We are quickly approaching the Islamic month of Ramadan in which Muslims fast from dawn until sunset. Sawm (fasting) is one of the five pillars of Islam and all healthy bodied adult Muslims are expected to fast during this month. Ramadan is expected to start on Sunday 5th May and end on Tuesday 4th June.
The month of fasting is to help Muslims devote themselves to their faith and come closer to Allah. It is a time of prayer, blessing, and family commitments. Muslims are expected to abstain from all drinking, eating, smoking, and evil thoughts and deeds. They will also give more to charities during this time either through financial giving or through volunteering.
They will break the fast at sunset (known as Iftar) usually with a date and a glass of water after which families will gather together for a large evening meal. Just before dawn they will eat again (known as Suhoor) to prepare them for the day ahead. The night of Laylat al-Qadr, which is meant to be roughly the 27th day of Ramadan, is seen as the holiest night of the year for Muslims. It is believed that it was on this day that Allah revealed the Qu’ran to the Prophet Mohammed. Many Muslims will spend the whole night in prayer as their prayers on this night will be equal to a thousand months’ worth of prayer.
Ramadan is finished with a celebration known as Eid al-Fitr which lasts for 2 days. Muslims will go to the mosque for prayers and celebrate during this time. They will also spend time with family and friends, eating and giving presents.
During this month it is important that we, as Christians, are praying for the Muslim world. As Muslims spend the month seeking and praying, we need to be asking God to reveal himself to them. It is a time of spiritual openness and we need to be praying that Muslim friends, neighbours, colleagues and strangers, will become curious as to who Jesus is and seek Him.
Our current edition of MEMO includes a Ramadan Prayer Guide in which we equip you to pray for the Muslim world through specific dates and prayer points. It will also include popular recipes from the Middle East, so that you can share them with your Muslim neighbours, family and church groups.
Join us in praying that:
As Muslims pray throughout Ramadan, they would start asking questions and start searching for Jesus.
Christians in the Middle East, and across the world, would have the wisdom to know how to talk to Muslims during this time.
The Holy Spirit would speak to Muslims and guide them to exploring Christianity.
As Muslims search on the internet and watch satellite television, they would come across Christian media that speaks to them and inspires them to ask questions about Islam.
Our media projects, such as On Bended Knee and Got IT! would help to explain what it means to be a Christian and that these videos would be frequently watched and broadcast during Ramadan.