For my friends and colleagues who are Muslim, we are in the middle of the month-long fast of Ramadan. Between dawn and dusk, observant Muslims from the age of 12 fast. And this is a serious fast -- no food, no drink, no smoking. They typically have a pre-dawn meal at home and then have a major meal after sunset. The month commemorates the revelation of the Koran to the prophet Mohammed. Ramadan is a period of spiritual purification, seeking inner peace through prayer, fasting and charity (even more than the rest of the year). This goes on until Ramadan ends (about Oct. 24, depending on where in the world you are), with the feast of Eid al-Fitr, literally "Breaking the Fast." This is one of two most important Muslim festivals, the other being the Hajj. Ramadan began this year on Sept. 23, the same day that Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashana began. Peace be to all, because as the Muslims (at least used to) say, Allah is one. What a shame there is such enmity with our brothers who all believe they descend from Abraham!
The illustration is a current U.S. stamp celebrating Eid al-Fitr, from the website http://www.factmonster.com/spot/ramadan1.html