Ramadan, the holiest month in the Islamic calendar, began this weekend for the 1.8 billion Muslims around the world.
From sun-up to sundown, the physically able among them will fast
abstaining not just from food but also so much as a sip of water. While it's easy to think of Ramadan as a holiday,it's not.
Muslims go to work and school and carry on with their everyday life.
In that respect, the true purpose of the month is discipline and dedication. The fast extends to more than food.
Muslims are expected to practice how to avoid impure thoughts and deeds.
Ramadan provides a constant physical reminder of God, as well as a reminder of all the people in the world who don't have enough food or water.
"It creates an impetus of both gratitude and charity," said Adeel Zeb
Muslim chaplain at The Claremont Colleges — in an interview with NPR in 2017 .
Humanity in Ramadan
The month is centered on charity, worship, and developing empathy and connection to others.