Muslim fast during the Islamic month of Ramadhan is projected to start at dawn on August 1 this year, after the sighting of the new crescent at dusk on July 31. It might end on August 29. Every able-bodied Muslim must fast from dawn to dusk during the entire month of Ramadhan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, for 29 or 30 days because the Qur’an commands it. Muslims who are sick or traveling and Muslim women who are menstruating or expecting are exempt but are required to make up for the days missed. Children before the onset of puberty are also exempt.
Muslims seek God. Christian should pray for them to meet the True God! We should pray for those in our neighborhoods, city, and country. Here is one way to prepare for this task. It is not too late to join Christians who have been praying for Muslim during Ramadhan using a very informative booklet that has been in use for 20 years. 30 Days of Prayer for Muslim World gives overviews of Muslim populations in various countries, profiles of some unreached people groups and contains testimonies of Christians of Muslim background. It also points out prayer needs for each day of Ramadhan. You can buy copies for yourself and or your church from World Christian website here or here.
Don’t just prayer. Venture out. Make an effort to meet your Muslim neighbors. Go to a local mosque and interact with them. Look for opportunities to engage in conversations. I’ll post some questions to ask Muslims in regards to Ramadhan next week.
While Muslims are in festive mood during Ramadhan, this month is a very difficult challenge for Muslims who have embraced Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior and still live in their communities. I speak from experience. It is not easy. In fact this is one single occasion that can blow cover for secret believers. Don’t get me wrong. The ensuing persecution is all worth it. Secret believers’ challenge is not “the not eating part” but other activities (communal prayers and meals) associated with the fast. Please, pray for them.
Non-Muslims who travel in Muslim majority countries during Ramadhan also face problems because eating in public is illegal. The police arrested those who violated this law in Egypt in 2009 and Algeria in 2010. Even Dubai, one of the most moderate Muslim cities, has fines or jail sentence for non-Muslims who violate the law for the second time. Please, be careful if you are traveling to these countries in August. Have a blessed weekend!