June 28th, 2014
08:12 AM ET

The Belief Blog guide to Ramadan

(CNN) - For 1.6 billion people, the holiest month of the year began this past Saturday.

The exact starting date sometimes depends on the locale, but most Muslims across the globe will be fasting, praying and abstaining from sex and smoking during daylight hours. Many call it a time of spiritual purity and rededication to God.

Here's everything you need to know about the observance.

What is Ramadan?

Ramadan is the name of the ninth month in the Hijri, or Islamic calendar. The word derives from the Arabic ramida or ar-ramad meaning a fierce, burning heat.

How important is it?

Ramadan is the most sacred month in the Muslim year, commemorating the revelation of the Holy Quran - the sacred religious text of Islam - by the angel Gabriel to the Prophet Mohammed, according to Islamic tradition.

What does it involve?

The main obligation of the festival is the Sawm, or fast. Believers are expected to refrain from eating and drinking from dawn (fajr) until dusk (maghrib) for the entire month, a discipline that is thought to burn away all sins (hence the origin of the word 'ramadan'). The Sawm is considered one of the five "pillars," or foundations of Islam, the others being the Shahadah (profession of faith), Salat (praying five times daily), Zakat (charity) and Hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca).

When does the festival start?

Ramadan begins with the sighting of the new moon. Because it is calculated according to a lunar rather than a fixed calendar, its precise dates change from year to year, and it can begin at different times in different parts of the world. According to the Fiqh Council of North America, Ramadan started this year on June 28 and will end July 28.

Is there more to Ramadan than fasting?

Yes. As well as eating and drinking, the faithful are expected to abstain from smoking and sexual relations between dawn and dusk, and to abjure lies, slander, greed, covetousness, giving false oath and denouncing someone behind their back (all of these are prohibited throughout the year by Islam. To commit them during Ramadan, however, is considered particularly sinful). Muslims are also expected to recite a special 'night prayer', the taraweeh, in addition to the five daily prayers.

Is every Muslim expected to fast?

No. Young children - before the onset of puberty - are exempted, as are those with an illness or medical condition that would be exacerbated by fasting. If the medical condition is only temporary, the sufferer is required to make up for the days missed once they have recovered. If the condition is permanent, the spiritual benefits of fasting can be obtained by feeding a needy person for a month.

What happens if you break the fast?

If a believer intentionally breaks the fast, or performs any other prohibited activity, they become subject to a penalty, or kaffara (literally, atonement). This can take the form of an extra 60 days of fasting at the end of Ramadan, feeding 60 people in need, or - not quite so easy in the modern world - freeing a slave.

And what happens at the end of Ramadan?

Ramadan officially ends on the first day of the month of Shawwal. This heralds a three-day celebration called Eid al-Fitr, or the "Festival of Breaking Fast", a joyous occasion during which believers attend mosques, give gifts, visit friends and family and decorate their homes.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Eid al-Fitr • Faith • Holidays • Islam • Ramadan • Uncategorized

soundoff (554 Responses)
  1. lionlylamb2013

    Within my youth, I was raised near the Blue Mountains in the countryside of Berks County Pennsylvania. I had neighbors that lived around a 1/4 mile from our family's double wide trailer/home. My two best friends back then were of theSeven Day Adventist faith. Their religion requires the faithful to abstain from any 'modern convenience' from Friday sundown until Saturday sundown. They also do not eat real meat but they satisfy themselves with soybean based imitation meats. So,,, I can relate to the Muslim's Ramadan entailing their fasting month.

    July 12, 2013 at 9:10 pm |
    • Filthy Hind I love to Mithrism lick and talk Islam bunk

      So you pooped your pants every week ?

      July 12, 2013 at 10:24 pm |
    • fyi

      I know a Seventh Day Adventist who is an Emergency Room physician and he refuses to work on the Sabbath. Go figure...

      July 12, 2013 at 10:30 pm |
    • lionlylamb2013

      And the plots thicken,,, "Do you want to play a game? Chess is my forte but checkers might be more your style oh young diplomat of serendipitous misgivings!: 🙂 🙁 🙂

      July 12, 2013 at 10:32 pm |
  2. just a man

    I don't trust American interest in others' culture or traditions.all I see is arrogance and insults,especially against muslims.i have also noticed fall in others' interest in America,online news in my country have stopped reporting about events in America,people simply dislike americans.

    July 12, 2013 at 9:06 pm |
    • Saraswati

      The US has about 5% of the world population. Any disproportionate interest people had in the US was bound to blow over. But any excessive dislike is just as silly as any unusual admiration. It's just a country...you might want to get over whatever issues you have with it.

      July 12, 2013 at 9:24 pm |
    • lionlylamb2013

      It's evening here where I live just a man

      Americans especially the U.S. varieties are such a well rounded mixed breed of immigrants whose children were born there or here since I am a born U.S. citizen. It seems to me that your unsettled conditioning towards U.S. citizenries should be leveraged towards the juveniles of Christendom's folds for they are quick tempered and unknowledgeable due their young ages. The same seems true of the Muslim teenagers.

      July 12, 2013 at 9:55 pm |
    • Dan

      It's called "tall puppy syndrome." You just cant help hating the big dog.

      July 12, 2013 at 9:58 pm |
    • Saraswati

      Within 5 years it'll be China's turn at most hated. They're already starting to wince at the new role.

