You may or may not know that Ramadan, the Muslim holy month of fasting is beginning tomorrow this year. Living among Muslims in Northern Africa, I had a “love hate” relationship with this month. It was a time of yummy food, visiting with friends and their families, and great opportunity to share about why I follow Jesus; however, it was also a hard 30 days in many ways. Many of my friends were just plain grumpy and hungry during the day! I like to call that “hangry”. During their 30 days of fasting, they are not allowed to let anything pass their lips from sunrise (the first morning prayer) until sunset. At sunset, a call to prayer would be extended and then families could break their fast together and eat. And eat they would!! Such delightful yummy food!!
Many of my friends didn’t necessarily know exactly why they were fasting and that it had anything to do with their God, Allah. It was just something they had to do. So this was always a great time for me to be intentional with them and share truth with them about a loving Father who longs for a relationship with them.
There are not many devout Muslims near where I live now, so Ramadan doesn’t come up in my day to day conversations; however, I still desire for my girls to know who they are as people, what they believe, and how to best pray for them during this month especially. We must not be scared or shy away from teaching them about other faiths and what they believe. If we don’t, someone else will – and that’s a whole other discussion.
There are several things that you could do to better help your little ones learn about Islam and to have compassion for our Muslim neighbor.
1. Take time to chat with your little ones about Muslims, the Islamic faith, and what they believe. Tell them about Ramadan.
And better yet, meet a new Muslim friend and get to know them! Ask them questions! Listen and pray.
2. Pray specifically during Ramadan for your Muslim neighbor, friend, co-worker. This can often times be a month of “openness” to spiritual things as they are seeking Allah and his favor. Be bold in your prayers! Maybe even pray and fast for a day or two along with them, praying to our God on their behalf!
Click here, for a great Ramadan Prayer Guide and more info about Ramadan!
3. Prepare a Meal and invite your friends to come and break their fast with you and your family. This could be lots of fun as you prepare and host! Ask them how they typically break their fast and strive to honor their traditions and culture. Be intentional during your time together to share about the bread of life, Jesus. If you don’t have a friend that is Muslim, prepare a Ramadan meal for your family and take that time to pray specifically for Muslims breaking their fast all around the world and in your community.
For some great international recipes, check out our On Mission Moms Pinterest page!
4. Be respectful of their fast. If your coworker is fasting, don’t invite them to come eat a donut on your break, but maybe do ask them to join you for a walk on your break and enjoy chatting together. Just Be mindful! It goes a long way in sharing Jesus! And teach your little ones to be mindful as well.
5. Expose them to books and movies that teach them about Islam and that are appropriate for their stage in life and faith. Books are a great way to help little ones see and learn more about life around them. Use those resources as a catalyst for conversations about why we believe what we believe and why we worship Jesus, the one true God.