Muslims around the world ushered in Ramadan, a month of dawn-to-dusk fasting, prayers and spiritual reflection, on Monday.

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, which lasts up to 29 or 30 days. It is the Islamic month of fasting, in which participating Muslims refrain from eating and drinking during daylight hours.

During the holy month of Ramadan, Muslims are encouraged to establish a more intimate connection to God through prayer, fast, good deeds, charity and kindness to others. While it is a period of being trained in qualities such as patience, submissiveness to God, spirituality, and goodwill toward men, the tradition teaches that obscene and irreligious sights and sounds must be avoided during the month. Muslims are certainly forbidden from fighting during Ramadan.

However, this year, unrest and government crackdowns in Arab countries cast a pall on the beginning of Ramadan. As the struggle for change continues, Arab rebels fear that if they stop fighting during this period, they will be brutally attacked again and killed.

Check out beautiful pictures of Ramadan:

[Also Read] Lifesaving Heat Wave Safety Tips, First Aid for Life-threatening Heat Disorder Symptoms