Degrees of fasting
Are there degrees to fasting and what are they?
Yes, there are degrees of fasting. There are those who abstain from food and drink and this is the most inferior degree of fasting. Next are those who abstain from food and drink , evil acts and reprehensible talk. Then there are those who abstain from all of the above while their hearts abstain from any whims and caprices and who totally disregard everything but their Lord. This is the highest degree of fasting. Imam al-Ghazali described the three degrees of fasting as follows:
1- The fast of the ordinary person: It consists of abstaining from food and drink and sexual gratification.
2- The fast of the select few: It consists of keeping the ears, eyes, tongue, hands, feet and all other organs free of sin.
3- The fast of the elite: It consists of the abstention of the heart from worldly thoughts and worries or preoccupation with anything other than Allah Almighty.