Devotees throughout the world marked the beginning of Ramadan, a month of fasting that will end with Eid-ul-Fitr after sundown on May 1.
Ramadan is a month-long religious holiday for Muslims as a time of self-reflection and strengthening their relationship with God. Ramadan is dictated by the lunar cycle, beginning and ending with a crescent moon. The religious holiday involves fasting, praying and being around loved ones.
Why do Muslims fast during Ramadan?In Islam, fasting during Ramadan is considered an act of worship in itself and holds great spiritual significance. It helps Muslims to remind themselves that God is the source of all sustenance while sparing extra attention to the poor and those less fortunate.
A woman helps her daughter to put on a praying robe prior to the start of ‘tarawih’ an evening prayer marking the first eve of the holy fasting month of Ramadan at Istiqlal Mosque in Jakarta, Indonesia.
A little girl looks on during evening prayer on the eve of the holy fasting month of Ramadan at Istiqlal Mosque in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Women perform an evening prayer called ‘tarawih’ that marks the first eve of the holy fasting month of Ramadan at Istiqlal Mosque in Jakarta, Indonesia.
People receive free food being distributed ahead of Iftar, the evening meal breaking the Ramadan fast, at the Abdul-Qadir al-Gailani mosque in Baghdad, Iraq.
People purchase dates from a roadside vendor, ahead of Ramadan, in Hyderabad, India.
A man tries on a traditional cap in preparation for the upcoming Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, in Peshawar, Pakistan.