The Muslim holy month of Ramadan has begun for the world's 1.2 billion Muslims.

A month in which Muslims fast from dawn until sunset, Ramadan began on August 22 for most in the Middle East, Asia, and the US, and a day earlier in Libya, Turkey and for some Lebanese Shias.

Ramadan begins with the first sighting of the new crescent moon in the ninth month of the lunar Islamic calendar, during which Muslims abstain from daytime eating, drinking, smoking and intimate relations.

Families and friends get up early for suhoor, the pre-dawn meal, and at the end of a day of fasting, gather for iftar, the breaking of the fast at sunset.

A time for spiritual reflection and self-discipline, Muslims believe Ramadan to be the month in which the first verses of the Quran, Islam's holy book, were revealed to the Prophet Muhammad more than 1,400 years ago.

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Source: Al Jazeera