Starting today, 6th June and going through to 5th July, Muslims around the world celebrating the holy month of Ramadan.
Vendors in large markets in Pakistan are selling dates with which to break the fast, and lights have been hung across streets in Cairo.
Ramadan’s start date changes every year because Islam uses a lunar calendar and the holiday always falls during the calendar’s ninth month, which is when scholars believe the Quran, the holy text in Islam, was first revealed.
For the world’s more than 1.6 billion Muslims, Ramadan marks a period of fasting from dawn until dusk, including abstaining from both water and food. It is also a time of intensified prayer and alms giving. Fasting, alms giving and prayers are all part of the five pillars of the Islamic faith.
Those taking part in fasting often wake up before dawn to eat and drink ahead of their day long fast. At sundown, the fast is broken with the iftar meal, which usually consists of dates, sweet drinks and desserts. For those Muslims living in the northern hemisphere, this year’s fast falls over the longest days of summer and fasting could last as much as 17 hours a day.
Many Muslims begin taking part in Ramadan when they have turn 12, and believe that fasting builds a stronger connection with Allah. For many Muslims, this month is a time of genuinely seeking God and to be found acceptable by Him.
- Pray for the Muslim world as they begin this month of Ramadan. Pray that many will truly encounter God, through the Holy Spirit, and come to know and accept the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ as the way of salvation.
- Pray for peace across the Muslim world over this time, as ISIL and associated factions often see Ramadan as a time to step up their violence.
- Pray for Christians living in the Muslim world, who often experience greater spiritual oppression at this time, Pray for protection, and also that they will have opportunities to build bridges of relationships with their Muslim neighbours.
- Pray for many Muslims to come to know Christ, and for families, communities and nations to be transformed by the Holy Spirit.
Ephesians 2 vs 8 – 9: “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God – not the result of works, so that no one may boast.“