is this needed? How is this helping us to attain Jannah first of all, is that so much of our lives is consumed in immediate gratification. We want it here and we want it now. We want the Amazon Prime, we want it delivered today, we want the information today, we are very impatient. And we're constantly looking for that next fix. And so this is training us for delayed gratification, because actually the most the ultimate delayed gratification is Jana. And so if we can delay eating, if we can delay drinking, then we are training
ourselves to delay a lot of the gratification and wait for Jana, and this is one of the most important aspects of gaining that same sense of self control and taming the naps, we have to tame the naps. Now, the second psychological benefit is a motional management is knowing how to act, what to say how to behave, whether that's with your spouse, with your children, with your community members, most people are fine when everything is going well. But as soon as a problem arises, then very few people have the ability, the skills and the know how to resolve the problems. So this is training us on how to manage our emotions. Because when we are fasting, we're not only reframing,
reframing from from food and water, we also have to stay away from lying, we have to stay away from getting angry, there are spiritual ways of nullifying our fast. So if you have refrained from so many things, you will be more cautious about the words you utter the way you treat people. And that is what is so critical. Because when we have that when we have that awareness, and we're managing our emotions, we're not just exploding, we're not letting people have it. That is what's going to help us prepare for John not because in China, in order to get to Jannah, we have to have good relations, you cannot go and just live in a little island and not deal with anyone and cut yourself
off from everybody. And think that if I just pray all day long, then that's my weight agenda. We are interconnected. We have responsibilities, we have to really prove ourselves on a daily basis with the people that we are responsible for, and the people that Allah has put in your lives for a reason every single person is in your life for a reason. And if you decide that you're going to cut somebody off because you don't like them, or they don't have the same belief system, or they don't have the same practices at you, and you cut them off, then Allah has a very serious message for you. And that is from the Hadees footsie that Allah is saying that whoever cuts a person off their
Seletar Rahim that Allah is going to cut them off because this is a very serious issue. And we're approaching Ramadan, we need to make sure that we are connecting with our family members, we are forgiving and asking for forgiveness, right. So this emotional management will help us in having good relationships with our loved ones. And and make sure that we are attaining Jannah through that. The third psychological benefit of fasting is empowerment. Right? When you are fasting, it makes you feel accomplished. It makes you feel strong. It is like when I remember doing the keto diet for six months, and I would go to dinner parties and there would be tables of these desserts and bread and
carbs and all of those things and being able to say no to that and not having it because I was adhering to my diet made me feel so empowered. And that's how we feel when we are fasting and I remember being in public schools and all my friends none of them were Muslim and they were eating and being amongst them and being able to see them eat and you did not eat. It is an empowering feeling you feel strong. So we need that sense of empowerment to withstand temptation. Whenever someone is kind of enticing us. We need to feel that sense of strength to stand up for what we believe in. So the way that this is needed for Jana is being able to say no to our desires, because
we feel so strong within our convictions. So number four the fourth benefit for
A psychological benefit of fasting is mindfulness. Mindfulness is being in the here and now it is such an essential part of our deen having mindfulness. Many times people are on autopilot. They're just going through the motions, even in prayer. They're just going through the motion, even when they're doing their as cars, pause, pause, pause. They're not aware. They're not mentally aware. And it is all through our mindfulness that we can have that who shoe when you are careful about what you're eating, what you're drinking, what you're saying, even what you're feeling that leads to a heightened mindfulness. And we need that sense of mindfulness to attain Jana, because the only way
you can attain Jana is if you're mindful of your thoughts. You're mindful of your emotions where there's no jealousy, that you're not having hatred in your heart, that you're not saying words that hurt other people's feelings, that you are not spreading rumors, you're not lying, you're not doing any of the things that will cause you to sin and that heightened mindfulness will actually lead you to Jannah in sha Allah. The fifth benefit of the fifth psychological benefit of fasting is gratitude. The sense that feeling of being so grateful because when you have fasted when you have deprived yourself from food and water for so many hours, then the first sip of water that you take,
you are so grateful, nothing, nothing is sweeter. When you take that bite of the date, it's so it leads to a deeper appreciation because deprivation leads to appreciation. And when we have that gratitude, it is this feeling of just knowing how how many blessings we have, we are all being tested right now. So many of the things that we took for granted have been taken away from us. And suddenly now we are being much more grateful than we were we realize how much we used to complain how ungrateful we were, even those who are extremely practicing, who were constantly in thicket and prayer and in the Quran, they realize that there was so much ingratitude and so this leads us to
being much more appreciative of all the blessings of Allah.
