What is Ramadan? 

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. Next year, 2019, Ramadan is expected to start on Sunday, May 5 and continue through Tuesday, June 4.

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:

Prayer Points

  • 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.

Every year we produce a tri-fold Ramadan brochure in mulitple languages to help you pray for Muslims - click below to see the brochure we have produced for 2019: 


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