One of Allaah’s Names is Al-Hakeem (The Most Wise). This name is given to one who is characterized with the attribute of Wisdom. Wisdom means: Treating affairs with accuracy and precision and putting them in their proper place. This name necessitates that everything that Allaah created and legislated is due to some profound wisdom – whoever knows about it, knows about it and whoever is unaware of it, is unaware of it.
Fasting, which Allaah has prescribed and obligated on His servants, has tremendous aspects of wisdom and numerous benefits.
From the wisdom behind fasting is that: It is an act of worship done for Allaah, in which the ‘abd (servant) draws closer to His Lord by abandoning the things that he loves and desires, such as food, drink and sexual intercourse. This is done in order to achieve His Lord’s Pleasure and success in the next life. By doing this, he shows outwardly that he has chosen what his Lord loves over what he loves, as well as the next life over this life.
And from the wisdom behind fasting is that it is a means of attaining Taqwaa, as Allaah says:
“O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, in order that you gain Taqwaa.” [Surah Al-Baqarah: 183]
So a fasting person is commanded to have Taqwaa of Allaah, which means obeying His orders and avoiding His prohibitions. This is the greatest goal behind fasting. The objective behind fasting is not to torture a person by having him abandon food, drink and sexual intercourse.
The Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “Whoever does not abandon false speech, acting upon that (falsehood) and ignorance, then Allaah has no need of him abandoning his food and drink.” [Reported by Al-Bukhaaree]
False speech refers to every forbidden type of speech such as lying, backbiting and slandering, as well as other prohibited acts. Acting upon falsehood refers to performing any type of forbidden act such as transgressing against people, betraying, deceiving, beating up people, taking money unjustly and so on. What also falls into this is listening to what is forbidden to listen to such as prohibited songs and musical instruments. Ignorance refers to foolishness, and that means not using the religious guidance in speech and action.
So when a fasting person abides by the requisites of this ayah and hadeeth, the fast becomes a means for him to cultivate his soul, correct his character and rectify his manners. And he will then not come out of the month of Ramadaan except that he finds that his soul, character and manners have been positively affected.
And from the wisdom behind fasting is that a person who has wealth is caused to realize the magnitude of Allaah’s blessing on him, such that Allaah made it easy for Him to achieve what he desires from food, drink, sexual intercourse and those things Allaah had permitted in the Religion. So because of this, he becomes grateful to his Lord for these blessings and remembers his destitute brother who is not able to achieve these things. And this will cause him to be generous with him, by giving him charity and showing kindness to him.
And from the wisdom behind fasting is that it trains one to curb and subject his soul, such that he is able to lead it towards that which is good for it and what will make it prosper in this world and the next. And he distances himself from becoming an animallike person who cannot control and restrain himself from fulfilling his yearns and desires.
And from the wisdom behind fasting are the health benefits that come as a result of intaking little food, allowing the digestive system to rest for a specified time, and allowing excess wastes and excrements that are harmful to the body to be discharged.
Source: Fusool fis-Siyaam wat-Taraaweeh waz-Zakaat (Lessons on Fasting, Taraaweeh and Zakaat written by Imaam Muhammad bin Saalih Al-‘Uthaimeen, may Allaah have mercy on him. Al-Ibaanah E-Books.