ARABIC: "What's Going On?" June 2017

Dr. Tony Tadros
Arabic Senior Producer

Seeking God in Ramadan

Do you know what month it is? Many would say, June 2016 AD. That may be true for you, but for over a billion people around the world it is Ramadan 1437 AH!

Ramadan is a special month of the year for over one billion Muslims throughout the world. It is a time for inner reflection, devotion to God, and self-control. Muslims think of it as a kind of tune-up for their spiritual lives.  

As the third "pillar" or religious obligation of Islam, fasting has many special benefits. Among these, the most important is that it is a means of learning self-control. Due to the lack of preoccupation with the satisfaction of bodily appetites during the daylight hours of fasting, a measure of ascendancy is given to one's spiritual nature, which becomes a means of coming closer to God. Ramadan is also a time of intensive worship, reading of the Qur'an, giving charity, purifying one's behavior, and doing good deeds.

As a secondary goal, fasting is a way of experiencing hunger and developing sympathy for the less fortunate and learning thankfulness and appreciation for all of God's bounties. Fasting is also beneficial to the health and provides a break in the cycle of rigid habits or overindulgence.

The daily period of fasting starts at dawn and ends at sunset. In between -- that is, during the daylight hours -- Muslims totally abstain from food, drink, smoking, and marital sex. The usual practice is to have a pre-fast meal (sahoor) before dawn and a post-fast meal (iftar) after sunset.  

The last ten days of Ramadan are a time of special spiritual power as everyone tries to come closer to God through devotions and good deeds. The night on which the first verses of the Qur'an were supposedly revealed to the Prophet, known as the Night of Power (Lailat ul-Qadr), is generally taken to be the 27th night of the month. The Qur'an states that this night is better than a thousand months. Therefore, many Muslims spend the entire night in prayer.   

During the month, Muslims try to read as much of the Qur'an as they can. Most try to read the whole book at least once. Some spend part of their day listening to the recitation of the Qur'an in a mosque or on the radio.

As you see, millions of Muslims try to seek God in their own way, the way they were brought up. Let us pray for Muslims as they seek God that He would reveal Himself to them as the true God of the Bible!

“And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.” Jr. 29:13

 “The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit.” Ps. 34:18

 

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