Entries tagged with “Ramadan”.


Ramadan began over the weekend.

A few years ago I wrote this post explaining a little about Ramadan.  The more we’ve been engaging with our Somali/Muslim neighbors the more we have learned the importance of Ramadan.   The 30  day celebration is most known for its daytime fasting ritual but there is a lot more depth to it.

I really liked the below message from President Obama delivered on the eve of Ramadan.

For more information and links read this post.


This comes from the 30 Days group which offers a prayer guide for the month of Ramadan:

Somalia: Hard realities for Muslim men and families
For Tuesday 23 September, Ramadan 2008. “Loving Muslims Through Prayer”

Total Somali population: 9,119,000 (July 2007 est.)

Some men have found a way to escape from the harsh realities of Somali life. Khat (Catha Edulis) is an evergreen shrub that grows in the highlands of Ethiopia, Kenya and Yemen. Chewing the leaves of khat has a stimulating, narcotic effect, and like most drugs, khat is addictive and must be consumed daily. The majority of Somali men are addicted to khat, which has a huge influence on their life in Somali society.

Khat chewers suffer from various health problems, yet those who really suffer the most are their families. Men often spend most of their money on khat, yet their families go hungry.

[Full Text]

Prayer Starters:

  • Pray that the bondage of khat would be broken. Social pressure encouraging men to chew khat is huge. Strength, wisdom and courage are needed to break this national addiction.
  • Pray for wives and children to know how to cope with the absence of men.
  • Pray that Somali society will experience God’s healing of families and come to know true fatherhood and the Father in Heaven.
  • Pray with the whole family for Somali families, giving God special thanks for Dads and Mums.

+ Google Map Link: Somalia, East Africa

+ YouTube Video Link: Somalia, land of Need [18: 34]

+ Gospel Language Link: The Look Listen and Live series is a discipleship series in the Somali language


You are welcome and encouraged to forward these e-mails to others.
This is an excerpt from the 30-Days Muslim Prayer Focus booklet, also available via our Book shop.

Learn more about Ramadan here.

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Ramadan is a month in the Islamic lunar calendar as well as an Islamic holy celebration.  According to the Idiots Guide to the World’s Religions:

Ramadan is … a period of religious observance, adults embark on a rigidly observed period of abstention, reflection, and purification.

An Islamic site called Submitters describes the daily tasks of Ramadan:

The daily period of fasting starts at the breaking of dawn and ends at the setting of the sun. In between — that is, during the dawn and daylight hours — Muslims  (Submitters) totally abstain from food, drink, smoking, and sex. The usual practice is to have a pre-fast meal (suhoor) before dawn and a post-fast meal (iftar) after sunset.

Within the month of Ramadan, which falls on Sept 13 – Oct 13, are many different celebrations and events. It can be divided into 3 ten day segments known as Rahmah (mercy), Maghfirah (forgiveness), and Najah (salvation).

Laylat al-Qadr is traditionally the 27th night of Ramadan and represents the anniversary of when Muhammad first was given parts of the Qur’an and also the anniversary of when the Qur’an was delivered to earth. This “Night of Power” falls on October 7 this year. The last major celebration of Ramadan is Id al-Fitr which is the feast at the end of the fast and lasts for three days! It is also a time of almsgiving.

FASTING

I always thought of Ramadan as a period of fasting and this is definitely the main part of the celebration, during the daytime. Wikipedia describes the fasting

The fast is intended to be an exacting act of deep personal worship in which Muslims seek a raised level of closeness to God. The act of fasting is said to redirect the heart away from worldly activities, its purpose being to cleanse the inner soul and free it from harm. Properly observing the fast is supposed to induce a comfortable feeling of peace and calm. It also allows Muslims to practice self-discipline, sacrifice, as well as sympathy for those who are less fortunate, intending to make Muslims more generous and charitable.

This is a different style fast than we as Christians are used to.  This is made even clearer by the Crescent Project who makes it very clear that Muslims “make up their fasts at night”, instead of completely abstaining for the 30 day period. It is important to note at this point that Islam is very much a works-based salvation instead of salvation through grace.

It is important that Muslims become aware of their need for grace. We should be praying for the millions of Muslims around the world. To get e-mailed prayer updates visit 30 Days of Prayer they also have a neat interactive site. Some specific prayer requests from the Crescent Project are:

  • Pray that God will act during the Night of Power so that people may have a revelation of Jesus.  Read some real stories about this.
  • Pray for those who are genuinely seeking the Lord’s help. may he give them the help they need. Ps 34:18
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