"If there is electricity or no electricity, people do fast, and they fast with patience," said Shah Mohammed, who sells nuts in the Pakistani capital of Islamabad. "Allah gives you patience."
In Bangladesh too, Ramadan is likely to start Saturday. However, a national moon sighting committee headed by state minister for religious affairs was to sit Friday evening to make an official declaration.
Parts of India, where about 13 percent of the 1.2 billion people are Muslim, started Saturday, including New Delhi and the Indian portion of Kashmir.
The largest Muslim rebel group in the predominantly Catholic Philippines said fasting there would begin Saturday.
A cease-fire has curtailed fighting and fostered peace talks between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front in recent years. Rebel spokesman Von Al Haq said the guerrillas would observe Ramadan but still defend themselves if attacked.
The Philippine military traditionally orders troops to refrain from offensives that could disrupt Ramadan in the southern regions where minority Muslims live. Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda released a statement expressing solidarity with and goodwill toward Filipino Muslims in the holy month.
Associated Press writers Sean Yoong in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Thanyarat Doksone in Bangkok; Muneeza Naqvi in New Delhi; Rebecca Santana in Islamabad, Pakistan; Jim Gomez in Manila, Philippines; and Farid Hossain in Dhaka, Bangladesh, contributed to this report.
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