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August 26, 2009

Ramadan 2009

In Muslim nations and regions around the globe, this is the first week of the holy month of Ramadan, a time for followers to abstain from eating, drinking, smoking and sexual activity during the day, breaking their fast each sunset, with traditional meals and sweets. During this time, Muslims are also encouraged to read the entire Quran, to give freely to those in need, and strengthen their ties to God through prayer. The goal of the fast is to teach humility, patience and sacrifice, and to ask forgiveness, practice self-restraint, and pray for guidance in the future. This year, Ramadan will continue until Saturday, September 19th. (39 photos total)

Officers of Malaysia's Islamic authority use a telescope to perform "rukyah", the sighting of the new moon of Ramadan, in Teluk Kemang, south of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on August 20, 2009. Muslims scan the sky at dusk in the beginning of the lunar calendar's ninth month in search of the new moon to proclaim the start of Ramadan, Islam's holiest month during which observant believers fast from dawn to dusk. (REUTERS/Bazuki Muhammad)

A Musaharati, dawn awakener, lights up a lantern before touring the streets with his drums to wake observant Muslims for their overnight 'sahur', last meal, before the day's fast in Sidon's Old City in south Lebanon just before dawn August 26, 2009. (REUTERS/ Ali Hashisho) #

Muslims attend prayers on the eve of the first day of the Islamic fasting month of Ramadan at Al Akbar mosque in Surabaya, East Java, Indoneisia on August 21, 2009. (REUTERS/Sigit Pamungkas) #

A Muslim woman prays at the Istiqlal mosque on the first day of the holy fasting month of Ramadan in Jakarta on August 22, 2009 or Ramadan 1, 1430 in the Hijriah lunar calendar. (ADEK BERRY/AFP/Getty Images) #

A Kenyan child reads verses from the Quran on the fifth day of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan in a Madrassa in Nairobi, Kenya on Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2009. (AP Photo/Sayyid Azim) #

A Palestinian boy plays with a sparkler on the eve of the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan in Gaza City on August 21, 2009. (MOHAMMED ABED/AFP/Getty Images) #

An Egyptian man makes a traditional dessert known as "kunava", which is popular during the fasting month of Ramadan, at a shop in Cairo August 25, 2009. (REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih) #

A Yemeni therapist applies Kohl to the eyes of a youth, in line with local tradition on the second day of the holy month of Ramadan at a Zaidi (Shiite) mosque in Sanaa's Old City on August 23, 2009. (KHALED FAZAA/AFP/Getty Images) #

Muslims attend Friday prayers on the first day of the holy month of Ramadan at a mosque in Beijing, China on August 21, 2009. (REUTERS/Grace Liang) #

A Muslim man arranges bowls of a traditional dessert called kheer for sale outside a mosque before the evening prayers on the first day of the holy month of Ramadan, in Jammu, Jammu and Kashmir, Indian-administered Kashmir on August 23, 2009. (REUTERS/Mukesh Gupta) #

A child stands among worshippers attending prayers on the eve of the first day of the Islamic fasting month of Ramadan at Al Maerkaz Al Islami mosque in Makassar, South Sulawesi, Indonesia on August 21, 2009. (REUTERS/Yusuf Ahmad) #

A man arrives for the evening prayers of the first day of the Islamic fasting month of Ramadan at Merkez mosque in Duisburg, Germany on August 21, 2009. (REUTERS/Ina Fassbender) #

Muslims shop for Iftar, the sunset dinner that breaks the fast at Chalk Bazaar, the traditional Iftar market in Dhaka, Bangladesh on Sunday, Aug. 23, 2009. (AP Photo/Pavel Rahman) #

Palestinian vendors prepare trays of sweets for Ramadan, in a shop in the West Bank city of Nablus, Sunday, Aug. 23, 2009. (AP Photo/Nasser Ishtayeh) #

A cannon fires as part of the ceremony that ends the second day of the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan, outside Jerusalem's Old City Sunday, Aug. 23, 2009. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue) #

A Muslim man adjusts his cap in a mirror at a mosque on the first day of the holy month of Ramadan, in Jammu, Jammu and Kashmir, Indian-administered Kashmir on August 23, 2009. (REUTERS/Mukesh Gupta) #

