Reaching out to Muslims during Ramadan

meccaFor Christians, summer and autumn make up a long gap between the major holidays that dot the church’s calendar. But for Muslims, this is an important time of year: we’re right in the middle of Ramadan, a month-long period of fasting and prayer. Arab World Ministries describes Ramadan more specifically:

The fourth pillar [of the Islamic faith] is the fasting, or the “Saum”, during the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar, the month of Ramadan. Muslims go by the lunar calendar, and so Ramadan moves every year. From sunrise to sunset, Muslims do not eat or drink. Smoking, sexual contact, swearing and anger are forbidden. The faithful are encouraged to use the month of fasting to draw closer to God, and to renew their spiritual strength.

Why should Christians take the time to learn about Muslim holidays or other elements of the Muslim faith? Because understanding what Muslims do (and don’t) believe is critical if we want to introduce them to the Gospel message. The Ramadan period is as good a time as any to learn a bit more about Islam and its tenets, and to that end a number of resources from the community can help:

Ministries like Arab World Ministries, Lausanne World Pulse, and People of the Book all have excellent information about Islam and the importance of understanding and reaching out to Muslims. Take advantage of the Ramadan period to educate yourself about Islam, and consider ways you can pray for or minister to Muslims!

[The accompanying image is an old map of the city of Mecca.]

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