Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Ramadan Reminders

Here's an interesting Muslim site explaining Ramadan (the obligatory month of fasting) for English-speaking Muslims.

Some quotes I found especially insightful (emphases added):

Exempted from the fast are the very old and the insane. On the physical side, fasting is from first light of dawn until sundown, abstaining from food, drink, and sexual relations. On the moral, behavioral side, one must abstain from lying, malicious gossip, quarrelling and trivial nonsense.
The last sentence kind of worries me. It's OK to do those things the rest of the year?

During the last ten days - though the exact day is never known and may not even be the same every year - occurs the Night of Power (Laylat al-Qadr). To spend that night in worship is equivalent to a thousand months of worship, i.e. Allah's reward for it is very great.
How sad. Reminds me of what Jesus told the Samaritan woman who was talking about whether Jerusalem or Mount Gerazim was the proper place to worship: 21 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. 22 You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. 23 But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. 24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”(John 4, NKJV)

God doesn't have favorite days for worship--except for today!
For He says:
“ In an acceptable time I have heard you,
And in the day of salvation I have helped you.”
Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation. (2 Cor. 6:2, NKJV)
Of the virtues of fasting is that it is a means for atonement of sins.
Of all the statements, this is the saddest. The means of atonement for our sins is the most crucial question a human can contemplate. It is the question of questions that we cannot afford to answer wrongly! The consistent message throughout the Bible is that atonement is only possible through faith in the blood of a sinless substituted sacrifice. "In him [Jesus] we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding." -- Ephesians 1:7-8, NIV.

Performing the other acts of worship and duties is most important, and salah (ritualistic prayers) in particular, without which no other act of worship is accepted by Allah. Praying in congregation is a great aspect in our religion. Everyone should attend: its reward is twenty seven times greater than that which is performed individually. The Prophet (peace be upon him), was just about to burn the houses of those who did not attend the congregational prayers.
The precision (27) really interests me.

Check out the site, and may it stir us all up to pray for our Muslim fellow-men.

Click here for a good Christian web site giving information on how to pray for Muslims during Ramadan.

No comments:

Post a Comment