The following is a first-hand report from a Christian leader in Egypt talking about the Muslim month of Ramadan (June 18-July 17):
Millions of Muslims around the globe are in a month of fasting during Ramadan hoping to fulfill one of the main requirements of the Islamic faith. As I was stuck in a traffic jam this morning, I looked left and right and I saw the pale faces of fasting Muslim men and women who appeared to be quite tired, even though it was only around 9 o’clock in the morning. To fast from liquids and food from sunrise to sunset is a difficult task, especially on days with temperatures around 98 degrees.
Muslims begin Ramadan with a festive attitude, often going around greeting one another. Children buy colorful Ramadan lamps and enjoy the beautiful street decorations. Muslims spend more on food during this month than they spend on normal days. Many of them read the Quran loudly wherever and whenever they have the opportunity – at home, on public transportation and even at work. They do so with the hope of gaining “good points” from Allah.
Despite the festive environment, the pale faces of the tired fasters show burdened hearts striving to please Allah so he might have mercy and eliminate at least some of their sins. Regardless of their efforts to fast, the money they give to the poor and the five daily prayers, none of them has the assurance of eternal life and peace with God. According to the core Islamic teaching, their efforts “may or may not” be accepted by Allah.
As Muslims continue their fasting experience, let’s pray for each and every one of them, no matter where they live, what language they speak or what they do. Pray that our loving Father will show Himself to them and pray that the power of His love will bring them to belief in the Lord Jesus, the only one who can save them from their sins.
To join the Open Doors prayer campaign during Ramadan, go to https://secure2.convio.net/ccod/site/SSurvey?ACTION_REQUIRED=URI_ACTION_USER_REQUESTS&SURVEY_ID=8221&_ga=1.160307125.981393229.1378412015
Compiled by Jerry Dykstra. For media inquiries, contact Christine Cape at 404-545-0085 or Christy Lynn Wilson at 770-401-9842.