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Fasting or Siyam during the month of Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam.  It was made obligatory in the second year of Hijrah.

'O you who believe, the fast is prescribed to you as it was prescribed for those before you - perhaps you will be God-fearing'
(al-Baqarah, Verse 183)

During Ramadan, Muslims abstain from food, drink, and sexual intercourse from dawn to sunset as well as refraining from evil intentions and desires.  In an authentic tradition, the prophet reported Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala) as saying:

"He suspends eating, drinking and gratification of his sexual passions for My sake"
(Muslim)

The significance of the month of Ramadan has also been made evident:

"The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Qur'an, a guidance for mankind and clear proofs for the guidance and the Criterion (between right and wrong).  So whoever of you sights (the crescent on the first night of) the month (of Ramadan), he must fast that month."
(al-Baqarah, Verse 185)

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