Muslims are called upon to use this month to re-evaluate their lives in light of Islamic guidance. We are to make peace with those who have wronged us, strengthen ties with family and friends, do away with bad habits -- essentially to clean up our lives, our thoughts, and our feelings. The Arabic word for "fasting" (sawm) literally means "to refrain" - and it means not only refraining from food and drink, but from evil actions, thoughts, and words.
During Ramadan, every part of the body must be restrained. The tongue
must be restrained from backbiting and gossip. The eyes must restrain
themselves from looking at unlawful things. The hand must not touch or
take anything that does not belong to it. The ears must refrain from
listening to idle talk or obscene words. The feet must refrain from
going to sinful places. In such a way, every part of the body observes
Therefore, fasting is not merely physical, but is rather the total
commitment of the person's body and soul to the spirit of the fast.
Ramadan is a time to practice self-restraint; a time to cleanse the body
and soul from impurities and re-focus one's self on the worship of God.