In an age in which we are surrounded with easy access to knowledge, we clearly find some of us going too fast in simply mimicking the actions of others. Siyam, or fasting, is a perfect example of this. Fasting is such a simple act of worship, and so incredibly rewarding, yet it is misunderstood by a vast number of Muslims. It is one of the five pillars of Islam and a Sunnah of the beloved Prophet Muhammah (pbuh), so it can’t be understated how vital and imperative it is for Muslims to gain the proper understanding of its laws (fiqh) and practice. In addition, there exists a deep wisdom behind fasting, which I believe is the least understood aspect of it. It is a method by which Muslims gain God consciousness and self restraint in all aspects of one’s life. The prohibition of food and drink is arguablly the lowest form of fasting with the spiritual restraint from sin and desires far outweighing the temporary hunger.
Narrated Abu Huraira: “The Prophet said, “Whoever does not give up forged speech and evil actions, Allah is not in need of his leaving his food and drink(i.e. Allah will not accept his fasting.)”” (Translation of Sahih Bukhari, Volume 3, Book 31, Number 127)
When intending to perform acts of divine worship try not to go too fast, because remember you are going to fast.
Here is a great lecture by Sheikh Yasir Qadhi titled Fiqh of Siyam (Fasting).
In addition, contrary to the beliefs of some that fasting may pose health risks here is an article addressing the health and spiritual benefits of fasting.