A boy holds candy in his hand as he reads the Quran in a mosque during Ramadan, in Amman, Jordan on August 22, 2009. (REUTERS/Ali Jarekji (JORDAN RELIGION SOCIETY IMAGES OF THE DAY) #

A Palestinian woman walks near the Lion's Gate in Jerusalem's old city where traditional festive lights are displayed ahead of the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan on August 20, 2009. (MARCO LONGARI/AFP/Getty Images) #

A Muslim boy takes a nap during evening prayers called "Tarawih" at Mosque of Gamal Abdel Nasser in Tripoli, Libya on August 22, 2009. The mosque was converted from the Catholic Cathedral of the Sacred Heart of Jesus after a 1969 coup by Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. (REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh) #

An Iraqi baker prepares sweets for the holy month of Ramadan in Baghdad, Iraq, Sunday, Aug. 23, 2009. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban) #

A Muslim family eats, breaking their fast in a giant tent on the first day of the holy month of Ramadan in Istanbul, Turkey on August 21, 2009. (REUTERS/Osman Orsal) #

Kashmiri Muslim offer prayer on a street in Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir, Indian-administered Kashmir on Monday, Aug.24, 2009. (AP Photo/Mukhtar Khan) #

Pakistani women line up for subsidized sacks of flour provided by the government for the holy month of Ramadan, Saturday, Aug. 22, 2009 in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. (AP Photo/Anjum Naveed) #

A Palestinian potter engraves the expression in Arabic "Ramadan Karim" as he puts the final touches to a clay lantern at his workshop in Gaza City on August 17, 2009, ahead of the start of the holy month of Ramadan. (MARCO LONGARI/AFP/Getty Images) #

A man takes a nap in between prayers at a mosque in Kabul, Afghanistan on August 22, 2009. (REUTERS/Adrees Latif) #

Jordanian workers make qatayef, a pancake-like shell filled with nuts or sweet cheese, fried in oil or baked, then dipped in sugary syrup in Amman, Jordan on Sunday August 23, 2009. (AP Photo/Mohammad abu Ghosh) #

Egyptian women walk past paper lanterns used as decorations during Ramadan, on a street in downtown Cairo, Egypt on Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2009. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis) #

A Pakistani Muslim arranges food stuff for Iftar, a time to break the fast, on the first day of Ramadan, as a child looks on at a mosque in Karachi, Pakistan on Sunday, Aug. 23, 2009. (AP Photo/Fareed Khan) #

A taxi driver reaches for a glass of apple juice after sunset in Kabul, Afghanistan on Sunday Aug. 23, 2009. (AP Photo/Saurabh Das) #

Indonesian Muslim children parade during a ceremony called "Prayer for the Country" to welcome the holy fasting month of Ramadan in Jakarta, Indonesia on August 21, 2009. (Adek Berry/AFP/Getty Images) #

Muslim men break their fast at a mosque in the Saudi Red Sea port of Jeddah on August 23, 2009. (Omar Salem/AFP/Getty Images) #

A Muslim man sits before breaking his fast on the second day of the holy month of Ramadan at a mosque in Agartala, capital of India's northeastern state of Tripura on August 24, 2009. (REUTERS/Jayanta Dey) #

A crescent moon is seen behind the King Hussein Bin Talal Mosque in Amman, Jordan on August 23, 2009, during Ramadan. (REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed) #

Muslim children pray at a mosque during the month of Ramadan in Manila, in the Philippines on August 23, 2009. (JUNIE DOCTOR/AFP/Getty Images) #

A boy sells dates in Amman, Jordan on Saturday August 22 2009. (AP Photo/Mohammad abu Ghosh) #

An unidentified woman helps her son to kiss the iron chain at the entrance of the Naqashband Sahib shrine in Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir, Indian-administered Kashmir on Saturday, Aug. 22, 2009. (AP Photo/Dar Yasin) #

A vendor of headscarfs waits for customers in the 4th day of Ramadan at a market in Jakarta, Indonesia on August 25, 2009. (Adek Berry/AFP/Getty Images) #

A man prays at a Sunni mosque in Baghdad, Iraq, Sunday, Aug. 23, 2009. (AP Photo/Karim Kadim) #

The Dome of the Rock, or Masjid Qubbat As-Sakhrah, one of the holiest sites in Islam, is seen on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem through festive lights for Ramadan on Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2009. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue) #

 
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