Holy month of Ramzan begins with fasting, feasting and faithhttps://indianexpress.com/photos/india-news/ramadan-2018-holy-month-of-ramzan-begins-with-fasting-feasting-and-faith/

Holy month of Ramzan begins with fasting, feasting and faith

Fasting is considered obligatory in Islam, although there are exceptions for children, the elderly, the sick, those traveling and women who are pregnant or nursing.

Ramadan 2018: Holy month of Ramzan begins with fasting, feasting and faith

Hundreds of millions of Muslims around the world began fasting on May 17 from sunrise to sunset for the month of Ramadan, a time of contemplation, fortitude and intense worship. (Express Photo by Amit Chakravarty)

Ramadan 2018: Holy month of Ramzan begins with fasting, feasting and faith

Muslims all over the world fast from dawn to dusk on Ramadan, which is the ninth month in the Muslim calendar and is considered a holy period. (Express photo by Karma Sonam Bhutia)

Ramadan 2018: Holy month of Ramzan begins with fasting, feasting and faith

The objective of the fast is to remind the suffering of the less fortunate and to bring the followers closer to God. As mentioned in the holy book, Quran, Muslims, during this month, are supposed to donate alms to the poor and feed the hungry. (Express photo by Karma Sonam Bhutia)

Ramadan 2018: Holy month of Ramzan begins with fasting, feasting and faith

An elderly Indian Muslim points towards the moon in the evening sky on the first day of the holy month of Ramadan in Kolkata on May 17. (Source: AP)

Ramadan 2018: Holy month of Ramzan begins with fasting, feasting and faith

A child learns to read the Quran at Jama Masjid mosque in Delhi. (Source: AP)

Ramadan 2018: Holy month of Ramzan begins with fasting, feasting and faith

Fasting is considered obligatory in Islam, although there are exceptions for children, the elderly, the sick, those traveling and women who are pregnant or nursing.(Source: PTI)

Ramadan 2018: Holy month of Ramzan begins with fasting, feasting and faith

Muslims offer prayers on the first day of Ramadan at Budshah Chowk in Srinagar on May 17. (Source: PTI)

Ramadan 2018: Holy month of Ramzan begins with fasting, feasting and faith

To prepare for the fast, Muslims wake in the night for a pre-dawn meal called "suhoor" or "sehri."(Source: PTI)

Ramadan 2018: Holy month of Ramzan begins with fasting, feasting and faith

A man sells Haleem, a kind of stew, to fasting Muslims at his roadside stall on the first day of the holy month of Ramadan in Kolkata on May 17. (Source: AP)

Ramadan 2018: Holy month of Ramzan begins with fasting, feasting and faith

During this auspicious occasion, Muslims across the world celebrate the holy month commemorating the first revelation of the Holy Quran to prophet Muhammad, by observing rigorous fasting from dawn until dusk.They then indulge in a sumptuous meal, known as Iftar. (Express Photo by Pavan Khengre)

Ramadan 2018: Holy month of Ramzan begins with fasting, feasting and faith

It's also meant to be a month of gratitude in which the faithful are reminded of the suffering of those less fortunate. (Source: AP)

Ramadan 2018: Holy month of Ramzan begins with fasting, feasting and faith

Just as the sun begins to set, Muslims traditionally break their fast as the Prophet Muhammad did some 1,400 years ago, by eating sweet dates and drinking water, followed by a sunset prayer. At night, many fill mosques for evening prayers, known as "taraweeh." (Express photo by Karma Sonam Bhutia)

People offer prayers at the historic Washi Ullah mosque on the first Friday of Ramadan, in Allahabad. (Source: PTI)

Ramadan 2018: Holy month of Ramzan begins with fasting, feasting and faith

After these intense nights of prayer, the end of Ramadan is met with a three-day holiday called Eid al-Fitr. Children often receive new clothes, gifts and cash. (Express Photo by Pavan Khengre)

Muslim devotees offer prayer at Jama Masjid on the first Friday of Ramadan, in Shimla on Friday. (Express Photo by Pradeep Kumar)