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September 16, 2009
Ramadan
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. It is the Islamic month of fasting, in which participating Muslims refrain from eating, drinking, smoking, and indulging in anything that is in excess or ill-natured; from dawn until sunset. During Ramadan, Muslims ask forgiveness for past sins, pray for guidance and help in refraining from everyday evils, and try to purify themselves through self-restraint and good deeds. As compared to solar calendar, the dates of Ramadan vary, moving forward about ten days each year as it is a moving festival depending on the moon. Ramadan this year began on Friday, August 21, and continues until Saturday, the 19th of September. (28 images)

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Hundreds of thousands of Muslims pilgrims circle the Kaaba inside and outside the Grand Mosque during the last week of Ramadan in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, Wednesday, Sept. 16. AP / Issa Mohammad


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Thai Muslim people offer prayers at the central mosque in Thailand's southern province of Pattani, late on September 7. AFP / Getty Images / Tuwaedaniya Meringing



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An Indonesian Muslim woman prays at a mosque in Jakarta on September 8. Indonesian Muslims like millions of Muslims around the world, are observing the holy month of Ramadan. AFP / Getty Images / Adek Berry



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Muslims offer prayers near a mosque in Allahabad, India, Friday, Sept. 4. AP / Rajesh Kumar Singh



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A Palestinian girl reacts during a struggle to get a ration of donated food from the Islamic Waqf, during the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan in Jerusalem's Old City, Tuesday, Sept. 8. AP / Muhammed Muheisen



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A Palestinian boy carries food donated from the Islamic Waqf, during the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan in Jerusalem's Old City, Tuesday, Sept. 8. AP / Muhammed Muheisen



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Palestinian Muslim worshippers pray during the first Friday prayers of the holy fasting month of Ramadan in the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, as the Dome of the Rock Mosque is seen in the background, in Jerusalem's Old City, Friday, Aug. 28. AP / Muhammed Muheisen



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An Afghan man offers the first Friday prays of Ramadan in a mosque in Kabul, Afghanistan, Friday, Aug. 28. AP / Rafiq Maqbool



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A Kashmiri Muslim girl reads the holy Quran at a local madrasa, or Muslim religious school, during the holy month of Ramadan in Srinagar, India, Thursday, Aug. 27. AP / Dar Yasin



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Kashmiri Muslim children are seen at a local Madrasa as they study the Quran during the holy month of Ramadan in Srinagar, India, Wednesday, Sept. 2. AP / Mukhtar Khan



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Indonesian Muslims attend Friday prayers at the Jakarta Islamic Centre mosque in Jakarta on August 28. The Jakarta Islamic Center (JIC) occupies 10.9 hectares of land which used to be the red-light district of Kramat Tunggak, North Jakarta where about 1,615 prostitutes lived. It was officially closed in 1999 ordered by former governor Sutiyoso after it operated for 30 years. During the Islamic hoyl month of Ramadan the JIC hosts various religious activities as Mulsims turn to contemplation and prayer whilst abstaining from food and drink during the daytime. AFP / Getty Images / Adek Berry



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A Palestinian Muslim woman, reads verses of the Quran, Islam's holy book, while waiting to break her daily fast during the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan, in a mosque in the West Bank city of Nablus, Saturday, Aug. 29. AP / Majdi Mohammed



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With the Dome of the Rock Mosque seen in the background, Palestinian Muslim worshippers pray during the first Friday prayers of the holy fasting month of Ramadan in the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem's Old City, Friday, Aug. 28. AP / Muhammed Muheisen



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A Palestinian man reads the Koran, Islam's holy book, as he sits in front of his shop in the old city of Hebron, in the West Bank, on Sept. 2. AFP / Getty Images / Hazem Bader



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A Palestinian man holds his prayer beads while joining other worshippers for the midday prayer at the al-Omari Mosque in Gaza City on August 30, during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. AFP / Getty Images / Marco Longari



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An Iraqi woman walks with a tray of eggs and other goods after receiving food rations from a charity organization in the southern holy city of Karbala, 110 kms from Baghdad on August 30. The charity is donating food during the holy Muslim month of Ramadan when believers fast from dawn until dusk. AFP / Getty Images / Mohammed Sawaf



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Members of a Kashmiri Bakarwal nomadic family drink salted tea as they break their fast during Ramadan, at a temporary camp on the outskirts of Srinagar, India, Saturday, Aug. 29. AP / Dar Yasin



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Afghan National Army soldiers prepare Afghan bread for the evening Ramadan feast after fasting all day at their outpost in the village of Dahaneh, Saturday, Aug. 29, in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan. AP / Julie Jacobson



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A Bangladeshi fruit vendor waits for customers during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Tuesday, Sept. 1. AP / Pavel Rahman



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Moroccans pray before breaking the day's fast with food provided by the charitable association 'Al Wifak' in Casablanca on August 29, during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. AFP / Getty Images / Abdelhak Senna



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Food is distributed among Muslim devotees to break their fast in the holy month of Ramadan in Rawalpindi, Pakistan on Wednesday, Sept. 2. AP / B.K.Bangash



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A worker prepares vermicelli, used as an integral ingredient in several dishes during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, in Hyderabad, India, Tuesday, Sept. 15. AP / Mahesh Kumar A.



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A Palestinian family prepare traditional biscuits popular on the occasion of Eid al-Fitr at their house in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip on September 16. Muslims around the world are preparing to celebrate the Eid al-Fitr holiday, which marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan. Preparations include buying new clothes, toys and special sweets. AFP / Getty Images / Said Khatib



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Thai Muslims offer prayers at a mosque during the holy month of Ramadan late on August 31, in Bangkok. Muslims across the world are observing the holy month of Ramadan, abstaining from consuming food and drink from dawn to dusk and spening time in prayer and contemplation. AFP / Getty Images / Muhammad Sabri



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Indonesian Muslim school girls attend a noon prayer on the 12th day of Ramadan in Jakarta on September 1. During Ramadan many schools in Indonesia hold various religious activities as Mulsims turn to contemplation and prayer while abstaining from food and drink during day time. AFP / Getty Images / Adek Berry



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Afghan orphans fasting during the last week of Ramadan pray at the Allauddin Orphanage September 15, in Kabul, Afghanistan. Boys older than 10 are expected to fast during the holy month, there are 190 boys and 60 girls at the government run orphange. Getty Images / Paula Bronstein



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Palestinian girls play with sparklers after breaking their daily fast during the holy fasting month of Ramadan, in the West Bank refugee camp of Kalandia, between Ramallah and Jerusalem, Sunday, Aug. 30. AP / Muhammed Muheisen



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Indian Muslims leave evening prayers during the holy fasting month of Ramadan at the Jama Masjid Mosque in New Delhi, Tuesday, Sept. 15. Muslims around the world are marking the holiest month in their calendar, and many Muslims donate food or give money to the poor during the holiday. AP / Kevin Frayer



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