March 22 marks the beginning of Ramadan this year, when Muslims in Canada and around the world will begin fasting and praying.
For 30 days devout Muslims will fast from dawn to dusk and are required to abstain from food and water and all “earthly pleasures.” Ramadan will end on the evening of April 20.
According to the Islamic calendar, Ramadan is the ninth month, and Muslims believe it was the month that their holy book, the Koran, was first revealed to the Prophet Mohammad.
Muslims put their beliefs into practice by following the five pillars of Islam, Ramadan being one of them.
During the month of Ramadan Muslims devote a lot of time to prayer and fasting, seeking Allah’s favour and the purification of their sins, though they are never sure if they have been forgiven or if what they have done is ever enough. Muslims everywhere are seeking God’s approval through a system of works, and yet they don’t have assurance of their salvation and forgiveness.
As Fouad Masri, the founder of Crescent Project, puts it: “For followers of Jesus, Ramadan is an opportunity to focus on God’s heart for Muslim people, many of whom are desperately seeking God’s approval through a system of works.”
Pray and engage
Here are six opportunities to pray for Muslims:
- Loving Muslims Together has put together the 30 Days of Prayer for Muslims in Canada, a daily prayer booklet with a short introduction and prayer point that focuses on the real needs of your Muslim neighbours in Canada.
- 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World 2023 is a prayer booklet featuring 30 days of stories, images and prayer ideas. Here you’ll find the Just for Kids PDF 2023 edition, exclusively for children to engage in prayer for Muslims during Ramadan! It’s a free resource.
- 30 Days of Prayer has also put together great prayer guide materials for praying for Muslims in the world during Ramadan that you can access online via web, pdf, app and print.
- Prayercast offers powerful videos featuring former Muslims leading you in prayer during Ramadan for specific and strategic needs within the Muslim world. Invite your church to watch a Prayercast video to bring awareness of the Muslims living in your community by showing them the Praying for Muslims in Canada video on a Sunday morning or in a small group during the week.
- Loving Muslims Together events: Here you can find information about Night of Power prayer meetings held online across Canada towards the end of Ramadan. Join one and pray with others for light to shine in the darkness.
- Pray for a mosque community: When Ramadan comes to an end, your prayers don’t have to. One of the opportunities that is available year-round is to pray for the mosque community nearest you. Wouldn’t it be amazing if God raised up people and churches to pray for every mosque in Canada? If you want to know more about this initiative check out Pray for a Mosque Community or contact us at [email protected].
Here are six opportunities to engage with Muslims in your community:
- Share with your church about the opportunity we all have as Christians to pray for Muslims during Ramadan and invite your church to love Muslims in their community by praying for them.
- Wish your Muslim friends a Happy Ramadan, or ‘Ramadan Mubarak‘ in Arabic – a greeting used across the Muslim world.
- Peace Feasts bring Muslims and Christians together to share a meal and real faith conversations. For more information go to: https://www.peacefeast.net
- Look for the opportunity to share an iftar meal at a local mosque in your community. Muslims break their daily fast at the time of the call to prayer for the evening prayer and share a meal at sunset. I encourage you to contact a local mosque and ask if they welcome guests to share an iftar meal with them. If they do, put together a group from your church and take them along.
- Another way of engaging with Muslims during Ramadan is by connecting with the leader of the local mosque in your community. Check out Crescent Project’s initiative Every Imam.
- The Blessing Kit, by Crescent Project: A practical, simple way to love your Muslim neighbour at Ramadan by putting together a kit with meaningful items to your Muslim friend. For more information go to: Blessing Kits
Here’s a guide for Mosque Visit Purpose and Etiquette prepared by Crescent Project that I suggest you read and share with your friends before going to the mosque.
And if you don’t know where to find a mosque close to you, you can find it out by using this website.
This Ramadan, why don’t you start your journey of prayer and engaging with the Muslims whom God is bringing into your life?
As the National Coordinator for Loving Muslims Together, Cristina Boersma provides coordination and support to the volunteer leaders of the Network.
Her efforts are motivated by the desire that Muslims would see the glorious light of the Good News, recognize Jesus as the Son of God, and proclaim Him as their Lord and Savior.
Cristina believes that this can happen by mobilizing prayer, equipping Christians and engaging Muslims. Cristina is originally from Brazil and has been living in Canada since 2008. She lives in Sarnia, Ontario with her two boys.
This comment appeared first on the Outreach Canada site and is re-posted by permission.
In another gesture of good will, David Taylor, on behalf of the Ecumenical / Multi-Faith Unit Group and the Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of New Westminster, posted a ‘Letter of Greeting to Our Muslim Neighbours on the Start of Ramadan.’