Ramadan, the month of fasting, is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. It is when the Quran was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (Sala Allahu Alayhi wa Sallam).
Fasting is obligatory on all Muslims during this month with the following exceptions: young, sick, travelers on a journey and menstruating women. Pregnant and breastfeeding women are also exempt from fasting if it will harm them or their babies. However all missed fasts should be made up.
Through fasting you will gain enormous spiritual benefits and rewards. Some of the many benefits of fasting include purification of the soul and cleansing it from base desires and bad manners. Abstention from the worldly consumer life and desires, and looking forward to the next life and its rewards. Fasting also makes a person compassionate towards the needy, and emphatic with their struggles, because the fasting person feels the pains of hunger and thirst.
Fasting begins at dawn and ends at sunset. During this period, eating and drinking, smoking, and sex is prohibited. A predawn meal (suhur) is highly recommended and should be taken before the fast begins. The fast is broken as soon as the sunset prayer time comes in (Maghrib). It is recommended to break the fast with dates and water, as the Prophet Muhammad (Sala Allahu Alayhi wa Sallam) did and should be done without any delay whatsoever.