      July 12, 2013 at 10:00 pm |
  3. Chris M

    I hope all other holy holidays get the same press.....

    July 12, 2013 at 8:53 pm |
    • Saraswati

      Do you guys want a story describing Christmas to people in the US? Do you think they are so unobservant they don't know about holidays celebrated by 90+.% of thr population for which there is a federal holiday?

      July 12, 2013 at 9:27 pm |
  4. sasquatch

    With all the mindless, frenzied wack-jobs in the world, does anyone really believe humanity will survive another century? The thought kind of warms your heart, doesn't it?

    July 12, 2013 at 8:15 pm |
    • lionlylamb2013

      Sassy sasquatch,

      Your delirium regarding a your debonair wisdom is a bit unsettling and leads many down a path of unnecessary inconveniences. Try to be a bit more on positive grounding nomenclatures whenever you can. It will do your mind a world of good.

      July 12, 2013 at 8:29 pm |
  5. Skypilot

    I've visited Pakistan during Ramadan and what I found interesting is that food consumption goes up during that time and the officials have had to set some controls on food prices. After sunset.....observers end up eating more than they would normally consume during the day. In some areas it appeared that they were joining with other families in some sort of communal meals with very large pots. It is an inconvenient time for westerners as restaurants are closed but the food markets are open as usual. You do see people kind-of sneaking off to smoke....a lot of Pakistani's smoke and I can imagine how difficult that must be....

    July 12, 2013 at 8:07 pm |
    • lionlylamb2013

      Hi flying Skypilot,

      I don't get out much these trying days. I've never been outside my country's borders with the exception of visiting Mexico in my youth. It's good to hear about your visiting other nations/countries. 🙂

      July 12, 2013 at 8:35 pm |
  6. Farooqus Caesar

    What a bunch of hypocrites at CNN. You bash Christianity EVERY SINGLE Sunday, yet you post positive things about Islam?

    July 12, 2013 at 7:59 pm |
    • Akira

      Can you give us some examples? Thanks.

      July 12, 2013 at 8:23 pm |
    • dj

      I agree with Farooqus Caesar's statement. I thought CNN was just trying to do equal coverage of different faiths, but truly any time Christianity is mentioned, it's in a negative light. Not too cool.

      July 12, 2013 at 9:28 pm |
    • JimK57

      I have to disagree, I find the blogs fair and unbias.

      July 12, 2013 at 9:39 pm |
    • Saraswati

      Here's one from Christmas. Does the message of St. Nicholas offend you?


      "More than a footnote to the legend of Santa Claus, Nicholas is a model of Christian kindness, an inspiration for charity and a saint to be remembered. He challenges us at this time of year to give not only to those we know and love, but also to those we do not know and especially to those who find themselves in need."

      July 12, 2013 at 9:44 pm |
    • fyi


      * the word is "unbiased"
      - a person can have a bias
      - that person is biased

      (it's the same rule for "prejudice" / "prejudiced")

      July 12, 2013 at 9:54 pm |
    • wisdomchoice

      Funny, I was thinking the exact same thing. Whenever there is a Christian blog post... the panzies come out of the wood work and will bash, bash and bash. Why do I call them panzies? Because.. you see... they know Christians don't attack.. they go for the weaker like a bully would. Ah, but a Muslim... speak ill-will towards Allah and now you got a problem.. they'll stick a knife in your back. So these panzies will be all quiet, calm... and push 'somewhat' on posts pertaining to Islam.

      And for the people that are asking for examples... and/or saying that it is unbiased.. Wow, you got your head in the sand. Do an unbiased review of the blog posts and comments.. It is day and night.. If you can't see it, you're either purposely avoiding looking at it.. or ur just too stupid to 'get it'

      July 13, 2013 at 12:55 am |
    • redzoa

      @wisdomchoice – I'm an equal opportunity religion basher and find them all to be rather ridiculous. But more to the point, if you look around Belief Blog and other sites, you'll see that there's no shortage of disparaging comments targeting Islam and it's Prophet (ridicule be upon him). One of the more famous examples is PZ Myers "Great Desecration."

      If there's perhaps one thing on which Christians and Atheists agree, it's that Islam should receive no special treatment, respect, or deference. Of course, unlike the Christians, Atheists believe the same holds true for Christianity and all the other beliefs founded in magic . . .

      July 13, 2013 at 1:15 am |
  7. relmfoxdale

    Ha, I can't think of this or see this without thinking of "Radaman" from Family Guy.

    July 12, 2013 at 7:50 pm |
  8. uticado

    After reading thru article i noticed one paragraph about breaking fast "subject to penalty" where did that come from? Its untrue 1000000% i was raised as european muslim and i never heard of that there is a penalty ever that was pulled out of somewhere from maybe middle east and u can follow it or not nobody will force you to fast if u dont want to i never did and nobody ever said to me why not because its my choice. I chose not to practice religion because my family is multicultural i eat pork because there is saying in one of the books " its not a sin to what kind of food u put into ur mouth, but the biggest sin is what comes out of it such as gossip, lies and swearing". Everyone has different point of view mine is simple why should i not eat pork if i like it? I was just very thrown on that penalty part giving people wrong info is nit necessary

    July 12, 2013 at 7:35 pm |
    • lionlylamb2013

      Hello uticado,

      It's nice to hear from a multi-cultured individual who was acclimated upon the Muslim faith. So,,, are you uticado seeking any religious affiliation or are you standing firm upon a morally secular rationale?

