What is Ramadan?
Most people have heard that Ramadan is the most popular holiday for Muslims. But what actually is it? Why do Muslims celebrate Ramadan for a whole month?
Fasting from sunrise to sunset
Muslims have 5 pillars that they have to adhere to in Islam. One of the pillars is fasting. Every year they do what is required of them during the month of Ramadan.
They will abstain from eating, drinking, smoking and having sex from sunrise to sunset each day in order to please God (Allah) and seek forgiveness for past sins.
If you ask most Indonesians why they fast during Ramadan, they will say they do it because they have to in their religion.
They usually wake up at 4:30am to share a meal together (sahur) but the women will wake up earlier than that to cook the meal! They will then break fast at sunset by first eating dates and drinking water (recommended by Muhammed), then they will eat a meal together. After that they will go to the mosque to pray.
Breaking fast is a social event. Many young people will get together with their friends in the evening to break fast.
The month when the Qur’an was revealed
The Qur’an says that during the month of Ramadan the Qur’an was revealed, so that is why Muslims fast the entire month of Ramadan.
“The month of Ramadhan [is that] in which was revealed the Qur’an, a guidance for the people and clear proofs of guidance and criterion. So whoever sights [the new moon of] the month, let him fast it; and whoever is ill or on a journey – then an equal number of other days. Allah intends for you ease and does not intend for you hardship and [wants] for you to complete the period and to glorify Allah for that [to] which He has guided you; and perhaps you will be grateful.” — Surat Al-Baqarah 2:185
During the last 10 days of Ramadan, one of the nights is called the “Night of Power.” No one knows what day it is or what time. Muslims will usually stay up praying and reciting the Qur’an during these 10 days because if they recite the Qur’an or do a good deed on the Night of Power, they will be blessed a thousand times.
After the 30 days, Muslims celebrate the end of fasting by celebrating together. This is called Eid-ul-Fitr. Muslims gather together at the mosque and also visit each other’s homes with food, gifts and new clothes.
In Indonesia they always say “Mohon maaf lahir dan batin” (Forgive my physical and emotional wrongdoings) to each other on the last day as they enter each other’s homes and eat together.
Interesting Facts about Ramadan
- Many Muslims actually do not fast during Ramadan.
- If a woman is on her period, she is exempt from praying, fasting, and going to the mosque.
- Muslims follow a lunar calendar which is 10-11 days shorter each year. The dates of Ramadan are different each year. In 2022 it will be from April 2 – May 2.
- Indonesians cannot get married during the month of Ramadan.
More Muslims have turned to follow Jesus in the past 15 years than in the previous 1400 years combined! Join history’s most incredible movement among Muslims by praying for them. This is a month where their spiritual seeking is heightened and so we want to pray fervently for them this month!
We want to cover the country of Indonesia with continuous 24/7 prayer during the entire 30 days of Ramadan.
1) Sign up for 15 minute prayer slots
2) Invite others to pray so that Indonesia is covered with prayer 24/7 during Ramadan
3) Consider choosing one day a week to fast for Muslims during Ramadan