What Is Fasting?

The articles on this page are all about fasting.

Fasting is the willing abstinence or reduction from some or all food, drink, or both, for a period of time. An absolute fast or dry fasting is normally defined as abstinence from all food and liquid for a defined period. Water fasting refers to abstinence from all food and drink except water, but black coffee and tea may be consumed. Other fasts may be partially restrictive, limiting only particular foods or substances, or be intermittent.

Fasting for religious and spiritual reasons has been a part of human custom since pre-history. The practice is mentioned in the Bible, in both the Old and New Testament, the Qur’an, the Mahabharata, and the Upanishads. Fasting is particularly important for Muslims during the holy month of Ramadan and for Christians during Lent. Since fasting involves exercising control of the physical body, many religions consider fasting a way to cultivate mental discipline, and use it in connection with prayer or meditation to make it a more powerful experience.

fasting and praying

Fasting and Praying

Main articles

Health effects

Medical application

In alternative medicine

Religious views

Bahá’í faith










See also