The Truth about Ramadan
One of the biggest months of the Islamic calendar is coming up – Ramadan. It is a month of fasting (and feasting) so Muslims can draw closer to their Allah, but even more importantly, gain his favor and have their sins erased.
Ramadan is as big of a deal to your Muslim friends as Christmas is to you. Many of them save for the entire year so they can cook the finest meals, wear new clothes, and give presents to their family and friends at the end of Ramadan. They also fast for hours and wake up early to eat their meal before sunrise. Ramadan is a great time to pray that your Muslim friends find the truth.
The origin of Ramadan
Ramadan is the ninth month in the Islamic calendar. This year, Ramadan is from April 2 to May 2, 2022. It is supposedly the month in which Muhammad received the first messages that became part of the Quran. The Muslim calendar follows the lunar cycle and began on July 16th, 622 AD, when Muhammad left Mecca and migrated to Medina.
The rules and rituals of Ramadan
Fasting is one of the Five Pillars of Islam, and although there are other times of the year where Muslims are advised to fast, Ramadan is the time of mandatory fasting for every Muslim except in certain cases.
From sunrise to sunset, Muslims must fast from food, liquids, smoking, and sex. This is supposed to help them gain Allah’s favor. Since their calendar does not line up with ours, sometimes the month of Ramadan lands during a summer month, which only makes it harder to abstain from eating and drinking water for over 16 hours! After sunset, they often feast within their communities to break the fast, enjoy each other’s company, eat delicious foods, and watch special Ramadan TV programs.
Ways to connect during Ramadan
- Invite them over for a meal after sundown (ask about their dietary preferences!)
- Tell them you are praying for them to know God on a deeper level.
- Check in on them, ask how their fasting is going, and open conversations about faith. Make sure that you are expressing support for them as a friend, not support for their religion.