Allah in check out atone last Eden calm. So if we, if you are grateful, Allah will increase the blessing. So we need this, we need this gratefulness in order to have more blessings. So that is the fifth benefit of the psychological benefit of fasting. The sixth one, right? And let me tell you the benefit the how is this needed for Jana? That we need to be Janna worthy, right, we need to be gender worthy, you know, when someone is let's say, striving to go to an Ivy League school, not anyone can get in, right? You have to have a certain GPA, you have to have certain accomplishments, you have to have certain letters of recommendation, someone who just was, let's say a sea average
and someone who wasn't striving, they can't even think about applying to a school like that you have the best of the best with the highest credentials applying and only a select few are chosen. Now what about going to Jana, right, we have to have the best resumes, we need to have the best credentials and we need to have a long list of accomplishments in order to be general worthy, we can't just assume that oh, you know, I just I do the bare minimum and I'm gonna get by. So, when we are focused on the gratitude, then we are beefing up our spiritual resume and that we can be more gentle worthy in sha Allah. The sixth psychological benefit of a fasting is patience, right, the
patience of controlling your physiological needs right Remember, I talked about the Muslim needed the hierarchy, the number one need that we all have that we are all so in need of is the physiological needs right? And if that is not and people are not concerned about going up the ladder and achieving whether it is achieving relationships or achieving self actualization, so when we are controlling our physiological needs than that is giving us an incredible amount of strength and patience. And this is what is needed. Right patient
As needed when you are trying to worship when you're trying to get up in the middle of the night and pray when it's cold and you need to do that with the when you are, you know you are being tested. Many of you may be tested right now you have lost loved ones you have lost your job, there may be financial pressure, there may be emotional pressures, and you're being tested. What do you need in order to pass your test is the patient and so as we train our patients muscle in the month of Ramadan, we are able to endure our tests with so much more poise and dignity.
What's Dinuba slobbery well Salah why in a ha like heavy Ratan in Isla Lahore sharing and seek help through patience and prayer and indeed it is difficult except for the humbly submissive to Allah. So this is the prescription that Allah is giving to us right now many people are going they're going to psychiatrists for prescription to doctors give us give us the remedy. Give us the cure. We want to cure for Coronavirus. We want to cure for depression, we want to cure for anxiety, Allah saying your prescription is you have to have patience, and you need to have the salah right. So this is such an essential part of improving ourselves improving our daily lives. If we have patience with our
spouse, our relationship is going to get better if we have patience with our children, they're going to blossom and if we have patience with ourselves and our progress, then we are going to blossom some inshallah. So the sixth one, the sixth psychological benefit was patience and the seventh by psychological. The seventh psychological benefit is prioritizing, knowing that Allah is the number one in your life. You know, for many clients that I work with, saw the problems that they're facing is because they did not put a lot at the top of their priority pyramid, the priority pyramid look at it as a inverted pyramid and on top needs to be Allah. And many people will put different things
some people would put their work, some people put their spouse, some people with their children, and they revolve everything around what is most important to them. And when they do that something will fall and something will shatter their hearts. I've had women who have been cheated on and they had their spouse on that top pillar, they thought that he is the one that they should devote themselves to, instead of Allah, right, they put him at a higher place. And when that happens, then the heart shatters. Obviously, it's always painful if someone is betrayed, but it's even more painful when you don't put the person in the right place of your heart because there's a place in your heart that
should be only reserved for a lot. So when you learn to prioritize, and you focus on what truly matters, it's like when you are doing Umrah, right, and the whole focus is on the next prayer. When you're there you're thinking about the horse and then offered and and when you can squeeze in an activity or a meal, you squeeze it in between the prayers, because that is the most important thing, right? But when you we are back to the real world, what ends up happening is that our priorities shift, and we are so focused on work and family and house and all of these things that we try to squeeze in the prayer. So the priority totally flips around. So we need to make sure that we have
that correct priority. And how is that needed? We need this for Jana, because if a lot is not your priority in life, then you're going to make the wrong decisions. If Allah is not number one in your heart, you are going to succumb to others. If Allah is not number one in your heart, your desires may become your God. And this is why we really have to shift our priorities and make sure absolutely make sure that no one takes the place in your heart that is solely reserved for Allah. So the eighth psychological benefit is clarity of mind when you are fasting. There are truly there are just benefits to ceiling very clear mind that there are writers and there are artists who actually fast
in order to get to this state known as the flow when you
You're in a state of flow, you are so in sync with what you're doing. And you don't want anything to distract you. So getting up and eating and snacking or doing all of that actually is a form of distraction. So it gives you a clarity of mind. And I'm sure all of you have experienced that you're not getting the sugar crash, you're not getting the carb effect, right? So it really affects the way that you are able to think clearly. And how do we need this? We need this because for Jana, we are easily distracted, we are always easily distracted, the slightest thing can take, take our focus away from what is truly important from our delayed gratification of Jannah. From all the things that
are so crucial. And yet, if we have this kind of mental clarity, what ends up happening is that we will make the right decision. So your goal will always be attaining Jannah and anything that aligns with that goal, then you go for it, anything that deters you from it, you're able to discard it. Okay. And the ninth benefit, the ninth benefit, psychological benefit is empathy. You gain empathy when you are fasting. Because when you're feeling that sense of like the hunger pangs, that's when you can say, oh my gosh, now I know what other people are experiencing. When I remember, I broke my toe. And the only people who are truly sympathetic were other people who had broken their toes.
