Islam claims that there are specific rituals that act as pillars in its religion. Muslims are required to perform them in obedience to God’s command. Ramadan involves the third pillar of Islamic ritual practice, the fast.
Ramadan is the sacred month of saum, the fast, and is the ninth month in the Islamic lunar calendar, “the best of all months,” when the Quran began to be revealed to Mohammed. Today, it is devoted to the fast, during which Muslims are supposed to fast from sunrise to sunset. Ramadan means “the scorcher,” suggesting it originally fell in summer.
During Ramadan, which falls this year (2018) in America from May 15—June14, Muslims are not allowed to eat, smoke, drink, etc. as long as there is daylight. However, Ramadan is considered a month of feasting and rejoicing, and Muslims actually make up the meals by feasting at night. The month ends with a celebration breaking the fast called Eid-al-Fitr, where gifts are exchanged and friends and neighbors are invited to share a meal. According to a 2013 global study by the Pew Forum, 93 percent of Muslims around the world fast during Ramadan.
Ramadan presents an opportune time for Christians to pray for Muslims because many of them are much more religious during Ramadan and are seeking truth, and answers from God. This provides Christians a chance to pray specifically that the Lord would move mightily in the lives of Muslims, visiting them in dreams or visions, and ultimately drawing them to the truth of Christ.
The are many short videos that help explain what the month of Ramadan means to Muslims, and you can find one here and here. As a believer in Jesus, what could it mean for you?
Thoughts to process with people
- What should the posture of our hearts be before God at this time?
- What should the posture of our hearts be toward those seeking to please God through personal discipline at this time?
Thoughts to process with God
- Am I tempted to take some credit for my position in Christ? Lord, renew and increase my esteem for Your grace and mercy over me.
- Do I take my sin too lightly? Holy Spirit, convict me and grow me in obedience.
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