The evening of May 15 marks the beginning of Ramadan, a holy month for all Muslims. Every year, Muslims look forward to Ramadan with great excitement. It’s a time characterized by religious zeal and deeper community with other Muslims.
The word “Ramadan” comes from the Arabic root word for “parched thirst”. It is expressive of the hunger and thirst Muslims feel while they fast from all food, drink and other physical desires from dawn to sunset for 30 days. Muslims consider fasting as an act of faith and worship towards Allah and as atonement for sins.
A typical day starts with getting up early and sharing a meal together before the fast begins at dawn. Prayers are offered throughout the day until the fast is finally broken at sunset. Then, participants will eat together and go to the Mosque, where a part of the Qur’an will be read and a final prayer offered.
The last ten days of Ramadan are particularly significant, especially the 27th night called the ‘Night of Power’ or the ‘Night of Destiny.’ This is when Muslims believe the prophet Muhammad received the first revelation of the Qur’an.
Ramadan is a time for Muslims to purify the soul, refocus attention on God and practice self-discipline and sacrifice. Through fasting, a Muslim sympathizes with those who are hungry and have very little to eat every day. Through increased devotion, Muslims seek to draw closer to their Creator. Through increased charity, Muslims foster generosity toward others.
For 12 years, Belpres has joined with Christians around the world in praying for Muslims during Ramadan using the “30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World” guide. Each day, the guide introduces you to specific Muslim people and places where they live, like Cairo, Egypt. You’ll read the stories of Muslims who have encountered Jesus during this holy month and learn specific things to pray.
“We are in the midst of the greatest turning of Muslims to Christ in 14 centuries of Muslim-Christian interaction. More than 80% of all the Muslim movements to Christ in history have occurred in the past two to three decades, a time period that coincides with the modern prayer movement for Muslims. At the heart of this modern prayer movement is 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World.” David Garrison, author of ‘A Wind in the House of Islam.’
Feel free to pick up a copy of the “30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World” on the info-walls around BelPres today or download a PDF version at www.30daysprayer.com. Join the great movement of Christians who are praying throughout Ramadan.