      July 12, 2013 at 8:47 pm |
    • lionlylamb2013

      uticado wrote to me on Friday, July 12, 2013 at 9:05 pm, declaring, "As being raised into family with different beliefs in my heart i was always in between never really knew of either."

      I can understand your Life dilemma uticado. I too did have little religious interventions growing up in my youth. I am a 58 year old man who has found my own religion which I shall never veer away from but this is not the time for teaching anyone my views and perceptions. Your broken English is much better then my brothers which is quite atrocious especially in his verbal spoken discourse. 🙁

      July 12, 2013 at 9:45 pm |
    • lionlylamb2013

      In re-reading I would like to expound one sentence,

      "I am a 58 year old man who has found my own religion which I shall never veer away from but this is not the time for teaching anyone my religious views and spiritual perceptions."

      July 12, 2013 at 10:49 pm |
  9. lionlylamb2013

    My 'opinions' regarding spiritual religions are leveraged upon the baseline scriptures of the KJVB. Such 'stories' regarding the old-times within our histories of religious understandings are indeed plagued and remitted around many controversial imaginings' garnishments that are hindrances yet for good civil & moral reasoning. Within the Old Testament, God beset among a handful of Judaists, 10 commandments for the old aged Judaic masses to adhere to.

    We who are today's Gentiles have our percentage faithful who aspire toward understandings of Judaism's scriptures. As a Gentile myself, I view my relationships with a spiritualized God being a tempered individualized philosophy. To my lifelong baron views, religion should be an individual aspiration first and a socialized religious demeanor secondly.

    Upon my one hand, I do so Love God's worthwhile natures but on my other hand, I detest God's past desires toward him interfering with our humanism's long ago past ways. Our futures are lain within the passages of passing away timeliness endeavors. Is God truly in charge of our global continuations countrified assemblages or are all of God’s generational kinsmen the one’s being held responsible? July 12, 2013 at 11:49 am

    We "freedom lovers" will never outlast the economical jugular which veins thru the socialistic rhetoric of "seminarians" whose faiths will become as discombobulating issues whereupon the served will be the servile conditionings. It's a dying shame really that religions seem to flourish no matter what the circumstances. Shameful should religions be and all their emotional transparencies that disenfranchise the establishments of secularism and cultured barbarism around "pagan" peasantries. I cry out but whose ear will hear and whose eye will cry? July 12, 2013 at 3:11 pm

    Many nations/countries have left behind their lordships and kingly escapades for but a Caesarian Roman/Greek manifesto governance of sorts. Today's still yet primitive cultures within third world countries are fomenting with their trials and errors in wanting for conditional governing bodies servitudes.

    One could muster up and say that the USA is a fluke of nature being as a nation with many freedoms and civil and moral demeanors. Am I glad to be a proud US citizen? You are damn right I am proud to have been born within a land that belches and burps freedoms! July 12, 2013 at 5:08 pm

    July 12, 2013 at 7:25 pm |
    • sasquatch

      Boy! Somebody sure wore out their thesaurus as they wrote that reply!

      July 12, 2013 at 7:48 pm |
    • Filthy Hind I love to Mithrism lick and talk Islam bunk

      Thesaurus hell. It's a random word generator.

      July 12, 2013 at 7:52 pm |
    • lionlylamb2013

      sassy sasquatch and other posters,

      I use no thesaurus nor any 'random word generator'! I am an elderly old man with many years of vocabulary usage under my belt(s). Be kind and kindness might flourish upon all the folds and flocks of civilizations abundances,,, :-):

      July 12, 2013 at 8:22 pm |
    • uticado

      As being raised into family with different beliefs in my heart i was always in between never really knew of either

      July 12, 2013 at 9:05 pm |
  10. Shakira

    Sad to see so many ignorant and bigoted comments on here.

    July 12, 2013 at 6:27 pm |
    • Roasted almond

      I agree with you, it really is a bit much they go on for days, weeks years, same posters.

      July 12, 2013 at 7:15 pm |
    • Shakira

      No thanks I am happy here in the US where I can be a Muslim freely along side my nieghbors who are Christian, Jewish, Hindu ect with no problems.

      July 12, 2013 at 8:03 pm |
    • Shakira

      @TOOTS the reason I live here in America is I know this might be a shocker to your bigoted brain but I was born and raised here in the US. As was my family for over 5 generations. I see you are one of those people who think you can't be an American and a Muslim, oddly enough you can be both. Thanks for playing the I am a bigot game, try again.

      July 12, 2013 at 9:25 pm |
    • JimK57

      Ignore the hateful posters. Most people here are intelligent.

      July 12, 2013 at 9:27 pm |
    • Shakira

      @Tooter my ancesters came here from England and Holland to get way from the persecution of not being Catholic. That is why they came to American to escape Christian persecution that was rampant in Europe at the time. The problem in many Muslim majority countries is plentiful, corruption, lack of education, poverty, cultural influences being cloaked as "Islam" when it's not. There is nothing in the Qu'ran or heck in any other Muslim country that forbade women from driving that is a cultural influence in Saudi. Unlike many people on here I can see the difference between Islam and the culture. Sad people lik you and others can not.