Others they were just like, Okay, well, it's not such a big deal. So what Okay, so you're broke your toe, but those who had experienced it, they would feel like oh my god, that must have been so painful. We only really have empathy when we have experienced something. So this is training us, Allah wants us to feel what it's like not to be able to eat and to drink. And this will lead us to want to help those who are struggling on a day to day basis. There was a there was a TV program that a one brother, I don't know which Muslim country he was calling from, he called and asked a chef, you know, a chef, I want to know, and it was the month of Ramadan, does my prayer count, if I didn't
eat some food this morning, and I have no food to break my fast and the chef to start crying that look at this question that he wants us. He wants us fast to be accepted even though he has no food. And we are being trained to actually have a bit more empathy.
And we need this how do we this is
when Lavina No, I'm a little salsa hottie hula girls hobble Jenna, home fee, ha ha they don't, but they who believe and do righteous deeds, those are the companions of paradise, they will abide in their forever. Okay. So this is the for empathy. The 10th psychological benefit of fasting is that it is a bootcamp at boot camp for spiritual enlightenment. You know, we all attain that feeling of euphoria, that feeling of connection, when you are in your prayer, in your heartbreaks, and you're able to weep when you're in sujood. When you're getting up for the fiamme, and you're in OneNote, and you're really into it, this is what is bringing about is this spiritual enlightenment. And how
is it that we, how do we benefit from this? How is it that some people easily stand and as soon as the prayer starts, you hear them, you know, weeping quietly, or tears rolling down their faces, and some people could be in the prayer the entire month, and not shed one tear. And it has a lot to do with how we live our days. How do we live that year? How is your year before Ramadan? Right? Because some people are just waiting for Ramadan. It's like that is that is the time when we all refuel, we all need it. But the way you've lived your life, the past year will determine the kind of Ramadan you're going to have. So if you were heedless, if you miss prayer, if you did all of that, then
don't expect it to just be magical, right? You can attain you can attain closeness you can attain the spiritual high and this is a no way to discourage you. We always can press reset and strive. What I'm saying is that if we want what love
See, sometimes we see other people achieve and we want some of that. And that's the halal jealousy, right? We want some of that we want that we want the horseshoe. We want that extra zeal that some people have. It has to do with how you live your every day. And that is analogous to how you die has so much to do with how you lived your life. Don't think that you can live a heedless life. And at the moment of death, you're gonna say Lai, la, la La, how you live your days is going to determine how you we die. So we need to be really aware of that. And when we are spiritually driven and we are enlightened, that is our fuel for Jana. That is what's going to fuel us because we are focused on
achieving Jana because we know we have our priorities straight. So I pray that all of us can benefit from these psychological benefits and remember so one was discipline two was emotional management. We don't want to spiritually nullify our fasting because of the words we say or how rudely we act third was empowerment feeling strong and accomplish fourth is mindfulness you have to be aware of your words your actions, everything that you're doing fifth is gratitude is just being more and more grateful sixth is patience having much more patience, seventh is prioritizing making Allah number 1/8 is clarity of mind ninth is increased empathy and 10th Is that spiritual enlightenment does like
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