Ramadan time is here again. Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and is the month of fasting in the Islamic faith. Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset every day for a month, this year running from 1st-29th August.
Unfortunately, Ramadan for us means a lot of Malay youths wandering the neighbourhood streets at night setting off fireworks and firecrackers until midnight, disturbing us and our children's sleep, and being a general nuisance to all.
However, yesterday as I was shopping, I noticed all the restaurants pretty much empty, as Muslims refrained from food and drink during the daylight hours.
As a Christian I also participate in fasting, though at different times to Muslims. We fast on the first Sunday of every month, for 24 hours, or by skipping two meals. We have the opportunity to donate the money saved on our meals to help the poor and hungry wherever in the world they may be. However one fasts, the reasons remain the same.
There is a distinctly spiritual element to fasting. Jesus fasted for 40 days and nights. The Bible states: "Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loosen the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?"
And from the English translation of the Holy Qur'an: "Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that you may learn self-restraint - Ramadan is the month in which was sent down the Qur'an, as a guide to mankind, also clear Signs for guidance and judgement between right and wrong. So every one of you who is present at his home during that month should spend it in fasting...Allah...wants you to complete the prescribed period, and to glorify Him in that He has guided you; and perchance you shall be grateful."
For more information on Ramadan and fasting from a Muslim perspective, follow these two links:
So as I was walking home yesterday evening with my shopping and each-a-cup drinks, I decided right then that I would give this sunrise to sunset fasting a go. I wanted to experience what the Muslims are experiencing this month. I've decided that I will be fasting for one week, beginning Monday 8th August, until Sunday 14th August, 2011. Of course, I'll be blogging about it each day.
I hope you'll follow me over the course of those 7 days. While fasting I will spend more time trying to establish my relationship with God through prayer and the study of God's words as found in the Holy Scriptures of Christianity and Islam.
So I'll strive to tolerate the noise of firecrackers and all that negative side of the month, and focus on the fast. Let's see how it goes!
Would you be willing to give the one-week fasting trial a try?