A photo blog of world events by Sacbee.com Assistant Director of Multimedia Tim Reese.
Subscribe to feed Subscribe to this blog's feed
August 11, 2010
Ramadan begins
PATERSON, N.J. (AP) -- The most ancient traditions of Islam are going high-tech, with a slew of modern offerings for those observing the holy month of Ramadan, which begins this week. Cell phone applications such as "iPray" or "iQuran" offer a beeping reminder of requisite prayer times, while the "Find Mecca" and "mosque finder" programs help the Muslim traveler in an unfamiliar city find the nearest place to pray. The applications aren't just for Ramadan; there are Islamic-themed programs that help users find the nearest Costco offering foods prepared according to Islamic dietary rules, learn the correct Arabic pronunciations in a daily prayer, or count how many pages of the Quran they've read that day -- all on a mobile phone. The dates of Ramadan still are determined by the lunar calendar, and calculations can differ among Islamic communities around the world. In North America, many Muslims will mark the first day of Ramadan on Wednesday. But Islam never has been at odds with innovation, said Zinnur Tabakci, who runs an Islamic religious book and gift shop in Paterson, N.J. "Islam is not against technology. Now you can do it easier, faster," said Tabakci, who recently supplemented the strings of traditional prayer beads and religious texts he sells with a wall of mobile phone accessories to keep up with demand. (37 images)

Follow The Frame on Twitter at sacbee_theframe

An Indonesian women prays during the first night of Ramadan in Jakarta on August 10, 2010. The fasting month of Ramadan, which starts on August 11, is the ninth month of the Muslim Hijri calendar, during which the faithful abstain from eating, drinking, smoking and having sex during daylight and, in the evening, eat small meals and conduct evening prayers. AFP/ Getty Images / Adek Berry


ramadan_0811_02.jpg
In this photograph taken on August 10, 2010 an official from the State Islamic University (STAIN), uses a telescope to observe the moon after sunset from the coast of Madura in East Java province of Indonesia on the eve of Ramadan. The exact dates of the start and the end of Islam's holy month Ramadan depend on the sighting of the new moon. Muslims observe the ninth month of the lunar Islamic calendar by abstaining from food, drink and sex from dawn until sunset during Ramadan. The fast is one of the five pillars of Islam. Indonesia has the world's largest population of Muslims. AFP/ Getty Images / Ahmad



ramadan_0811_03.jpg
Pakistani flood-affected people sleep outside their tents at a makeshift camp in Sukkur early on August 12, 2010, on the first day of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. AFP/Getty Images / Aamir Qureshi



ramadan_0811_04.jpg
A Pakistani flood-affected woman prepares tea for family members before beginning their fast at a makeshift camp in Sukkur early on August 12, 2010, on the first day of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. The holy month of Ramadan is bringing nothing but misery for millions of Pakistanis who fled for their lives when catastrophic floods washed away their homes, villages and livelihoods. AFP/Getty Images / Aamir Qureshi



ramadan_0811_05.jpg
A woman puts on her sandals after prayer at the Darul Uloom Institute in Pembroke Pines, Fla., Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2010. Muslims throughout the world pray and break their fast together, on the first day of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. AP / Alan Diaz



ramadan_0811_06.jpg
Muslim men pray at the Darul Uloom Institute in Pembroke Pines, Fla., on the first day of Ramadan Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2010. AP / Alan Diaz



ramadan_0811_07.jpg
Muslims line up for food as they break fast after sunset August 11, 2010 at Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center in Falls Church, Virginia. Getty Images / Alex Wong



ramadan_0811_08.jpg
Local resident Ahmad Issa (R) helps his daughter Yasmine (L) to put her shoes on after having said the sunset prayer August 11, 2010 at Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center in Falls Church, Virginia. Getty Images / Alex Wong



ramadan_0811_09.jpg
Muslims say the sunset prayer August 11, 2010 at Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center in Falls Church, Virginia. Muslims around the world started their first day of fasting to observe the month long Ramadan. Getty Images / Alex Wong



ramadan_0811_10.jpg
Omanis shop at a market on the first day of Islam's holy fasting month of Ramadan in Muscat on August 11, 2010. AFP/Getty Images / Mohammed Mahjoub