      July 13, 2013 at 5:00 pm |
  11. eskimoepie77

    "or – not quite so easy in the modern world – freeing a slave." ... just one complaint to the out-of-touch journalist who wrote this article... read the quote.... 27 million enslaved people on the earth TODAY would beg to differ...

    July 12, 2013 at 6:27 pm |
    • Shakira

      True but it's not like there are slaves everywhere you can free by walking outside. It can be done in theory but it isn't as easy to do as in the days of the Prophet either.

      July 12, 2013 at 6:29 pm |
  12. MN

    Thanks for the post and the pictures. A nice way to know one of the 5 pillars in Islam.

    July 12, 2013 at 3:59 pm |
    • JimK57

      I feel the same way MN. But I also feel bad that those of the muslim faith have to read the hateful things posted here.

      July 12, 2013 at 5:06 pm |
    • Anonymity

      Many commentors on here that tend to brag about how open minded they are will also be the ones that will trash other people's beliefs or culture for no good reason.
      This blog was nice in that it explained the in and outs of Ramadan but the h*rdcore on both sides of the religious argument will use it as a platform to express their bias.

      July 12, 2013 at 5:26 pm |
    • Mina

      I've been called names because I believe ALL religions should be able to worship as they please. I don't bash people's beliefs because belief is a very personal thing, and as long as people are not trying to legislate religious beliefs into law, I couldn't care less who believes what.

      July 12, 2013 at 5:48 pm |
    • sasquatch

      Mina, the sad truth is that, even as we compose these posts, huge factions in the muslim world are dead set on legislating beliefs into law (sha'ria).

      July 12, 2013 at 7:52 pm |
    • Mina

      Yes, sasquatch, which is why I am glad that I live in the US, where the delineation of church and state exists. Although that doesn't stop certain people from trying to enforce beliefs on others, sadly.

      July 12, 2013 at 8:46 pm |
  13. IslamaBAD

    How many Sunnis and Shiites are going to die from killing each other after Ramadan is over?

    July 12, 2013 at 3:56 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Probably an amount comparable to the number of Irish that died in the post Easter marches

      Probably less than the victims of the Inquisition or the crusades though. They were the pros at killing for God

      July 12, 2013 at 4:04 pm |
    • lionlylamb2013

      Many folks have died on the accords from governing servitudes due varying religious iconoclasts of aristocratic secularists in many eras of civilizations.

      July 12, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
    • umar

      Far less than those who were killed by wars waged by our president G.W Bush.

      July 12, 2013 at 5:16 pm |
    • Reality

      What instigated the attack on the Twin Towers, Flight 93 and the Pentagon?

      And what drives today's 24/7 mosque/imam-planned acts of terror and horror?

      The koran, Mohammed's book of death for all infidels and Muslim domination of the world by any means.

      Muslims must clean up this book removing said passages admitting that they are based on the Gabriel myth and therefore obviously the hallucinations and/or lies of Mohammed.

      Then we can talk about the safety and location of mosques and what is taught therein especially during ramadan.

      Until then, no Muslim can be trusted anytime or anywhere..................................

      July 12, 2013 at 6:13 pm |
    • Reality

      The 24/7 Sunni-Shiite centuries-old blood feud currently being carried out in Iraq, US troops killed in action, 3,480 and 928 in non combat roles. 102,522 – 112,049 Iraqi civilians killed as of 9/16/2011/, mostly due to suicide bombers, land mines and bombs of various types, http://www.iraqbodycount.org/ and http://www.defenselink.mil/news/casualty.pdf

      "Spanish Inquisition (1478-1834) ◦Cited in Will Durant, The Reformation (1957): ◾Juan Antonio Llorente, General Secretary of the Inquisition from 1789 to 1801, estimated that 31,912 were executed, 1480-1808.
      ◾In contrast to the high estimate cited above, Durant tosses his support to the following low estimates: ◾Hernando de Pulgar, secretary to Queen Isabella, estimated 2,000 burned before 1490.
      ◾An unnamed "Catholic historian" estimated 2,000 burned, 1480-1504, and 2,000 burned, 1504-1758.

      ◦Flexner, Pessimist's Guide to History: 8,800 deaths by burning, 1478-1496
      ◦Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church (1910): 8,800 burnt in 18 years of Torquemada. (acc2 Buckle and Friedländer)
      ◦Motley, Rise of the Dutch Republic: 10,220 burnt in 18 years of Torquemada
      ◦Britannica: 2,000
      ◦Aletheia, The Rationalist's Manual: 35,534 burned.
      ◦Fox's Book of Martyrs, Ch.IV: 32,000 burned
      ◦Paul Johnson A History of the Jews (1987): 32,000 k. by burning; 20,226 k. before 1540
      ◦Wertham: 250,000
      ◦Rummel: 350,000 deaths overall.
      ◦MEDIAN: 8,800 under Torq.; 32,000 all told.
      ◦Punished by all means, not death. ◾Fox: 309,000
      ◾P. Johnson: 341,000
      ◾Motley: 114,401"

      July 12, 2013 at 6:19 pm |
    • lionlylamb2013

      Dear Reality,

      Your bread-N-butter fascination with numbers is truly a daunting conditioning, but,,, alas; many folks never seem to give you any credit for your numbered fascinations. As for my views of your long winded posts, I read some of them and in general just breeze thru them looking for your personalized writings that you write which have no reflection to your numbered séances of mathematical conjuring(s).

