The Muslim observance of Ramadan begins today. It is a month of fasting and reflection. Eating and drinking are not allowed from dawn to sunset, and that includes even avoiding water.
Muslims believe that fasting cleanses the body.
The daily abstinence is offset by a pre-dawn meal called “sehri” and a nightly meal known as “iftar.” Foods at iftar vary, but a popular dish is a spicy red lentil soup. Food is often shared with poor families during Ramadan as a sign of unity.