Most of the Muslim world will start fasting on Saturday as Islam's holy month of Ramadan begins.
Muslims in countries including Algeria, Egypt, Indonesia, Iraq, Sudan, Syria, Somalia, the Gulf Arab States and the Palestinian territories will begin fasting at daybreak on Saturday.
Islam follows a lunar calendar, so the start of the holiday is determined by the appearance of the new moon. Religious leaders say no moon was sighted Thursday, so Friday was designated the last day of the month preceding Ramadan.
During Ramadan, Muslims are expected to abstain from eating, drinking, smoking and sexual relations from dawn until sunset.
The ninth month of the Islamic calendar, Ramadan marks the time more than 1,400 years ago when Muslims believe the words of Islam's holy book, the Koran, were revealed to the Prophet Mohammed.