November - Ramadan

November 2003

As salamu alaikum! Ramadan Mubarak! (which means," happy Ramadan,"). For Muslims, the holy month of Ramadan is seen as a time of cleansing, "as the sun scorches the ground, so does the good works of Ramadan cleanse our sins." Ramadan is the 9th month of the Islamic calendar, and is a special month because it is said that in this time "the Holy Qu'ran was sent down from heaven, a guidance unto men, a declaration of direction, and a means of Salvation." Essentially, it's a time for Muslims to show their piety before Allah (their name for God) and worship of Him. They spend hours in prayer and study of the Qu'ran during this time, praying to Allah, and believing that their good works will justify them. Logistically, they will rise with their families at about 4:30 am and have a meal and drink before their prayers at first light (about 5:10 am around here, I understand). They pray five times during the day during Ramadan, as they do during the rest of the year too, at dawn, midday, mid-afternoon, sunset, and after dinner. They get up and eat/drink before first light, fast from food, drink and any sexual activity during daylight hours, and then come together as a community at sunset and break the fast together with a colossal meal. Ramadan is a time of joy and festivity, but also of meditation and contemplation. They arise early and pray and do all these things to gain the favor and obey a god that they believe is not a personal god, and may or may not hear them. Their god is impersonal and detached, but during Ramadan, Muslims believe that Allah is more likely to hear and to move. One of the things that Muslims pray during this time is that Allah would show them the straight path. Can you imagine, the world's most militant resistant religion is praying for a month that they would know more of the truth? Can you see the significance? Especially on the 27th night(Nov. 21), which is called "The Night of Power," Muslims expect revelation from Allah. Instead, we aught to pray that they would receive dreams and visions of Christ, and that they would know the truth…that He is the only way. Let us pray for miracles that will bring the perishing to God. Will you join with other believers around the world and pray that He would show them the One Straight Path? There are about 1.2 billion Muslims around the world that are praying for light, and about the same number of Christians worldwide or are praying for their salvation. Will you join in prayer for them? God, would you show the Light of the World to these beautiful people! Now that we know a little about Ramadan, how can we use this information in order to live "On the Brink?" Maybe the Lord is leading you to spend time fasting and praying for the salvation of Muslims. Maybe you feel led to mission work among Muslims. Let us not just sit on this information, but would it affect our lives and stir in us a holy anger that Satan is deceiving so many and that God's worship is being given to an idol. I pray that we would allow frustration with this to drive us to our knees, or to the international dorms, or to the unreached areas of the world. General Ramadan Info website: www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/fundamentals/pillars/fasting/ tajuddin/fast_1.html Exceptions and guidelines for fasting: http://www.disam.dsca.mil/itm/IMSO/Model_IMSO_Pge/ Ramadan.htm A Christian Look at Islam: www.answeringislam.org Organizations working with Muslims: www.pioneers.org www.frontiers.org www.awm.org www.teamworld.org www.om.org www.christar.org