Ramadan this year begins tonight, June 17, 2015 with the first sighting of the new moon. Because of this, the exact start time is debatable. There will be lots of people with telescopes out tonight. It ends July 17, when the first crescent of the new moon is sighted. Ramadan is the holiest month of the year for Muslims.
There are about 1.6 Muslims in the world, and 10 million in the U.S. Freedom of religion means people of every religion are free to practice their faith as they wish.
During this month-long period, Muslims will fast during the day, only eating and drinking after sundown. Even water is off the menu during the day. They will give to charity and practice good works. It is a time of self examination – a time to refrain from the world’s pleasures and rekindle your prayer life and spirituality. Think Lent. Children, the elderly, travelers, and pregnant women are exempted from the fast.
After sunset and sunset prayer, Muslims break their fast with a sip of water and a date, then the feasting begins. The post-sundown feast is called an iftar. This week I will have the privilege of speaking at an iftar. I will talk about fasting in the Christian tradition and about the importance of interfaith dialog.
If you want to be respectful of Muslim friends, wish them a happy Ramadan: “Ramadan mubarak!”
June 18, 2015 at 12:00 am
When I was Tel el Hesi in 1979 with Ralph Doermann and others, I met a young woman named Wilma. Her father was on the Supreme Court in Jordan. She was gorgeous and spoke 7 languages! I asked her out to lunch for the next weekend we were in Ashkalon, and she said, “right, so you ask me to lunch during Ramadan and I go with you to watch you eat?” Thus I learned culture and did not get a date for lunch!
Coastal Bay hosts METRO IN August @ Salem. Do you have a special topic you’d like to cover? I missed the May gathering… But was present in February…
Let me know. We postponed our June meeting yesterday and pushed it back to next Tuesday at Principe de Paz! Brian Rev. Dr. Brian K. Gigee, Lead Pastor New Life in Pearland Sent from my iPhone