Thursday marks 1st day of Ramadan: Dar al Iftaa

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"It's something we're used to at breakfast time and it's also great at Ramadan", she said.

Soltani is the son of an Iranian Muslim who emigrated to the United States and married a white Catholic from Olathe, Kan., while they were attending the University of Kansas.

Muslims shun food and even water during the month, which this year falls on especially long summer days for those who live in northern countries.

He added that fasting is simply an interpretation of abstract orders from Allah (God) by Muslims, rather than a divine law that must be followed.

To break the fast, a large, sumptuous feast known as "iftar" is prepared. And a full 22% of them - 1.6 billion - are fasting from sunup to sundown.

Astronomical calculations, though can be helpful, but not valid to decide the start of Ramadan or any month of the Islamic Calendar.

"We consider this the best time of the year". It also organizes nightly prayers during Ramadan.

They are also encouraged to observe the five daily prayers on time and to use their downtime just before breaking their fast at sunset to recite Quran and intensify remembrance of God. For Ibrahim Radi, an Egyptian-American, that is not a problem. To him belong the most lovely names ...

His wife, Nadia, told VOA she misses big family gatherings in Morocco.

"Oh you who believe!"

Here's everything you need to know about Ramadan, when does Ramadan end and what is Eid al-Fitr? Amina Tanboush of Senegal describes some of those duties. This Ramadan comes amidst true humanitarian tragedies that those several Muslim countries with wars, divide and conflict violating the spirit of the message of peace, gatherers, unity, love and coexistence.

Among the activities are "open houses" at Islamic centers and local mosques. In Ramadan, Muslims' souls will be freed.

The biggest challenge, she says, is staying hydrated. It is a time of self-examination and increased religious devotion.

ReutersMuslims prays inside a mosque during the fasting month of Ramadan in Mumbai, India, June 28, 2016. Is there anything you should do so you don't come across as insensitive to your fasting friends in the US? This means that the Holy month is to start off from May 17 in many Muslim countries of the world.

Mohamed Elshinnawi reported this story for That's why we're standing a foot away from you when we talk. Write to us in the Comments section, and visit our Facebook page.