5 June 2016

Many Muslims to begin fasting for month of Ramadan on Monday

People offer evening prayer at a mosque ahead of the Muslim month of Ramadan, in Karachi, Pakistan, Sunday, June 5, 2016. Muslims across the world will be observing the holy fasting month of Ramadan, when they refrain from eating, drinking and smoking from dawn to dusk.
Millions of Muslims around the world will mark the start of the holy month of Ramadan on Monday, a time marked by intense prayer, dawn-to-dusk fasting and nightly feasts.
Saudi Arabia's state TV announced the new moon of Ramadan was spotted Sunday evening. Local media in Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim country, also said Muslims there would begin fasting Monday, as will Muslims in Singapore, Yemen, Lebanon, Syria, Qatar, Kuwait, Jordan, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Afghanistan and the Palestinian territories, among others.

Following these announcements, a mosque in Tampa, Florida announced to its followers that they too would celebrate the first day's fasting Monday.
Muslims follow a lunar calendar and a moon-sighting methodology that can lead to different countries declaring the start of Ramadan a day or two apart. By Sunday evening, Pakistan and Iran had yet to officially announce Monday as the first day of Ramadan. Traditionally, countries announce if their moon-sighting council spots the Ramadan crescent the evening before fasting begins.
Pakistani vendors prepare traditional vermicelli for the upcoming Muslim month of Ramadan, in Karachi, Pakistan, Sunday, June 5, 2016. Muslims across the world will be observing the holy fasting month of Ramadan, when they refrain from eating, drinking and smoking from dawn to dusk.
The faithful spend the month of Ramadan in mosques for evening prayers known as "taraweeh," while free time during the day is often spent reading the Quran and listening to religious lectures.
Each day for the month of Ramadan, Muslims abstain from eating and drinking from sunrise to sunset. Even a sip of water, coffee or a cigarette can invalidate one's fast. There are exceptions to fasting for children, the elderly, the sick, women who are pregnant, nursing or menstruating, and people travelling.
Many break their fast as the Prophet Muhammad did around 1,400 years ago, with a sip of water and some dates at sunset followed by prayer. It is common for Muslims to break their fast with family and friends and charities organize free meals for the public at mosques and other public spaces.
The fast is intended to bring the faithful closer to God and to remind them of the suffering of those less fortunate.
A fishing boat moves through the Persian Gulf at sunset off the coast of Karzakan, Bahrain, Sunday, June 5, 2016. Bahrain announced that Monday would be the first day of the Islamic month of Ramadan, a time Muslims worldwide focus on prayer, fasting and charitable giving.
Fasting during Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam, along with the Muslim declaration of faith, daily prayer, charity and performing the hajj pilgrimage in Mecca. Non-Muslims or adult Muslims not observing the fast who eat in public during the day in Ramadan can be fined or even jailed in some Middle Eastern countries, such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, which is home to large Western expatriate populations in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
Muslims celebrate the end of Ramadan with a three-day holiday called Eid al-Fitr. 
(AP) 
Shoppers buy foodstuff for the Muslim month of Ramadan, at a weekly market in Islamabad, Pakistan. Sunday, June 5, 2016. Muslims across the world will be observing the holy fasting month of Ramadan, where they refrain from eating, drinking and smoking from dawn to dusk.
Shoppers buy foodstuff for the Muslim month of Ramadan, at a weekly market in Islamabad, Pakistan. Sunday, June 5, 2016. Muslims across the world will be observing the holy fasting month of Ramadan, where they refrain from eating, drinking and smoking from dawn to dusk.             
Shoppers visit a weekly market to buy foodstuff for the upcoming Muslim month of Ramadan, in Islamabad, Pakistan, Sunday, June 5, 2016. Muslims across the world will be observing the holy fasting month of Ramadan, where they refrain from eating, drinking and smoking from dawn to dusk.
Shoppers visit a weekly market to buy foodstuff for the upcoming Muslim month of Ramadan, in Islamabad, Pakistan, Sunday, June 5, 2016. Muslims across the world will be observing the holy fasting month of Ramadan, where they refrain from eating, drinking and smoking from dawn to dusk.                    
Muslim women perform an evening prayer called 'tarawih' marking the first eve of the holy fasting month of Ramadan, at Istiqlal Mosque in Jakarta, Indonesia, Sunday, June 5, 2016. During Ramadan, the holiest month in Islamic calendar, Muslims refrain from eating, drinking, smoking and sex from dawn to dusk.
Muslim women perform an evening prayer called 'tarawih' marking the first eve of the holy fasting month of Ramadan, at Istiqlal Mosque in Jakarta, Indonesia, Sunday, June 5, 2016. During Ramadan, the holiest month in Islamic calendar, Muslims refrain from eating, drinking, smoking and sex from dawn to dusk.
Muslim women perform an evening prayer called 'tarawih' marking the first eve of the holy fasting month of Ramadan, at Istiqlal Mosque in Jakarta, Indonesia, Sunday, June 5, 2016. During Ramadan, the holiest month in Islamic calendar, Muslims refrain from eating, drinking, smoking and sex from dawn to dusk.
Muslim women perform an evening prayer called 'tarawih' marking the first eve of the holy fasting month of Ramadan, at Istiqlal Mosque in Jakarta, Indonesia, Sunday, June 5, 2016. During Ramadan, the holiest month in Islamic calendar, Muslims refrain from eating, drinking, smoking and sex from dawn to dusk.
An Afghan street vendor carries bread on his head ahead of the upcoming holy fasting month of Ramadan in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, June 5, 2016. Muslims across the world will observe Ramadan, where they refrain from eating, drinking and smoking from dawn to dusk.
An Afghan street vendor carries bread on his head ahead of the upcoming holy fasting month of Ramadan in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, June 5, 2016. Muslims across the world will observe Ramadan, where they refrain from eating, drinking and smoking from dawn to dusk.
An Afghan vendor waits for customers ahead of the upcoming Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, June 5, 2016. Muslims across the world are observing Ramadan, where they refrain from eating, drinking and smoking from dawn to dusk.
An Afghan vendor waits for customers ahead of the upcoming Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, June 5, 2016. Muslims across the world are observing Ramadan, where they refrain from eating, drinking and smoking from dawn to dusk.

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