      Peace to you Reality and good fortunes to your living ways.

      July 12, 2013 at 7:19 pm |
    • Reality

      Summarizing for the new members of this blog:

      Putting the kibosh on all religion in less than ten seconds: Priceless !!!

      • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Abraham i.e. the foundations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are non-existent.

      • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Moses i.e the pillars of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have no strength of purpose.

      • There was no Gabriel i.e. Islam fails as a religion. Christianity partially fails.

      • There was no Easter i.e. Christianity completely fails as a religion.

      • There was no Moroni i.e. Mormonism is nothing more than a business cult.

      • Sacred/revered cows, monkey gods, castes, reincarnations and therefore Hinduism fails as a religion.

      • Fat Buddhas here, skinny Buddhas there, reincarnated/reborn Buddhas everywhere makes for a no on Buddhism.

      • A constant cycle of reincarnation until enlightenment is reached and belief that various beings (angels?, tinkerbells? etc.) exist that we, as mortals, cannot comprehend makes for a no on Sikhism.

      Added details available upon written request.

      July 12, 2013 at 9:53 pm |
  14. expakistani

    Why is CNN showing so much interest in Muslims who wish to skip lunch?

    July 12, 2013 at 3:41 pm |
    • Cpt. Obvious

      For the same reason that they show interest in a bunch of Christians running around picking up plastic eggs.

      July 12, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
    • realbuckyball

      Do you think Allah is pleased that many of them take appet'ite suppressants to get through the day ?

      July 12, 2013 at 3:53 pm |
    • William Demuth

      No Bucky, but I bet he would support a lot of them picking up some razors and deodorant while they are at the drug store.

      I'm guess it gets a bit intense in some of those mosques.

      July 12, 2013 at 3:58 pm |
    • Richard Diaz, Sr.

      Yeah, these people are sooooo holy and after they get to their feet from kneeling, every chance they get, their precious Quran tells them to kill infidels which means all of America. Wow! How religious and pious can one get?

      July 12, 2013 at 4:04 pm |
    • William Demuth

      So Mr. Diaz, I suspect you are unaware how cheap life is in central and south America nowadays?

      Religion and primitive societies are always a bloody combination

      Their Muslim beliefs may not seem beneficial to you, but do NOT be so disingenuous as to imply Christian behavior is any better.

      We tried that approach in the past, and all the crusades did was spread VD and mass murder across several continents.

      July 12, 2013 at 4:09 pm |
    • lionlylamb2013

      Many nations/countries have left behind their lordships and kingly escapades with but a Caesarian Roman/Greek manifesto of sorts. Today's still yet primitive cultures within third world countries are fomenting with their trials and errors in conditioning governing bodies servitudes. One could muster up and say that the USA is a fluke of nature being as a nation with many freedoms and civil and moral demeanors. Am I glad to be a proud US citizen? You are damn right I am proud to have been born within a land that belches and burps freedoms!

      July 12, 2013 at 5:08 pm |
  15. I AM

    It would be nice if they would not kill anybody for a whole month. They could add that on to their five pillars of faith.

    July 12, 2013 at 3:40 pm |
    • William Demuth

      As long as they only kill each other, who are we westerners to care?

      Besides, if it ever came down to a killing Olympics, these yahoos wouldn't even get a bronze, and the good old USA would be topping the medals chart!

      July 12, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
    • David Nur

      It would be nice during this month if the aggression and killing of Muslims can be stopped. It would be nice of the Israeli tanks and snipers stopped Palestinian aggression. It would be nice if the allied Drones would stop killing innocent muslims.

      How about YOU stop "it would be nice..... " first

      July 12, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
  16. Diane

    I am not Muslim so maybe I just don't understand the practice, but I noticed that not one person is smiling or looks at peace in any of those pictures. I feel radiating of neutral and depressed energies when I look through the pics. I thought maybe I'd at least see a happier disposition. I know that when I feel holy in reverence of God, the spirit that overcomes me is light and glorious. The look on my face becomes happier. Joyous, even! I sense pain though when I look at these pictures. Not sure why. 🙁 If there is a Muslim reading this, please respond to me and tell me why people appear depressed.

    July 12, 2013 at 3:39 pm |
    • William Demuth

      For the same reason the folks at the Vatican look like a lynch mob on Paxil

      Religious people are zombies. These zombies just look different to you because they are brown.

      What we are seeing is merely a reflection of our own racism, but don't worry, we all see thru colored lenses that make the unfamiliar seem depressing, ominous and dirty.

      July 12, 2013 at 3:49 pm |
    • thulsa

      keep drinking the kool aid.

