For many of the world’s one billion Muslims, the holy month of Ramadan is a time for fasting, reflection, family and prayer. But while these central features of observing the month’s fast are common the world over, Muslims’ experiences of the holiday are as diverse as the community of Islam itself.
Many in Tehran this year will spend the month mourning those killed in election protests and continuing political unrest, our correspondent there reports.
In Cairo, a woman spends the month cooking for less fortunate families so they can break their fast with a nourishing meal. In the heart of the medieval city, the hours between sundown and sunrise are a chaotic and boisterous panoply of life, music, traditional puppet shows, and song. But for refugees who have fled bloodshed in Iraq and Darfur to arrive in the city, the holiday can recall the homes and families they lost.
For Britain’s 1.7 million Muslims, tuning into “Radio Ramadan” has become an important part of the holy month of fasting and prayer.
In the Netherlands, a community centre welcomes Muslims and non-Muslims alike in the interest of promoting tolerance and religious harmony.