Ramadan is a period of fasting and spiritual growth. Fasting is one of the five pillars of Islam. Able-bodied Muslims are expected to abstain from eating, drinking and sexual relations from dawn to sunset each day of the month. By abstaining from things that people tend to take for granted (such as water), it is believed, one may be moved to reflect on the purpose of life and grow closer to the creator and sustainer of all existence. As such, engaging in wrongdoing effectively undermines the fast. Many Muslims also maintain that fasting allows them to get a feeling of poverty and this may foster feelings of empathy.
During this blessed month of fasting, Muslims fast not only to remind themselves of those who are less fortunate than them, but also to get closer to God by acts of remembrance by His guidance. It is a time where Muslims seek forgiveness. Other than fasting with no food or water throughout the day from sunrise until sunset for the entire month, they offer to do more good deeds, giving in the way of charity to the poor and needy and share fast breaking meals with neighbors and friends. Many practicing Muslims perform additional prayers, especially at night, and attempt to recite the entire Quran through the month of Ramadan. The prevailing belief among Muslims is that it was in the final 10 nights of Ramadan that the Quran was first revealed to the Prophet Muhammad.