Christians and Ramadan.
by Nick Bishop
We are now in the fasting month of Ramadan where Muslims around the world including British advocates of the faith enter a 30 day period. This period consists of fasting, praying, trying to live moral lives and reading their Holy book the Qur’an.
Of course, Christians at this time do not take part in Ramadan, however, there are things we can do.
Although it is not mandatory for Christians to fast, there are many examples in the Bible. The most popular example is where Jesus fasted for 40 days and 40 nights in the wilderness. Jesus was able to withstand all the temptations Satan put in front of him.
Our time of Lent is not as rigid as Ramadan where we as Christians can choose to take part in fasting or give up some luxury. Fasting for Muslims during the month of Ramadan is expected as outlined in the Qur’an. Although in Quranic scripture exceptions are allowed for those who are ill or if a woman is going through her monthly period.
Take time to pray for Muslims in this country and around the world. Do you know where your local mosque is, do you know or have Muslim friends, is your neighbour a Muslim? Engage with them and understand what motivates them. You may find common ground or an opportunity to share your faith during Ramadan. That would truly be showing the love of Jesus Christ to our Muslim brothers and sisters. Jesus was always befriending the lost, the stranger, the despised and he should always be our example.
Much has been written about Muslims since 9/11 and while some of it may be true, much of it is not. Fearmongering, indifference, ignorance and especially hate have no place in the life of a Christian. It’s only when we truly seek to understand others, without prejudice, that we truly have healthy dialogue and relationships.
God expects us to reach out, whoever they may be, and though it may be hard at times, led by the Holy Spirit, the fruits of our labour, in the end, will be well worth it.
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