Rasûlulläh (sallallâhu alayhi wa sallam) said: “Sleep of the fasting person is an Ibâdah (worship), and his silence is a Tasbih (glorification). The reward of his act will be multiple, his Du’âs are acceptable and his sins are forgiven.”
(Bayhaqi, Shu’ab al-[mân)
The purpose of having food and drinks is to sustain one’s lite and to have strength for Ibadah (acts of worship). Filling up the stomach completely prevents the achievement of the two objectives mentioned. Therefore, the correct manner in this regard is moderation as commanded by Allah Tala, “Eat and drink but do not be wasteful…” (Sûrah Araf, Ayah 31)
‘Some of the benefits of fasting and keeping the stomach vacant are listed below:
Overfilling the stomach affects the brain and has a negative and major impact on senses. It causes a heavy feeling in the heart and slows down thinking and comprehension. On the contrary, fasting soothes the heart and enhances the faculty of thought.
Every Muslim needs to engage in Dhikr (remembrance of Allah), and to attain it with a peaceful heart depends on a state when the stomach is vacant. The delight and effect of beseeching Allah Tala with an empty stomach is only known to those who practice it.
The most effective and essential means that removes heedlessness caused by fullness and makes the servants of Allah realise that they are weak is fasting. Indeed, the humility and softness of the heart felt during fasting can never be feit at other times. The virtue of sympathising with the calamity stricken by pondering on the divine penalties and trials can only be achieved completely at the time of hunger which is one of the most difficult calamities.
The most important outcome and Ni’mah (favor) of the fast, kept to earn the Divine pleasure, is the weakening of the carnal desires of Nafs (the lower self) that is the cause of many disasters.
Excessive eating leads to excessive liquid consumption; excessive liquid consumption leads to excessive sleeping, and excessive sleeping leads to wasting life without fulfilling numerous righteous deeds. However, the fast of a believer who wants to spend his life with Dhikr (remembrance of Allah) prevents such things.
Consequently, man needs to be moderate not only in eating and drinking but also in obtaining worldly desires and needs.