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August 30, 2010

Ramadan 2010

Muslim men and women across the world are currently observing Ramadan, a month long celebration of self-purification and restraint. During Ramadan, the Muslim community fast, abstaining from food, drink, smoking and sex between sunrise and sunset. Muslims break their fast after sunset with an evening meal called Iftar, where a date is the first thing eaten followed by a traditional meal. 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 Thursday, September 9th. [Editor's note: This year, I invite you to submit your own Ramadan 2010 photos] (45 photos total)

With the Dome of the Rock Mosque seen in the background, a Palestinian Muslim worshiper prays during the third Friday prayers of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, in the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem's Old City on Friday, Aug. 27, 2010. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen)

A Bahraini man points skyward at dusk Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2010, in Hamad Town, Bahrain, towards where a slim crescent moon should be visible to indicate the start of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, a time of prayer, fasting and charitable giving. Clouds hampered skywatchers in the Persian Gulf island nation. (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali) #

A Musaharati, dawn awakener, strikes his drum to wake observant Muslims for their overnight 'sahur', last meal, before the day's fast in Sidon's Old City in southern Lebanon just before dawn August 11, 2010. (REUTERS/Ali Hashisho) #

Kashmiri Muslims pray on a street on the third Friday of Ramadan, in Srinagar, India, Friday, Aug. 27, 2010. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri) #

An Indian Muslim vendor prepares food at a roadside stall in preparation for Muslims breaking their fast at sundown in Mumbai, India on August 19, 2010. (SAJJAD HUSSAIN/AFP/Getty Images) #

A Palestinian Muslim man decorates an alley of Jerusalem's old city with festive lights in preparation for Ramadan on Tuesday, Aug. 10 2010. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen) #

The crescent moon is seen near mosques in old Cairo on the fifth day of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan on August 15, 2010. (REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih) #

A young Palestinian Muslim girl walks in an alley of Jerusalem's old city holding a traditional Ramadan lantern while celebrating with other children the announcing of the holy month of Ramadan on Tuesday, Aug. 10 2010. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen) #

A Pakistani volunteer pours milk into glasses for devotees to break their fast during Muslims' holy fasting month of Ramadan in Lahore, Pakistan on Friday, Aug. 20, 2010. (AP Photo/K.M.Chaudary) #

Muslim girls offer prayers before having their Iftar (fast-breaking) meal during the holy month of Ramadan at a madrasa on the outskirts of Jammu on August 21, 2010. (REUTERS/Mukesh Gupta) #

Egyptians buy fruits at a shop in downtown Cairo on August 20, 2010 during Islam's holy fasting month of Ramadan. Egyptians have been complaining from shortages of basic services during Ramadan, which began the first week of August amid sweltering summer temperatures. (KHALED DESOUKI/AFP/Getty Images) #

A member of Fairfax County Fire and Rescue, lower left, participates in an Iftar, the evening meal when Muslim break their fast during Ramadan, August 17, 2010 at Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center in Falls Church, Virginia. The Islamic center invited frontline responders for Ramadan dinner to show appreciation and foster increased understanding. (Alex Wong/Getty Images) #

A Muslim man performs ablution before prayer during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan at the London Muslim Centre on August 18, 2010 in London, England. (Dan Kitwood/Getty Images) #

A man prays during Ramadan Jummah prayer at the Islamic Center in Washington, D.C. on August 13, 2010. (JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images) #

Indonesian chefs make miniature chocolate mosques for sale during the fasting month of Ramadan, at a chocolate shop in Jakarta, Indonesia, Friday, Aug. 20, 2010. (AP Photo/Tatan Syuflana) #

Muslim pilgrims pray inside the Grand Mosque, with the Mecca Clock in the background, on the second day of the fasting month of Ramadan in Mecca August 12, 2010. The giant clock on a skyscraper in Islam's holiest city Mecca began ticking on Wednesday at the start of the fasting month of Ramadan, amid hopes by Saudi Arabia that it will become the Muslim world's official timekeeper. (REUTERS/Hassan Ali) #

Thousands of Muslims gather in the Grand Mosque, in Islam's holiest city of Mecca and home to the Kaaba (center), as they take part in dawn (fajir) prayers on August 29, 2010, to start their day-long fast during the holy month or Ramadan. (AMER HILABI/AFP/Getty Images) #

Thousands of Muslims circle the Kaaba inside the Grand Mosque in Islam's holiest city of Mecca, taking part in dawn (fajir) prayers on August 29, 2010. (AMER HILABI/AFP/Getty Images) #

A Palestinian vendor displays traditional pastries in his shop in the West Bank city of Nablus on the second day of the holy month of Ramadan August 12, 2010. (REUTERS/Abed Omar Qusini) #

Jim Otun of Fairfield, New Jersey uses his iPad to read a dua in the Quran at Zinnur Books in Paterson, New Jersey. (AP Photo/Rich Schultz) #

A Palestinian boy plays with a homemade sparkler after breaking his fast during Ramadan, in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Monday, Aug. 16, 2010. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen) #

Flood-affected people break their fast on the first day of the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan in a camp in Nowshera, Pakistan on Thursday, Aug. 12, 2010. Pakistani flood survivors, already short on food and water, began the fasting month of Ramadan on Thursday, a normally festive, social time marked this year by misery and fears of an uncertain future. (AP Photo/Mohammad Sajjad) #

