Fasting in Islam: A definition of fasting (Sawm) in Ramadan
Fasting is an ancient and universal practice. The Romans, the Babylonians, the Cynic, Stoic, Pythagorean and Neo-Platonist philosophers commended fasting. The followers of Hinduism, Jainism, Confucianism, and Zoroastrianism practice it. The Jews observe an annual fasting on the Day of Atonement in commemoration of the descent of Moses from Sinai after spending forty days of fasting in order to be able to receive revelation. Jesus observed fasting for forty days in the desert and commanded his followers to fast. In brief, the practice of fasting has been common in one form or the other in all human societies.