Fasting in Islam involves abstaining from all bodily pleasures between dawn and sunset. Fasting helps to develop self-control, gain a better understanding of God's gifts and greater compassion towards the deprived.
It is one of the five pillars of Islam, which also include prayer and charity. To fast, Muslims abstain from eating, drinking, smoking and engaging in sexual activity from dawn to sunset. Islam follows the lunar calendar, which means Ramadan arrives several days earlier each year.