A Muslim man places a chart which marks the times to pray on a wall during the first day of Ramadan at a mosque in the southern Spanish town of Estepona, near Malaga August 11, 2010. (REUTERS/Jon Nazca) #

A Sudanese man reads the Koran on the first Friday of Ramadan in a mosque at Umdowan Ban village outside Khartoum, Sudan on August 13, 2010. (REUTERS/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah) #

Indian Muslims take a break as birds fly around Firoz Shah Kotla Masjid after prayers on the first Friday of Ramadan in New Delhi on August 13, 2010. (PEDRO UGARTE/AFP/Getty Images) #

A mahya reading "Hold the fast. find good health" hangs between the minarets of the Ottoman-era Eminonu New Mosque in Istanbul August 12, 2010. Mahya, where dangling lights suspended between minarets spell out devotional messages in huge letters, are intended to reward and inspire the faithful who have spent the daylight hours fasting. Today just a handful of Istanbul's mosques use Mahya, the phrases dictated by Turkey's directorate of religious affairs. (REUTERS/Murad Sezer) #

Some 200 Muslims, inmates of the Quezon city jail in suburban Manila, are seen through a fence praying at the prison courtyard on August 13, 2010. The large Muslim minority in the Philippines - a country home to 75 million Catholics - is observing Ramadan, the holy fasting month of Islam. (JAY DIRECTO/AFP/Getty Images) #

An Indian worker dries Seviiyan - thin vermicelli - which is used for the preparation of "sheerkhorma", a traditional sweet dish prepared by the Muslim community during the holy month of Ramadan at a food factory in Hyderabad on August 16, 2010. (NOAH SEELAM/AFP/Getty Images) #

An Indian Muslim vendor separates the seeds of a pomegranate at a roadside stall in preparation for Muslims breaking their fast at sundown in Mumbai, India on August 19, 2010. (SAJJAD HUSSAIN/AFP/Getty Images) #

A Palestinian woman's shadow is seen on a wall as she waits while attempting to cross the Kalandia checkpoint in order to go pray at the Al Aqsa Mosque on the third Friday of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, between Jerusalem and the West Bank city of Ramallah on Friday, Aug. 27, 2010. Israel loosened some restrictions on Palestinian movement between the West Bank and Israel during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan. (AP Photo/Tara Todras-Whitehill) #

Palestinian women walk past a barrier at an Israeli-controlled checkpoint on their way to pray at the Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, on the third Friday of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, in the West Bank town of Bethlehem, Friday, Aug. 27, 2010. (AP Photo/Nasser Shiyoukhi) #

An Afghan confectioner holds a traditional sweet for Iftar, the evening meal during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan on August 16, 2010 in Kabul, Afghanistan. (Majid Saeedi/Getty Images) #

Muslim men pray before Iftar, the evening meal in the Muslim holy month of Ramadan at the London Muslim Centre on August 18, 2010 in London, England. (Dan Kitwood/Getty Images) #

The shadow of a Palestinian Muslim praying at "fajr" or early morning prayer is cast on a pole, during the month of Ramadan at a mosque in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2010. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen) #

Palestinians struggle at an access point as food rations are given out by an Islamic charity on the second day of the month of Ramadan, in the West Bank city of Hebron on Thursday, Aug. 12, 2010. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue) #

A child sits with a plate of food that was distributed as part of the holy month of Ramadan, at a refugee camp in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Saturday, Aug. 14, 2010. (AP Photo/Mustafa Quraishi) #

Indonesian women pray during the first night of Ramadan in Jakarta on August 10, 2010. (ADEK BERRY/AFP/Getty Images) #

A Palestinian Muslim man reads from the Quran, Islam's holy book, on "fajr" or early morning prayer, during Ramadan at a mosque in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2010. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen) #

An Indian Muslim perfumer selects a bottle of ather (non-alcoholic perfume) for customers at his shop in Hyderabad on August 17, 2010. Muslims apply ather to their clothes as a traditional custom before going for daily prayers during the Holy month of Ramadan. Hyderabad is a well known place for selling Ather some 157 varieties of perfume available on the market. (NOAH SEELAM/AFP/Getty Images) #

Children run around inside the premises of Jama mosque after Friday afternoon prayers in New Delhi, India, Friday, Aug. 20, 2010. (AP Photo/Saurabh Das) #

A Palestinian Muslim worshiper walks in an alley of Jerusalem's Old City, on her way to pray at the Al Aqsa Mosque on the third Friday of Ramadan on Aug. 27, 2010. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue) #

A rainbow is seen as a Palestinian sprays water on Muslim worshipers leaving the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound to cool them off as the temperature rises, following the second Friday prayers of Ramadan, in Jerusalem's Old City, Friday, Aug. 20, 2010. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen) #

Her hands decorated with henna, an Afghan Muslim woman takes part in evening prayers during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan on August 13, 2010 in Kabul, Afghanistan. (Majid Saeedi/Getty Images) #

Shop owner Boualem Bensalem (left) prays in his flat with family and friends before for Iftar meal in Geneva, Switzerland on August 23, 2010. Switzerland is home to some 311,000 Muslims (4.3% of the population). (REUTERS/Denis Balibouse) #

A Syrian Muslim girl stands at the top of Mount Qassioun, which overlooks Damascus city, during sunset and prays before eating her Iftar meal on August 22, 2010. (REUTERS/Khaled al-Hariri) #

 
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