Muslims mark start of Ramadan holy month

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Muslims mark start of Ramadan holy month

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Ramadan has begun across most of the Muslim world.

The sight of the new moon heralds the start of the holy month when eating, drinking, smoking and sexual intercourse are forbidden from dawn to dusk.
Each night, fasting is broken by prayers and feasting.

In Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim nation, people have been stocking up.

“Dates are bestsellers, usually for gifts and for breaking the fast,” said Jeki Munawar, who sells dates in the capital, Jakarta.

Ramadan, one of the five pillars of Islam, is hugely important in Pakistan. However frequent power cuts and the soaring price of food will mean a challenging month ahead for many in the country.

Palestinian worshippers headed for the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem to attend prayers on the first Friday of Ramadan.

Access was blocked for many Palestinian men from across the West Bank amid Israeli security restrictions. Israeli police said men aged 40 or over, boys under 12 and all women were being allowed to go to the Al-Aqsa site.