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August 3, 2011

Ramadan begins

Muslims around the globe have begun their holiest month of the year by giving up food, drink, smoking and other physical needs from dawn till dusk each day. In many communities, large dinner gatherings are held each evening to break the fast. The month also marks a time for Muslims to reexamine their lives through the prism of Islamic teachings. -- Lloyd Young (38 photos total)

A student reads the Koran before morning prayer on the holy month of Ramadan at the Al-Mukmin Islamic boarding school in Solo, Indonesia Central Java province, August 2. (Beawiharta/Reuters)

A Pakistani Muslim prepares food stuff for 'Iftar' a time to break their fast, on the first day of holy fasting month of Ramadan at a mosque August 2 in Karachi. Muslims across the world are observing the holy fasting month of Ramadan, where they refrain from eating, drinking and smoking from dawn to dusk. (Shakil Adil/Associated Press) #

Women break fast at King Fahad Mosque on the first day of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan in Culver City California August 1. Muslims around the world abstain from eating, drinking and conducting sexual relations from sunrise to sunset during Ramadan, the holiest month in the Islamic calendar. (Lucy Nicholson/Reuters) #

Libyan men perform the evening prayer at the end of the first fasting day of Islam's holy month of Ramadan in the rebel stronghold of Benghazi on August 1. (Gianluigi Guercia/AFP/Getty Images) #

Indonesian Muslims perform Tarawih, an evening prayer marking the first eve of the holy fasting month of Ramadan at Istiqlal mosque in Jakarta, Indonesia July 31. During Ramadan, the holiest month in Islamic calendar, Muslims refrain from eating, drinking, smoking and sexual relations from dawn to dusk. (Dita Alangkara/Associated Press) #

A man enters a mosque for evening prayers on the first day of Ramadan in Moscow August 1. (Denis Sinyakov/Reuters) #

A Kashmiri Muslim reads the Koran on the first day of Ramadan at the landmark Jamia Masjid in Srinagar on August 2. For Muslims across the world, the beginning of the ninth month in the Muslim lunar calendar which marks the start of Ramadan is a time for spiritual reflection, prayers and fasting. (Tauseef Mustafa/AFP/Getty Images) #

The sun sets behind Al-hussein Mosque on the first day of Ramadan in Amman, Jordan Aug. 1. Religious authorities in most of the Middle East declared Monday the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, a period devoted to dawn-to-dusk fasting, prayers and spiritual introspection. (Nader Daoud/Associated Press) #

A visitor walks past a miniature replica of a mosque made of wafer biscuits at a mall in Surabaya on August 2. Thi mosque was made to celebrate the month of Ramadan measures 8 x 8 meters (26 feet x 26 feet), took five employees three days to construct and consists of 21,000 pieces of wafer biscuits. (Juni Kriswanto/AFP/Getty Images) #

A man tries a cap he bought to offer prayers during the Muslim's holy fasting month of Ramadan in Karachi, Pakistan August 1. (Shakil Adil/Associated Press) #

A Palestinian boy plays with fireworks to celebrate the beginning of the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan in the town of Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, on July 31. (Said Kharib/AFP/Getty Images) #

A Palestinian man hangs decorations for the upcoming holy month of Ramadan outside his home in Jerusalem's Old City July 31. (Ammar Awad/Reuters) #

A man reads the Koran on the first day of Ramadan while taking shelter from rain on a sidewalk in Lahore August 2. (/Mohsin Raza/Reuters) #

A vendor, selling corn, waits for customers after Iftar, or the breaking of the fast meal in Beylikduzu, a district of Istanbul August 1. (Osman Orsal/Reuters) #

An Afghan man makes sweets in a shop in Kabul on the eve of the start of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan on July 31. Throughout the month devout Muslims must fast from dawn until sunset when they break for the Iftar meal. The fast is one of the five pillars of Islam, along with the annual pilgrimage to Mecca which able Muslims should do once in a lifetime. (Shah Marai/AFP/Getty Images) #

Indian Muslims offer prayers prior to breaking their fast on the first day of the holy fasting month of Ramadan at Mecca Masjid in Hyderabad on August 2. (Noah Seelam/AFP/Getty Images) #

A Palestinian boy dressed in a FC Barcelona jersey reads the Koran, Islam's holy book, in the Al-Furqan mosque in Gaza City August 2. (Hatem Moussa/Associated Press) #

A Somali refugee girl reads the holy Koran at the Liban integrated academy at the Ifo refugee camp in Dadaab, near the Kenya-Somalia border August 2. The United Nations estimates that more than 3.7 million people in Somalia, among them 800,000 children, are on the brink of starvation. The famine in the Horn of Africa is spreading and may soon engulf as many as six more regions of the lawless nation of Somalia, the U.N. humanitarian aid chief said on Monday. (Thomas Mukoya/Reuters) #

