Ramadan Prayer Guides, 30 Days

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“When the month of Ramadan begins, the gates of Paradise are opened
and the gates of (Hell) Fire are closed and the devils are chained.” (Bukhari)

Pray-through-Ramadan

With fantastic imagery, this ‘hadith‘ informs all Muslims that the month of Ramadan is a special month unlike others. During the 30 days of Ramadan, Muslims all over the world will join together and strive to worship Allah. Beginning from the moment when one can distinguish between a white and black thread and lasting until sunset, the daily observance of Ramadan is an obligatory duty for all Muslims – one of the five pillars of Islam.

The Fast was first of all modelled on the Jewish day of Atonement (Surah 2, 183) and was held in the month of Muharram. Later however the change was to the month of Ramadan (Ramazan). The fast is binding upon all adult Muslims of both sexes. During the daylight hours it is forbidden to eat or drink, smoke, touch a person of the opposite sex, play games of chance, swear or become angry, or wear make-up. Even the swallowing of one’s own salivia, or the insertion of medicine in ear, nose or head wound, or an injection, are considered as invalidating the fast.

This fast is a debt owed to Allah. It is partaken to partly atone for one’s sins, to help control sinful passions, to identify with the poor, and to earn a place in paradise. Many Muslims see Ramadan as a time to spiritually “tune up” their lives.

Undoubtedy, there is a spiritual intensity about the month of Ramadan. A Muslim is expected to read the Qur’an and pray more often, to give alms to the poor and be better behaved. Muslims believe that if they read the entire Qur’an during Ramadan they will receive a special blessing from Allah.

Girls often start to fast for a few days when they are nine years old and boys at the age of twelve. A pregnant woman is permitted to break the fast if she feels her child is in danger. Women do not fast during menstruation, although they should make up the time by fasting at some other time during the year. Those who are travelling, the elderly, the sick, and soldiers engaged in the holy war (Jihad) are not compelled to fast.

For those living in Muslim nations the normal activities of the day are turned upside down. Normally crowded streets become strangely quiet. Shops will all be closed and the few pedestrians seem to be in a hurry to get home. The women begin preparing the evening meal early in the afternoon and the last meal of the day is usually eaten about 2:00am. Men abstain from working at this time and are generally more free to chat. Conversations center on fasting.

During Ramadan it is clear how deeply rooted Islam is in society. People who may not normally be devout suddenly become very religious. Every Muslim wants to be seen to observe the fast. The pressure on all Muslims to remain faithful to Islam is never more obvious than at this time.

Celebrating_Eid_in_Tajikistan_10-13-2007It should be noted that Islam in general is not an ascetic religion. Neither does it glory in the good things given by God to men. The fullness of the life of the Prophet, for example, is contrasted with the prevailing idea among Muslims of Jesus as a wandering monk who renounced the things of the world. The annual fast is rather to be seen as a temporary renunciation of what are normally the good gifts of God in order the better to recognise man’s true relationship to God. This is illustrated in the words of the prayer which accompany the ceremonial breaking of the fast each evening: “Oh God, I fasted for Thy sake and had faith in Thee, and confined in Thee; and now I break the fast with the food Thou givest. Accept this act.?

At the end of Ramadan comes, Eid al-Fitr the three day ‘Feast of the breaking the Fast? and the giving of alms. Every child is to get new clothes, from underwear to shoes, and for poor parents this can be a hard time.

Ramadan is a reminder that Islam offers no real hope of acceptance with God, except on the basis of religious works. There is no hint of grace for the Muslim who fails to fulfil all the obligations imposed by Islam. This is the religious system under which 1.1 billion people live.

The Night of Power
kaderAs Muslims faithfully observe the month of Ramadan, from Chad to Kazakistan, Yemen to Fiji, one night stands alone in significance. This night is known as The Night of Power.

On the 27th day of Ramadan this night is remembered each year as the night when, supposedly, Muhammed received the first revelation of the Qur’an in a cave on Mont Hira, near Mecca in the year AD 610. The Qur’an states that this night is better than a thousand months.

Today, Muslims often think that this night is a special night when God gives heed to their requests and they are often open to dreams and visions at this time seeking guidance and revelation. Many Muslims will pray all night seeking a response to specific requests. One common belief is that angels will shower down the peace and blessings of God on all who remain awake during this “Night of Power”?.

According to the Qur’an, God listens directly (or via the angel Gabriel) to the requests of Muslims concerning their ‘fate?. As Muhammed had his destiny fulfilled by receiving ‘the revelation? of the Qur’an on this night, Muslims believe that some possibility exists for changing human destiny at this time. Because of this, this night is also know as ‘The Night of Destiny?. This night seems equally important in Orthodox Islam and in Folk Islam.

Full Taraweeh Makkah 2014 Day 3 – Ramadan 1435 AH w/ English Subtitle

A Christian Response

Ramadan is a challenge to Christians. It challenges our lack of discipline, especially in prayer and fasting. It challenges us with the fact that so few Muslims have become followers of Jesus. It is also an extremely strategic time for us as Christians to believe that God would sovereignly reveal Himself to those who do not yet know Him.

As an act of identification with the Muslim World, Christians are being encouraged to seriously pray for the 1.1 billion Muslims, most of whom have never heard the Gospel. Next Ramadan, as many as 10 million people are expected to take part in the 5th annual global month of prayer. Throughout history there are countless testimonies of Muslims receiving dreams and visions of Jesus. Often these visions are the result of years of prayer and labour by God’s people, including martyrdom.

The face of Jesus appeared, bringing a message of hope, in a sandstorm over war-torn Somalia on the morning of February 1st, 1992. Many recorded healings and miracles followed.

During the early 1980’s in a village in Algeria, God revealed Himself through dreams, visions and angels in such a way that several hundred Muslims converted.

At least 35% of all recent Turkish conversions were in response to dreams and visions of Jesus as the Son of God.

In Albania, during Ramadan last year, the Holy Spirit came into a classroom with only Muslims and revealed God to them!

Prayer Guide
To help you pray, a prayer guide has been written. A quarter of a million prayer guides were in use around the world during last Ramadan. This year the material is distributed in about 27 languages. A childrens’ version is also available.

Many Christians who took part in the last 30 Days Muslim Prayer Focus commented on how much they learned about Islam, and that their often fearful, simplistic views about Muslims were displaced by faith and loving concern as they read about and prayed for Muslims.

Prayer guides Canada30 Days Muslim Prayer.

Prayer Guide International – HERE

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