ramadan_0811_11.jpg
Saudi men and Muslim foreign workers prepare to break their fast at a mosque on the first day of Islam's holy fasting month of Ramadan in the port city fo Jeddah on August 11, 2010. AFP/ Getty Images / Amer Hilabi



ramadan_0811_12.jpg
Palestinian Muslim girls hold traditional Ramadan lanterns while celebrating the at Jerusalem's old city after breaking the fast on the first day of the Moslem holy month of Ramadan on August 11, 2010. AFP/ Getty Images / Ahmad Gharablia



ramadan_0811_13.jpg
Palestinians walk under colored lights as they go to the first evening prayers at the al-Aqsa mosque at Jerusalem's old city Damascus Gate after breaking the fast on the first day of the Moslem holy month of Ramadan on August 11, 2010. AFP/ Getty Images / Ahmad Gharablia



ramadan_0811_14.jpg
Palestinians walk under colored lights as they go to the first evening prayers at the al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem's Old City, after breaking the fast on the first day of the Moslem holy month of Ramadan on August 11, 2010. AFP/Getty Images / Ahmad Gharablia



ramadan_0811_15.jpg
Muslims offer prayers before the start of the holy month of Ramadan at Mecca Masjid in Hyderabad, India, Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2010. AP / Mahesh Kumar A



ramadan_0811_16.jpg
Pakistani shopkeepers prepare delicacies for the Islamic month of Ramadan, Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2010 in Karachi, Pakistan. AP / Fareed Khan



ramadan_0811_17.jpg
Residents and tourists crowd on a beach of Rabat on August 11, 2010 on the eve of the Ramadan beginning in the country. Ramadan today began for most Sunni Muslims as heat waves gripped many countries and leaders hoped the holy fasting month would reinforce piety and reconciliation among communities. AFP/ Getty Images / Abdelhak Senna



ramadan_0811_18.jpg
A Sudanese woman shops on the first day of the fasting month of Ramadan at the market of Umdorman, on the northern outskirts of the capital Khartoum, Sudan Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2010. AP / Abd Raouf



ramadan_0811_19.jpg
A Palestinian man looks at lights for sale, on the first day of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan in Jerusalem's Old City, Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2010. AP / Tara Todras-Whitehill



ramadan_0811_20.jpg
Indian Muslims stand under a tarp to protect from rain on the eve of the fasting month of Ramadan in New Delhi on August 11, 2010. AFP/ Getty Images / Manpreet Romana



ramadan_0811_21.jpg
Orphans attend a briefing on the holy month of Ramadan, which is to begin Thursday in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2010. AP / Pavel Rahman



ramadan_0811_22.jpg
Muslim children point to the new moon ushering in the holy month of Ramadan, in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2010. AP / Pavel Rahman



ramadan_0811_23.jpg
Afghans take food to break their fast on the first day of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan at a mosque in Kabul, Afghanistan on Wednesday, Aug 11, 2010. AP / Musadeq Sadeq



ramadan_0811_24.jpg
An Afghan man prays after offering prayers on the first day of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan at a mosque in Kabul, Afghanistan on Wednesday, Aug 11, 2010. AP / Ahmad Massoud



ramadan_0811_25.jpg
Customers at a roadside shop sell a meat dish on the first day of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan in Kabul, Afghanistan on Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2010. AP / Mustafa Quraishi



ramadan_0811_26.jpg
A Palestinian man prepares "Qatayef", traditional Arab pancakes, on the first day of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan on August 11, 2010 in Jerusalem's old city. AFP/ Getty Images / Ahmad Gharabli



ramadan_0811_27.jpg
Palestinian men read the Koran at the al-Omri mosque in Gaza City on August 11, 2010 as Muslims mark the first day of the holy month of Ramadan. AFP/ Getty Images / MOHAMMED ABED Mohammed Abed



ramadan_0811_28.jpg
Lebanese "musaharati" Mohammed Fanas lights up a lantern before waking up observant Muslims for their overnight "suhur" meal before the day's fast in the old city of the southern port of Sidon just before dawn on August 11, 2010 as Muslims in much of the Middle East begin the fasting month of Ramadan. AFP/ Getty Images / Mahmoud Zayat



ramadan_0811_29.jpg
A young Palestinian Muslim girl walks in an alley of Jerusalem's old city holding a traditional Ramadan lantern while celebrating with other children the announcing of the holy month of Ramadan, Tuesday, Aug. 10 2010. Ramadan, when observant Muslims fast from dawn to dusk, will begin Wednesday. AP / Muhammed Muheisen



