For Muslims, the holy month of Ramadan is an exercise in self-improvement.
They abstain from food and drink -- water included -- from sunrise to sunset each day. They strive to pray more devotedly and read the Quran more dutifully.
Muslims increase their charitable acts, believing that God's rewards are multiplied during Ramadan.
Alaa Haykal, 16, takes special care to avoid gossiping and greediness and making promises she can't keep. She said she always tries to avoid those things, but Ramadan calls for even more attention to one's behavior, she said.
"It's kind of like a month of purity," said Haykal, a junior at Upper Arlington High School.
Ramadan began yesterday. Muslims believe Ramadan is the month in which God revealed the Quran to the Prophet Muhammad 1,400 years ago.
Mosques across central Ohio will hold iftars, dinners to break the daily fast, and say a special night prayer, called Taraweeh, said Asma Mobin-Uddin, president of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Ohio. (MORE)