See how Muslims around the world have opened their most holy month: The Picture Show: NPR


Istanbul, Turkey: Muslim believers perform a night prayer called “tarawih” on the eve of the first day of the holy Muslim fast of Ramadan at the Hagia Sophia on Friday, April 1, 2022.

Emrah Gurel / AP


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Istanbul, Turkey: Muslim believers perform a night prayer called “tarawih” on the eve of the first day of the holy Muslim fast of Ramadan at the Hagia Sophia on Friday, April 1, 2022.

Emrah Gurel / AP

Ramadan, the holiest month in the Islamic calendar, began this weekend for 1.8 billion Muslims worldwide. From sunrise to sunset physically able of them will fast, refraining not only from food but even from a sip of water.

“[The pandemic] affected the house in many, many ways, ”Macram Numan El-Amin, an imam from Minneapolis, told NPR on Saturday.

“So it’s just the idea of ​​being able to go back together to this special month – the month of fasting, the month of reflection, the month of self-development and all that, the month of charity, and so on. all that we love to do, want to do, we will be able to do, at least to a greater extent than we have been for the last couple of years. So I’m just thrilled. And I’m so grateful for that moment. “


Podgorica, Montenegro: Muslims perform the first Tarawi prayer at Ramadan.

Milos Vujovic / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images


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Podgorica, Montenegro: Muslims perform the first Tarawi prayer at Ramadan.

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Moscow, Russia: Muslims perform the first Tarawi prayer at Ramadan at the Central Mosque.

Sefa Karacan / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images


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Moscow, Russia: Muslims perform the first Tarawi prayer at Ramadan at the Central Mosque.

Sefa Karacan / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images


Gaza City, Gaza City: In this long exposure, Palestinians stand next to a lantern known in Arabic as “Fanous Ramadan” on the first day of the beginning of the holy Muslim fast of Ramadan.

Mohamed Abed / AFP via Getty Images


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Gaza City, Gaza City: In this long exposure, Palestinians stand next to a lantern known in Arabic as “Fanous Ramadan” on the first day of the beginning of the holy Muslim fast of Ramadan.

Mohamed Abed / AFP via Getty Images


Peshawar, Pakistan: Preparing for Ramadan, a man tries on a traditional hat.

Muhammad Sajad / AP


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Peshawar, Pakistan: Preparing for Ramadan, a man tries on a traditional hat.

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Although it is easy to consider Ramadan a holiday, it is not. Muslims go to work and school and continue their daily lives.

In this regard, the real goal of the month is discipline and dedication. Fasting does not only apply to food. It is expected that Muslims will practice how to avoid impure thoughts and actions.

Ramadan provides a constant physical reminder of God as well as a reminder of all the people in the world who lack food or water. “It creates an impetus for both gratitude and charity,” Adele Zeb, a Muslim chaplain at Clermont College, said in an interview with NPR in 2017.


New Delhi, India: Muslims perform Friday prayers at the Jama Masjid before the holy month of Ramadan.

Sonu Mehta / Hindustan Times via Getty Images


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New Delhi, India: Muslims perform Friday prayers at the Jama Masjid before the holy month of Ramadan.

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Istanbul, Turkey: Muslims perform the first Tarawi prayer at Ramadan in the Grand Mosque of Hagia Sophia.

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Istanbul, Turkey: Muslims perform the first Tarawi prayer at Ramadan in the Grand Mosque of Hagia Sophia.

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The month focuses on charity, worship and the development of empathy and connection with others. But there is also a strong communal aspect that is an essential part of the experience.

However, in the last two years, when the pandemic raged, the coronavirus lost many of these rituals. Gone are the big lunches in groups, visiting mosques, morning runs at IHOP for pancakes before Lent – along with many other favorite aspects of the month.

This year, many Muslims plan to resume night meetings, iftar, where they can interrupt their daytime fast together. Many are also looking forward to the communal prayers of the Tarawis that follow Lent.


Moscow, Russia: Muslims perform the first Tarawi prayer at Ramadan in the central mosque.

Sefa Karacan / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images


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Moscow, Russia: Muslims perform the first Tarawi prayer at Ramadan in the central mosque.

Sefa Karacan / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images


Tangerang, Indonesia: Children bathe in the river Sisadan on the first evening of the holy fasting month of Ramadan.

Tatan Suflana / AP


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Tangerang, Indonesia: Children bathe in the river Sisadan on the first evening of the holy fasting month of Ramadan.

Tatan Suflana / AP


Pristina, Kosovo: Muslims are going to perform the first Tarawi prayer at Ramadan.

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Pristina, Kosovo: Muslims are going to perform the first Tarawi prayer at Ramadan.

Erkin Kechi / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

This is good news for fans like Rizwan Ali.

“The worst thing is that people just disappear, to be honest,” said Ali, imam of the Naperville Islamic Center in Illinois in 2020. – I said that, you know, after I was preparing for prayer, I was doing voodoo [cleansing the body before prayers] in my house. And I, like, you know, never thought I would miss the long queues at the mosque to make voodoo and prepare for prayer. Well, for the little things that you do not have enough – for smiles, faces. I can close my eyes and tell you where each person is sitting. And now I miss all these little experiences. “


Hyderabad, Pakistan: Pakistani men are making traditional sweets in the market that will be put up for sale on the eve of Ramadan.

Pervaiz Masih / AP


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Hyderabad, Pakistan: Pakistani men are making traditional sweets in the market that will be put up for sale on the eve of Ramadan.

Pervaiz Masih / AP


Ankara, Turkey: Muslims perform the first Tarawi prayer at Ramadan.

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Ankara, Turkey: Muslims perform the first Tarawi prayer at Ramadan.

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Ramadan is the month when Muslims believe that God has revealed the Qur’an, the holy text of Islam, the Prophet Muhammad. Officially, it begins with the first observation of the crescent moon after the new moon, which leads to the fact that different countries announce its beginning in a day or two. For most countries this year it started on Friday night.

The month ends with Eid al-Fitr – a three-day holiday, sometimes eating, drinking and having fun after a month of fasting and long nights of worship.


Washington, DC: Muslims are going to perform the first Tarawi prayer at Ramadan.

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Washington, DC: Muslims are going to perform the first Tarawi prayer at Ramadan.

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Jerusalem, Israel: A Palestinian hangs decorative lights in preparation for the holy Muslim month of Ramadan.

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Jerusalem, Israel: A Palestinian hangs decorative lights in preparation for the holy Muslim month of Ramadan.

Mahmoud Ilean / AP

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