Sunni Muslims across much of the world today began the fasting month of holy Ramadan, with the Shias expected to follow tomorrow.
The holy month of Ramadan, which marks a 30-day period of fasting, commenced in most of the Arabian peninsula, much of the Gulf nations and many other parts of the world.
The first day of fasting was observed today in Saudi Arabia, the birth place of Islam; Egypt; Indonesia, the largest Muslim nation; and in Gulf states of Bahrain, Kuwait and Qatar.
Muslims also began observing Ramadan in war-wracked Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen, Palestinian territories and Malaysia and Singapore.
Pakistan, Iran as well as Shias world over will began their fasting tomorrow, depending upon the citing of the new crescent moon, Times of India reports.
According to euronews, at six million, the country has the largest Muslim population in Europe. Around 70 percent will observe the holy month, translating into a 5.5 billion euro market for Halal products.
It’s a different story in Indonesia, the country with the world’s largest Muslim population. Many shops and restaurants are closed during the day.
But, in the majority of the Muslim world, markets are stocked with dates, sweets and other post-fast treats.
Ramadan is the holiest month of the year for Muslims, with the emphasis on purification and asceticism from dawn to dusk. It commemorates the revelation of the Koran to the Prophet Mohammed.