ramadan_0811_30.jpg
A Palestinian boy plays with fireworks to celebrate the holy month of Ramadan, in Gaza City, on August 10, 2010. AFP/ Getty Images / Mahmud Hams



ramadan_0811_31.jpg
Palestinian boys stand next to a shop, decorated with Ramadan festive lights, in the West Bank city of Nablus, Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2010. AP / Nasser Ishtayeh



ramadan_0811_32.jpg
A Bahraini man points skyward at dusk Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2010, in Hamad Town, Bahrain, towards where a slim crescent moon should be visible to indicate the start of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, a time of prayer, fasting and charitable giving. Clouds hampered skywatchers in the Persian Gulf island nation. AP / Hasan Jamali



ramadan_0811_33.jpg
Indonesian women pray during the first night of Ramadan in Jakarta on August 10, 2010. The fasting month of Ramadan, which starts on August 11, is the ninth month of the Muslim Hijri calendar, during which the faithful abstain from eating, drinking, smoking and having sex during daylight and, in the evening, eat small meals and conduct evening prayers. AFP/ Getty Images / Adek Berry



ramadan_0811_34.jpg
A worker dispalys cookies at a bakery ahead of Islam's holy fasting month of Ramadan on August 10, 2010. AFP/ Getty Images / Sabah Arar



ramadan_0811_35.jpg
Indonesian Muslims offer an evening prayer called 'Tarawih', at the beginning of the holy fasting month of Ramadan at Istiqlal mosque in Jakarta, Indonesia, Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2010. AP / Achmad Ibrahim



ramadan_0811_36.jpg
A Palestinian blind boy reads a Quran Islam's holy book, in braille in the West Bank city of Jenin, ahead the upcoming month of Ramadan, Monday, Aug. 9, 2010. AP / Mohammed Ballas



ramadan_0811_37.jpg
Afghan youths pray on the first day of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan on August 11, 2010 in Kabul, Afghanistan. Getty Images / Majid Saeedi



About Comments

Reader comments on Sacbee.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Sacramento Bee. If you see an objectionable comment, click the "report abuse" button below it. We will delete comments containing inappropriate links, obscenities, hate speech, and personal attacks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. See more about comments here.

What You Should Know About Comments on Sacbee.com

Sacbee.com is happy to provide a forum for reader interaction, discussion, feedback and reaction to our stories. However, we reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments or ban users who can't play nice. (See our full terms of service here.)

Here are some rules of the road:

• Keep your comments civil. Don't insult one another or the subjects of our articles. If you think a comment violates our guidelines click the "report abuse" button to notify the moderators. Responding to the comment will only encourage bad behavior.

• Don't use profanities, vulgarities or hate speech. This is a general interest news site. Sometimes, there are children present. Don't say anything in a way you wouldn't want your own child to hear.

• Do not attack other users; focus your comments on issues, not individuals.

• Stay on topic. Only post comments relevant to the article at hand. If you want to discuss an issue with a specific user, click on his profile name and send him a direct message.

• Do not copy and paste outside material into the comment box.

• Don't repeat the same comment over and over. We heard you the first time.

• Do not use the commenting system for advertising. That's spam and it isn't allowed.

• Don't use all capital letters. That's akin to yelling and not appreciated by the audience.

You should also know that The Sacramento Bee does not screen comments before they are posted. You are more likely to see inappropriate comments before our staff does, so we ask that you click the "report abuse" button to submit those comments for moderator review. You also may notify us via email at feedback@sacbee.com. Note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us the profile name of the user who made the comment. Remember, comment moderation is subjective. You may find some material objectionable that we won't and vice versa.

If you submit a comment, the user name of your account will appear along with it. Users cannot remove their own comments once they have submitted them, but you may ask our staff to retract one of your comments by sending an email to feedback@sacbee.com. Again, make sure you note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us your profile name.

hide comments

On October 14, The Sacramento Bee will temporarily remove commenting from sacbee.com. While we design the upgrade, we encourage you to tell us what you like and don't like about commenting on sacbee.com and other websites. We've heard from hundreds of you already and we're listening. Please continue to add your thoughts and questions here. We also encourage you to write Letters to the Editor on this and other topics.