Why a Christian Would Care About Ramadan

By: Ben McEachen

As a Christian living in Australia, I know is an annual Islamic celebration... but besides that, I don’t know much else.

That’s why I spoke to Samuel Green, from the Australian Fellowship of Evangelical Students (AFES) in Tasmania. Sam leads Engaging with Islam, a hub of teaching, resources and advice for Christians looking to connect with Muslim friends, colleagues and neighbours.

What is Ramadan?

First things first!

“Ramadan is one month in the Muslim lunar calendar year in which the Muslim community are meant to fast during the day from food and water, from sunrise to sunset,” Samuel said.

“They normally feast at night, so it is a time of fasting and feasting.”

In 2024, Ramadan was observed between March 11 and April 9.

Ramadan is a period for thinking about Allah and religion. An increase in praying, reading the Qur’an and religious motivation is expected during Ramadan.

Samuel also noted that Ramadan existed before Muhammad created Islam in the seventh century. This practice became part of the Islamic religion.

Should I care about Ramadan?

Learning about Ramadan is a terrific avenue for knowing more about what Muslims do, think and worship.

Australia is a multi-cultural and multi-religious society. Many Australians are Muslim, so understanding more can cultivate community and connections across religious differences.

Samuel said that Christians could find it interesting to learn that “what Muslims are trying to do during Ramadan is particularly focus upon earning their way to paradise.”

Something to talk about

The “earn your way to paradise” aspect of Ramadan is a gateway to conversations between Christians and Muslims.

“Within Islam, the god of Islam has done nothing to save you,” Samuel said. “This is one of the differences between Christianity and Islam. In Christianity, God has done something for you in the person of Jesus, his Son.

“Jesus has come into this world, lived the righteous life on our behalf.  He died the righteous death to pay for our sins. But Allah has done nothing like that for you in Islam, so you have to earn your salvation. You’ve got to do enough good deeds.”

Samuel said Islamic teaching states that doing more religious deeds during Ramadan are worth “more points” than at other times of the year. A stark contrast with the salvation offered by Jesus.

Further Resources

Article supplied with thanks to Hope Media.

Feature image: Canva Pro

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