Fasting is a universal institution in as much as all the religions of the world. It is reported in Tafseer e Kabeer that fasting was compulsory on all the previous nations, from the nation of Hazrat Aadam [Alaiehis-Salaam] to the nation of Hazrat Ieesaa [Alaiehis-Salaam]
It has been practiced in different cultures around the world, from the Babylonians to the Incas, the Confucians, Jains, the Zoroaster Romans, the Babylonians, Assyrians followers of Hinduism, Confucius they have all practiced it. The philosophers, cynic, Stoic, Pythagorean or Neo-Platonic, left advice for fast. Great religious personalities throughout history have adopted fasting as the principal method of self-discipline.
Before the advent of Islaam, the institution of fasting was well established among the Christians and Jews living at that time.
Hazrat Nabi Moosaa [Alaiehis-Salaam] prepared himself to receive revelation from Almighty Allaah after forty days of fasting. The Jews observed an annual fast on the Day of Atonement in commemoration of the descent of Prophet [Moosaa [Alaiehis Salaam] from Mountain Sinai.
Fasting on the day of Ashooraah (10th Muharram) was compulsory for the nation of Hazrat Moosaa [Alaiehis-Salaam]
Hazrat Nabi Ieesaa [Alaiehis-Salaam] fasted for forty days in the desert and commanded his followers to fast.
Leaving the message that fasting and self control opens the door to a deeper, more intimate, more powerful relationship with God [Allaah Almighty].