What is Ramadan?
Click on language edition below to download an useful 2016 Ramadan Prayer Guide in your own language:
English A4 / English US Letter
齋戒月禱告資料中文繁體2016 / 斋戒月祷告资料中文简体2016
라마단 기도가이드 2016 / Doa Syafaat Bulan Ramadan 2016
Ramadan Gebedsgids 2016 / Ein Ramadan Gebetsbegleiter 2016
Guiadeo Racion EL Ramadan 2016
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. As specified in the Qur’an, Ramadan is a month of fasting. Muslims are directed to neither eat nor drink anything from the time the sun rises until it sets. It is a month of suppressing natural desires. Since all Muslims are required to fast, Ramadan emphasizes the unity and equality of Muslims before God.
Because the Islamic calendar is based on the lunar year, Ramadan moves back by about 11 days each year. In 2016, Ramadan started on Tuesday, June 7 and continues through Thursday, July 7.
A Special Month for Southeast Asian Muslims
Emotional excitement fills the air as Ramadan begins. People are full of religious zeal. They are eager to make merit with Allah. They believe that good deeds done during Ramadan will earn double rewards with God. So they are generous in helping the needy and they seek to refrain from all vices. They get up very early to eat a meal before dawn. The first daily prayer time is at dawn. Then the fast begins. The second daily prayer time comes in the early afternoon and the third in the late afternoon. During this time, they do not eat or drink, even if they are working. Special prayers are made during Ramadan for forgiveness and guidance.
Breaking the Fast
At sunset, the fast is broken, often by eating a few dates or some fruit. The fourth prayer time comes immediately after the fast is broken. A large dinner follows, with favorite foods and sweets. After dinner is the last prayer time, followed by a time of extended teaching at the mosque. Large portions of the Qur’an are recited at this time.
The Last 10 Days of Ramadan
The last ten days of the month are considered highly blessed. The Night of Power falls on one of the odd-numbered nights, though the specific date is unsure. It is said that on this night, the first revelations of the Qur’an were given to Muhammad. Many Muslims pray all night on each of the odd-numbered nights, hoping to receive special dreams and visions.
Eid ul-Fitr Celebration
The first day of the new month following Ramadan brings a great celebration. Traditionally, Southeast Asian Muslims will wear new clothes and visit friends and relatives on this day. It is a day of great feasting and many prayers of thanks.
Traditions for this festive holiday vary from country to country. Read more here:
- Pray that physical thirst and hunger will lead to a sincere spiritual thirst and hunger to know God in the fullness of his character and an insatiable desire to seek the peace that comes from knowing Isa al Masih.
- Pray that followers of Jesus in Southeast Asia would find ways to use the holiday as a means of sharing their lives and spiritual truths with their friends who are observing the fast.
- Ask God to reveal himself in dreams and visions to Muslims, especially during the final few days of Ramadan when they are longing to experience this.