In images: Muslim world comes collectively to rejoice Ramadan


LONDON — The world over, Muslims scoured the evening skies looking for the brand new crescent moon, which in accordance with the lunar calendar marked the beginning of the fasting month of Ramadan for a lot of on Thursday.

Nearly 2 billion Muslims world wide will observe a month of abstaining from meals, drink, smoking, gossip and sexual relations throughout daylight — from daybreak to nightfall.

Pregnant, breastfeeding or menstruating ladies are exempt from fasting, as are the sick, aged or these touring. Kids are additionally not anticipated to quick.

Within the Northern Hemisphere, the fasting day might stretch as long as 17 hours for Muslims in cities akin to Glasgow and Stockholm. Muslims within the Southern Hemisphere can have a better quick, lasting solely 13 hours in locations like Nairobi, Singapore and Brazil.

Ramadan is the holiest month for Muslims, who consider that the phrases of God within the Quran had been revealed on this month within the 12 months 610 to the illiterate desert dweller Muhammad, who would go on to change into the extremely revered closing Abrahamic prophet despatched to mankind after Moses and Jesus in Islamic teachings.

Extra mainstream retailers are providing Ramadan items

The month can be a time when Muslims attempt to expend extra effort on spiritual pursuits, participating in prolonged congregational evening prayers in bustling mosques, finishing the Quran, giving extra to charity, spending time disconnecting in self-reflection and having fun with “break-fast” meals with household and mates.

Muslims, following the instance of the prophet Muhammad, usually break their quick with a date and a glass of water or milk — adopted by a bigger meal referred to as “iftar.”

Many Muslims will proceed with their every day routines, going to high school and work. Some Muslim sports stars additionally proceed to coach and play throughout Ramadan, with some exceptions made to permit them to interrupt their quick in the midst of video games.

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World leaders, together with President Biden, have wished Muslims a contented Ramadan or “Ramadan Kareem.”

“Jill and I lengthen our greatest needs to Muslim communities throughout the nation and world wide,” Biden stated in a statement. “Muslim Individuals proceed to strengthen our nation’s numerous tapestry era after era.”

Biden additionally referenced the devastating earthquake that killed greater than 50,000 folks throughout Syria and Turkey in February, in addition to excessive floods that hit Pakistan final 12 months, leaving 1000’s homeless. He additionally talked about Muslims dealing with “oppression — together with Uyghurs within the Folks’s Republic of China, Rohingya in Burma.”

In war-torn Ukraine, President Volodymyr Zelensky prolonged Ramadan needs to the nation’s Muslim inhabitants. “Could the ability of prayer on this holy month of Ramadan assist us cleanse Ukraine of Russian godless evil, of those that actually consider in nothing. … Let the subsequent Ramadan start in peace,” he stated in a video posted on-line.

Earlier this week, Israeli and Palestinian officers pledged to decrease tensions throughout the holy month after current clashes. Ramadan this 12 months coincides with the Jewish pageant of Passover, and huge numbers of Jewish and Muslim worshipers are anticipated to go to holy websites in Jerusalem’s Previous Metropolis, Reuters reported.

Cities internationally mark the month in quite a lot of methods.

In London, the capital’s busy Piccadilly Circus procuring district will probably be lit up for the primary time with “Ramadan lights,” switched on by Mayor Sadiq Khan this week.

In Dubai, fireworks will probably be set off every weekend, and procuring malls will provide items at heavy reductions. In the USA, house to greater than 3 million Muslims, extra mainstream retailers are promoting Ramadan kids’s books, meals and merchandise in a bid to capitalize on the season.

Different Muslim nations, akin to Sudan and Yemen, nonetheless, have warned that the rising price of meals and different requirements might imply that extra households wrestle throughout Ramadan this 12 months, with higher want for meals parcels and charity assist.

Ramadan culminates with the pageant of Eid al-Fitr, when Muslims costume up, adorn their fingers with henna, beautify their homes and rejoice with communal prayers. This 12 months, following the lunar calendar, Eid is predicted to fall on both April 20 or 21.

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