The Islamic 30-day Ramadan fast for 2020 will start on or around the evening of April 23 and will be observed by the majority of the 1.6–1.8 billion Muslims worldwide. Fasting during Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam.
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic Hijri calendar. Like the Western Gregorian calendar, the Hijri calendar has 12 months, but unlike it, those months follow the lunar cycle, i.e., a new month begins with each new moon.
The Islamic calendar began in 622AD, (started at the beginning of the religion by Muhammad).
When Muslims first fasted, they largely inhabited the same location in the Middle East and relied on the naked eye to determine when the moon had been spotted. Information of a moon sighting did not have to travel vast distances around the world as it does today.
As Islam gradually spread over the centuries, it was no longer possible to determine the moon sighting in one place and also at the same time transmit to all Muslims globally. As a result, some begin fasting on one day while others fast on a different day.
During Ramadan, Muslims begin the month and take no food or drink from dawn to dusk. When evening comes until sunrise they then can eat and drink as they like.
This year Ramadan, for most Muslims, will be unlike any they have experienced before. As hundreds of millions of Muslims begin, it will be marked by a more solemn manner. Why?
- Large public gatherings celebrating Ramadan will not be held as normal.
- Mosques around the world have been closed for prayer, or attendance is restricted to attempt to stop the spread of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic.
- For millions of Muslims in the nations, the breaking of the fast is a community event – which this year will be limited to only the closest of family relations.
GOD LOVES MUSLIMS! In general, the majority are an overwhelmingly hospitable, reasonable, peace-loving people—yet staunchly opposed to the Christian gospel. The main reason for this is found in the roots of Islam. Our focus this month is to pray regarding these roots, for light and truth to be made known to them and the gospel of Christ revealed.
- Ask the Lord to give you His heart for them, enabling us to “pray as one” for their salvation.
- As Muslims begin Ramadan, pray they will be searching for “truth” and that the One who is Truth, Jesus Christ, will be revealed to them.