A Kashmiri Muslim father and son wash themselves at a fountain in the compound of Jamia Masjid or grand mosque before offering afternoon prayers on the first day of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan in Srinagar, India August 2. (Altaf Qadri/Associated Press) #

A Kashmiri Muslim takes a nap at the landmark Jamia Masjid mosque in Srinagar on August 2. (/Tauseef Mustafa//AFP/Getty Images) #

Students pray during the first day of the holy month of Ramadan at the Al-Mukmin Islamic boarding school in Solo, Indonesia's Central Java province, August 1. (Beawiharta/Reuters) #

An Egyptian riot policeman holds his national flag after armed forces removed the tents of several dozen protesters who refused to leave Tahrir Square after most groups had suspended a sit-in for the month of Ramadan in Cairo on August 1. (Mohamed Hossam/AFP/Getty Images) #

Internally displaced Somali women wait for food supplies at the Badbado refugee camp in the south of capital Mogadishu August 1. Somalia's famine refugees, weakened by months of drought, on Monday began the Ramadan fast amid tents and shacks of the world's largest refugee camp. (Omar Faruk/Reuters) #

A defected Yemeni soldier who joined sides with anti-regime protesters reads the Koran as he sits on an armoured vehicle near the entrance to Taghyeer Square in Sanaa August 2. After six months of mass protests seeking to end president Ali Abdullah Saleh's 33-year rule, demonstrators vow to continue their sit-in at Taghyeer square through the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan until their demands are met. (Jumana El Heloueh/Reuters) #

A Nepalese Muslim reads the Koran on the second day of the month-long fasting during the holy month of Ramadan in Kathmandu August 2. (Navesh Chitrakar/Reuters) #

A boy takes part in a prayer at Strasbourg's new Grand Mosque August 1. The mosque, which opened on Monday, held its first prayers to mark the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. (Vincent Kessler/Reuters) #

Afghan children holding empty utensils wait for food to be distributed on the first day of holy month of Ramadan outside a mosque in a poor neighborhood of Kabul, Afghanistan August 1. (Dar Yasin/Associated Press) #

Indian Muslim women offer the first 'Taraweeh' (special night prayers) at their residence in Hyderabad on August 1 ahead of the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. For Muslims across the world, the beginning of the ninth month in the Muslim lunar calendar which marks the start of Ramadan is a time for spiritual reflection, prayers and fasting. During Ramadan practicing Muslims do not eat, drink, smoke or have sexual relations between sunrise and sunset. (Noah Seelam/AFP/Getty Images) #

A Libyan family breaks their fast in a tent at the end of the first fasting day of Islam's holy month of Ramadan in the rebel stronghold of Benghazi on August 1. (Gianluigi Guercia/AFP/Getty Images) #

A whirling dervish performs before Iftar, the evening meal for breaking fast during Ramadan, on the first day of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan in Istanbul August 1. (Murad Sezer/Reuters) #

Chinese Hui Muslim girls read the Koran, Islam's holy book, at the Niujie Mosque as they wait for their fast on the first day of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan in Beijing August 1. (Andy Wong/Assocaited Press) #

Chinese Hui Muslim boys waits in front of food as they wait to break their fast on the first day of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan in Beijing, August 1. (Andy Wong/Assocaited Press) #

A woman points skyward as she and her sons look for the crescent moon in Amman, Jordan July 31. Religious authorities in most of the Middle East declared that Monday will be the start of the holy month of Ramadan, a period devoted to dawn-to-dusk fasting, prayers and spiritual introspection. (Mohammad Hannon/Associated Press) #

An Indian Muslim looks on after breaking fast on the first day of Ramadan at Jama Mosque, in New Delhi August 2. (Manish Swarup/Associated Press) #

Children play next to a man praying before mass prayer session "Tarawih", which marks the beginning of the holy fasting month of Ramadan, at Istiqlal mosque in Jakarta July 31. (Supri/Reuters) #

Muslim woman attend mass prayer session "Tarawih", which marks the beginning of the holy fasting month of Ramadan, at Al Markaz Al Islami mosque in Makassar, South Sulawesi July 31. (Ahmad Yusuf/Reuters) #

Children help to distribute food for breaking fast on the first day of Ramadan at Jama Mosque, in New Delhi August 2. Muslims across the world are observing the holy fasting month of Ramadan, where they refrain from eating, drinking and smoking from dawn to dusk. (Manish Swarup/Associated Press) #

A Nepalese Muslim boy prays on the second day of the holy fasting month Ramadan at a mosque in Katmandu, Nepal August 2. Muslims are a minority in this predominantly Hindu nation. Official data indicates only 4.3 percent of the country's 27 million people are Muslim. ( Niranjan Shrestha/Associated Press) #



 
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