In this tradition [Sufism] a fast begins before the first light of dawn and continues until sunset. Fasting is a "meditation for the body." Just as in meditation we empty the mind of thought, in fasting we empty the body of food and experience a new receptivity. Having eaten before sunrise, I will abstain from all food and drink until after sunset. This practice teaches how food can be a veil over the feelings.

Kabir Helminski in The Knowing Heart