      July 12, 2013 at 3:59 pm |
    • jamal

      you are right that we feel out of enery and tired. its only natural as we are hungry and thirsty. the point of fasting is not to feel joyous, happy, relaxed the point is the opposite. it is to feel the pain, the hunger, the thirsty of the poor. its a month to humble ourselves, to appreciate the bounties of our lord. it will also help us relate to the less fortunate after all in islam both being rich and being poor are both tests from God. for the rich it is a test of what you will do with what God has given you and the poor it is test of patience. the prayers are where we feel happy, stress free, relaxed and you will see us with the feelings you expected to see

      July 12, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
    • Rizwan Khan

      They are not smiling because in most pictures they are concentrating and so much involved in praying, Ramadan brings joy and happiness amongs Muslims, They fast between sunrise till sunset and celebrate EID at the end of the month,another thing about Ramadan is most Muslims gives their 2.5% of savings as a charity (Known as ZAKAT, the third pillar of ISLAM) although you don't have to give ZAKAT in the month of Ramadan, you can give it in any other month, but most Muslims do that since this month is so blessed and any charitable or good deeds will result in higher reward, Another good thing about ZAKAT is you can't give it to your family members, the idea is to help poor, You can help your family members with other means including cash and stuff but it won't come under the category of ZAKAT.

      July 12, 2013 at 4:22 pm |
    • JimK57

      Thank you Jamal and Rizwan Khan for the information.

      July 12, 2013 at 4:55 pm |
    • Ali

      Hi Diane, I don't understand how you got distracted from the main points the article has presented and focused on the one picture ? And no Muslim or nonmuslim can analyze what the people feel in that picture !

      July 12, 2013 at 5:24 pm |
    • Ali

      Ramadan isn't a celebration. Fasting isn't fun in itself. While there is plenty of fun to be had when breaking the fast with family and friends, fasting is about discipline so it can be tough. The real celebration is during Eid, which comes immediately after Ramadan.

      July 12, 2013 at 5:26 pm |
    • Fatimah

      Hello Diane,

      Ramadan is not festival like the article suggests. Ramadan is the month when the Quran was first revealed to our Beloved Prophet (peace be upon him). I am not sure why the writer chose these particular pictures. What I can tell you is that Ramadan is a month is sacrifice, self-reflection, a time where we are striving to correct ourselves from the ills that plague us year round. We are shown girls shyly sitting in a door war, a man making ablution in preparation for prayer, women at prayer, a young boy who is captured standing behind a group of men praying. I guarantee if you knew Muslims personally and visited them this evening for the breaking of their fast. You would not find a more hospitable and happy home. The vast of majority of Muslims live for peace among ourselves and with our non-Muslim neighbors. We come to America for freedom to work, access to education, and freedom to practice our beliefs.

      July 12, 2013 at 5:26 pm |
    • alimaysa

      It is a time of reflection. People are seeking forgiveness for their sins.When you are fasting each good deed is rewarded.People are required to think about all the everday things they take for granted and all the little white lies they tell and gossip they indulge into.A fasting muslim need to make sure that none of this is done during his fast or he will lose the spiritual symbolism of fasting.You are in the presence of god when you pray to him and it is a time of reflection. I would encourage you to attend an Iftar(breaking of fast)party so you can witness thecalm, smiles and serenity that is reflected on believers faces.

      July 12, 2013 at 5:40 pm |
    • d

      you know why they don't look happy. one because their all older people, who've lived hard lives under difficult governments in war torn and problamatic areas. How would you look after living a long life in that enviornment. You'de look the same. We all forget we were born in the USA where we haven't has a physical war on our home front since the civil war. How would you look if you lived their life. give them a break their lives are already difficult and we americans live in luxury no matter what social status we are in compared to the lives they live. So leave the way they look alone. Logically if their are about 1.5 billion musilms, some number like that, there has to be one that is happy.

      July 12, 2013 at 7:39 pm |
    • Diane

      Jamal, Rizwan, Fatimah, Alimaysa

      Thank you for taking the time to convey the true spirit of this occasion. I now see how beautiful it is. I *felt* that spirit, which is everything to me – the proof of the peace. THANK YOU! God bless

      I am really sorry for the persecution that people who practice Islam in such a beautiful way have in their peripheral. I see how strong you must be.

      d, you are right. Forgive me. God bless.

      July 13, 2013 at 10:50 am |
  17. lionlylamb2013

    We "freedom lovers" will never outlast the economical jugular which veins thru the socialistic rhetoric of "seminarians" whose faiths will become a discombobulating issues whereupon the served will be the servile conditionings. It's a dying shame really that religions seem to flourish no matter what the circumstances. Shameful should religions be and all their emotionally transparencies that disenfranchise the establishments of secularism and cultured barbarism around "paganistic" peasantries. I cry out but whose ear will hear and whose eye will cry?

    July 12, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
    • You will never catch a clue, will you?

      Your style of "idiotic ideas in idiotic prose" is quite . . . idiotic.

      July 12, 2013 at 3:18 pm |
    • Henryo

      What's really a dying shame is that atheists are just as painful as extreme christians. I'm glad that I belong to neither of them.

      July 12, 2013 at 3:23 pm |
    • Troy

      Thank you for "wasting" my time with your "moronic" post.

      July 12, 2013 at 3:33 pm |
    • Athy

      It's best to ignore lionlylamb's posts as I do. They contain nothing of value, even if you could understand them.

      July 12, 2013 at 3:38 pm |
    • lionlylamb2013

      Socialized Iconoclasts are "moronally constabulated" and "contructively obtuse".

      July 12, 2013 at 4:43 pm |
    • sasquatch

      lionlylamb2013: Please call your case worker, take your court-ordered medications, then-for God's sake, take a nap!

