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All over the world Muslims have begun their holiest month of the year by fasting from dawn until dusk each day, broken each evening by large, communal meals. The start of Ramadan is earlier each year because it is calculated based on the sighting of the new moon, which begins the Muslim lunar month. Muslims use the time to reevaluate their lives through the scope of Islamic doctrine. -- Lloyd Young (41 photos total)

A Palestinian reads from the Koran during the dawn prayer on the first day of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan at a mosque in the West Bank city of Jenin on July 20. Muslims from Morocco to Afghanistan are steeling themselves for the toughest Ramadan in more than three decades with no food or drink, not even a sip of water, for 14 hours a day during the hottest time of the year. (Mohammed Ballas/Associated Press)


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