What is Ramadan?

Taken from 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim world.

With over 1.567 billion adherents from diverse cultures across the world, Islam embraces a multitude of traditions, beliefs, and customs. In the same way that Christianity and Judaism have different sects and denominations, the customs and practices of Muslims can differ greatly—as do the interpretations of Islam’s central commandments.

It is important when getting to know Muslims not to make assumptions about their beliefs based on what you may have read on the internet or seen in the news. Every individual Muslim is on their own journey of faith, influenced by their family, culture, and experiences.

Most Muslims however will acknowledge the Five Pillars of Islam as being important obligations to live a good and responsible life according to Islam.

  • Shahada: sincerely reciting the Muslim profession of faith
  • Salat: performing ritual prayers in the proper way five times a day
  • Zakat: paying an alms (charity) tax to benefit the poor and the needy
  • Sawm: fasting during Ramadan
  • Hajj: pilgrimage to Mecca

The purpose of the Fast

Sawm is the Arabic word for ‘fasting’ and literally means ‘to refrain.’ According to tradition, it was during Ramadan that the Qurán was revealed to the prophet Muhammad. Muslims mark this important event by fasting each day from sunrise to sunset. The fast is a strict one—no food and no drink of any kind, not even water. Smoking and sexual activity are forbidden and Muslims must make an extra effort to avoid anything unlawful or impure. It is a time to cleanse body and soul, to pray more earnestly, to read the Qurán, and to reflect on God.

It is also a social and joyful time, a time to be charitable, and to make peace with one another, and to celebrate and share food with families and friends after sunset.

The month of Ramadan is determined by the Islamic calendar. This means Ramadan moves approximately 11 days earlier in the Gregorian calendar every year. This year Ramadan is June 6-July 5.

Why pray for Muslims during Ramadan?

Islamic State! Al-Qaeda! Boko Haram! These radical Islamic terror groups invade our news every day in stories of destruction and fleeing refugees that will mark history. But there’s an even greater story unfolding across the Muslim world.

Islam is the fastest growing major religion and has been growing since its inception. Every year, Islam adds more than the population of Canada—some 37 million people to its ranks; mostly through a high birth rate. It has also been a conquering and converting religion.

The greatest turning of Muslims to Christ has been in the 21st century. Since 2001, there have been 72 movements of at least 1000 Muslims turning to Christ, numbering in the hundreds of thousands. It is no small coincidence that this great awakening in the Muslim world has coincided with an unprecedented prayer movement for Muslims during Ramadan.

Would you like to join us as we pray for our friends, neighbors and work mates? We offer the 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World as a guide for you to use. As they seek God, we can pray that Jesus will invade their hearts and minds in vision and dreams. Prayer guides are available at the Information Center starting in the middle of May.

We encourage you to check out the link below for more information on ministry to Muslims. http://www.zwemercenter.com/guide/muslim-evangelism/

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