      July 12, 2013 at 8:02 pm |
  18. William Demuth

    Ok a quick poll is in order

    Does Zimmerman walk, and if he does will the Muslims think it is because he is a Jew???

    July 12, 2013 at 2:59 pm |
    • Basically

      I just do not care about him.

      July 12, 2013 at 3:07 pm |
    • Johnny

      I agree with Basically, someone I don't know shoots someone I don't know 1000 miles away from where I live pretty much everyday, I see no reason to care about this case anymore than I do any of the others.

      July 12, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
    • Filthy Hind I love to Mithrism lick and talk Islam bunk

      He directly caused the death of Trayvon Martin.
      He was told not to follow him.
      He chose to go after him. He liked to play at being a cop. Zimmerman is insane.
      He did.
      Zimmerman STARTED the confrontation.
      It should never have been charged as 2nd degree murder.
      He is guilty of man slaughter.

      July 12, 2013 at 3:29 pm |
    • William Demuth

      I guess the rhetorical joke aspect of the question was missed?

      July 12, 2013 at 3:29 pm |
    • sasquatch

      Demuth, you are hi-LARIOUS! Funniest post yet!

      July 12, 2013 at 8:05 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Or will the baptists riot because Zimmerman is a catholic?

      July 12, 2013 at 8:15 pm |
  19. Mohammed

    How many people will the muzzrats kill this year. Islam and muslims are utterly disgusting.

    July 12, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
    • Honey Badger Don't Care

      How many people will our forces kiII this year? "Collateral damage" isnt very collateral when it's your kids.

      July 12, 2013 at 2:51 pm |
    • Reality

      Some examples:

      As the koranic/mosque driven acts of terror and horror continue:

      The Muslim Conquest of India – 11th to 18th century

      ■"The likely death toll is somewhere between 2 million and 80 million. The geometric mean of those two limits is 12.7 million. "

      and the 19 million killed in the Mideast Slave Trade 7C-19C by Muslims.

      and more recently

      1a) 179 killed in Mumbai/Bombay, 290 injured

      1b) Assassination of Benazir Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh

      2) 9/11, 3000 mostly US citizens, 1000’s injured

      3) The 24/7 Sunni-Shiite centuries-old blood feud currently being carried out in Iraq, US troops killed in action, 3,480 and 928 in non combat roles. 102,522 – 112,049 Iraqi civilians killed as of 9/16/2011/, mostly due to suicide bombers, land mines and bombs of various types, http://www.iraqbodycount.org/ and http://www.defenselink.mil/news/casualty.pdf

      4) Kenya- In Nairobi, about 212 people were killed and an estimated 4000 injured; in Dar es Salaam, the attack killed at least 11 and wounded 85.[2]

      5) Bali-in 2002-killing 202 people, 164 of whom were foreign nationals, and 38 Indonesian citizens. A further 209 people were injured.

      6) Bali in 2005- Twenty people were killed, and 129 people were injured by three bombers who killed themselves in the attacks.

      7) Spain in 2004- killing 191 people and wounding 2,050.

      8. UK in 2005- The bombings killed 52 commuters and the four radical Islamic suicide bombers, injured 700.

      9) The execution of an eloping couple in Afghanistan on 04/15/2009 by the Taliban.

      10) – Afghanistan: US troops 1,385 killed in action, 273 killed in non-combat situations as of 09/15/2011. Over 40,000 Afghan civilians killed due to the dark-age, koranic-driven Taliban acts of horror

      11) The killing of 13 citizen soldiers at Ft. Hood by a follower of the koran.

      12) 38 Russian citizens killed on March 29, 2010 by Muslim women suicide bombers.

      13) The May 28, 2010 attack on a Islamic religious minority in Pakistan, which have left 98 dead,

      14) Lockerbie is known internationally as the site where, on 21 December 1988, the wreckage of Pan Am Flight 103 crashed as a result of a terrorist bomb. In the United Kingdom the event is referred to as the Lockerbie disaster, the Lockerbie bombing, or simply Lockerbie. Eleven townspeople were killed in Sherwood Crescent, where the plane's wings and fuel tanks plummeted in a fiery explosion, destroying several houses and leaving a huge crater, with debris causing damage to a number of buildings nearby. The 270 fatalities (259 on the plane, 11 in Lockerbie) were citizens of 21 nations.

      15 The daily suicide and/or roadside and/or mosque bombings in the terror world of Islam.

      16) Bombs sent from Yemen by followers of the koran which fortunately were discovered before the bombs were detonated.

      17) The killing of 58 Christians in a Catholic church in one of the latest acts of horror and terror in Iraq.

      18) Moscow airport suicide bombing: 35 dead, 130 injured. January 25, 2011.

      19) A Pakistani minister, who had said he was getting death threats because of his stance against the country's controversial blasphemy law, was shot and killed Wednesday, 3/2/2011

      20) two American troops killed in Germany by a recently radicalized Muslim, 3/3/2011

      21) the kidnapping and apparent killing of a follower of Zoraster in the dark world of Islamic Pakistan.

      22) Shariatpur, Bangladesh (CNN 3/30/2011) - Hena Akhter's last words to her mother proclaimed her innocence. But it was too late to save the 14-year-old girl. Her fellow villagers in Bangladesh's Shariatpur district had already passed harsh judgment on her. Guilty, they said, of having an affair with a married man. The imam from the local mosque ordered the fatwa, or religious ruling, and the punishment: 101 lashes delivered swiftly, deliberately in public. Hena dropped after 70 and died a week later.

      23) "October 4, 2011, 100 die as a truck loaded with drums of fuel exploded Tuesday at the gate of compound housing several government ministries on a busy Mogadishu street. It was the deadliest single bombing carried out by the al Qaeda-linked al-Shabab group in Somalia since their insurgency began. "

      o 24) Mon Jun 4, 2012 10:18am EDT
      BAGHDAD (Reuters) – A suicide bomber detonated an explosive-packed car outside a Shi'ite Muslim office in central Baghdad on Monday, killing at least 26 people and wounding more than 190 in an attack bearing the hallmarks of Iraq's al Qaeda affiliate.
      The bombing on a Shi'ite religious office comes at a sensitive time, with the country's fractious Shi'ite, Sunni and Kurdish blocs locked in a crisis that threatens to unravel their power-sharing deal and spill into sectarian tensions."

      25) BURGAS, Bulgaria | Thu Jul 19, 2012 11:27am EDT

      (Reuters) – A suicide bomber carried out an attack that killed seven people in a bus transporting Israeli tourists in Bulgaria, the interior minister said on Thursday, and Israel said Iranian-backed Hezbollah militants were to blame.

      26 ) September 12, 2012
      Envoy to Libya dies in rocket blast

      27) Boston Marathon horror – April 2013, four dead, hundreds injured and maimed for life. A
      Continued below:

      July 12, 2013 at 2:55 pm |
    • William Demuth

      If one considers the Jewish vs. Palestinian body count, or the American vs. Libyan. Iraq, Somali, Lebanese and Iranian body counts COMBINED, we seem to have far better mastered the mass killing thing than they have.

      July 12, 2013 at 2:55 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Hey Reality

      Can't you just post Yada, Yada, Yada.... Just to save time?

      July 12, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
    • Jessk

      Indeed, "reality" = yada, yada...nobody read his posts. They are like run-on schizoid ramblings.

      July 12, 2013 at 3:26 pm |
    • Honey Badger Don't Care

      Yea, what he said. Nobody reads your cut-and-pastes.

      July 12, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
    • Truth

      I know right? Who wants to read a long list of facts over someone's short opinionated post?

      July 12, 2013 at 3:56 pm |
    • Reality


      The Twenty (or so) Worst Things GOD'S CREATURES Have Done to Each Other:

      M. White, http://necrometrics.com/warstatz.htm#u (required reading)

      The Muslim Conquest of India

      "The likely death toll is somewhere between 2 million and 80 million. The geometric mean of those two limits is 12.7 million. "

      Rank …..Death Toll ..Cause …..Century……..(Religions/Groups involved)*

      1. 63 million Second World War 20C (Christians et al and Communists/atheists vs. Christians et al, Nazi-Pagan and "Shintoists")

      2. 40 million Mao Zedong (mostly famine) 20C (Communism)

      3. 40 million Genghis Khan 13C (Shamanism or Tengriism)

      4. 27 million British India (mostly famine) 19C (Anglican)

      5. 25 million Fall of the Ming Dynasty 17C (Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Chinese folk religion)

      6. 20 million Taiping Rebellion 19C ( Confucianism, Buddhism and Chinese folk religion vs. a form of Christianity)

      7. 20 million Joseph Stalin 20C (Communism)

      8. 19 million Mideast Slave Trade 7C-19C (Islam)

      9. 17 million Timur Lenk 14C-15C

      10. 16 million Atlantic Slave Trade 15C-19C (Christianity)

      11. 15 million First World War 20C (Christians vs. Christians)

      12. 15 million Conquest of the Americas 15C-19C (Christians vs. Pagans)

      13. 13 million Muslim Conquest of India 11C-18C

      14. 10 million An Lushan Revolt 8C

      15. 10 million Xin Dynasty 1C

      16. 9 million Russian Civil War 20C (Christians vs Communists)

      17. 8 million Fall of Rome 5C (Pagans vs. Christians)

      18. 8 million Congo Free State 19C-20C (Christians)

      19. 7½ million Thirty Years War 17C (Christians vs Christians)

      20. 7½ million Fall of the Yuan Dynasty 14C

      July 12, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
    • Candiano

      If you haven't noticed, any criticism just makes Reality post more of his vanity writing. It's best to ignore the self-important man.

      July 12, 2013 at 5:33 pm |
    • eskimoepie77

      REALITY ? .... do you even know the texts? Adam fell and the world right along with him... guess what... it's all still fallen,,, you can bitterly list all the broken nasty things that happened as a result of broken people in a broken world making awful choices and all you accomplish in the the process is to display how bitter your heart is and why the world needs God more than ever...

      July 12, 2013 at 6:21 pm |
  20. Maryanne


    July 12, 2013 at 2:36 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Who put the ram in the ramadandingdong?

      Who was that man, I like to shake his hand?

      July 12, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      He made my baby marry me against her will.

      July 12, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
    • Honey Badger Don't Care

      It was MOOOHAMAD!!!

      July 12, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Always can count on Doc to know Lyrics

      July 12, 2013 at 2:53 pm |
    • sasquatch

      Oh, Demuth! You just topped yourself with that one, sir!

      July 12, 2013 at 8:09 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.