Iran (MNN) – Ramadan. The most sacred month out of the year for Islam, a Pillar of Faith, and a time of dawn-to-dusk fasting. Based on the *lunar cycle, it’s a period of time in the Muslim life when the spiritual journey is heightened, and people are hungry for more than just food; they are hungry for God.
Two Sides, One Ramadan
For some, this means making the pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia. This seems to be how Ramadan is often depicted in the West. But to depict Ramadan Saudi style is to depict what is more than likely a Sunni Ramadan. In a country like Iran, which is made up of mostly Shiite Muslims, does Ramadan look any different?
“The differences between Shiites and Sunnis goes back to the caliphates, and their selection process. Eventually, Iran became secluded from the rest of the Muslim world and they believe in the 12 Imams,” Heart4Iran’s Mike Ansari explains.
“But yet, those differences [have] not changed the nature of Ramadan that’s being observed in Iran. Much like the rest of the Muslim world, even in Saudi Arabia, it is a month of pondering, of thinking, of fasting, and understanding what God’s will is.”
During this time of spiritual reflection, things that may not equate to a proper Islamic faith are often purged. Entire communities and families come together with a focus on the spiritual aspect of what it means to be Muslim, to be alive, to exist. In general, they’re also more open to seeking spirituality outside the realm of Islam. And in their seeking, Christ is answering.
“Jesus is revealing himself to the Muslim faithful through dreams and visions, far more often than before, ever. And we’re realizing that that is an amazing time for us to be in prayer because, it’s not so much us going in there, chasing after Muslims, it’s Muslims reaching out to us saying, ‘Can you tell me about Jesus?’”
Heart4Iran is seeing this firsthand when people call them, asking to learn more about Jesus being the Son of God, His concept of love, and what it means to turn the other cheek. So please, as we approach Ramadan, let this important Islamic month be a prayer point.
Start by praying for God’s will to be done during Ramadan. Ask that Muslims seeking truth would encounter Jesus, and that through that process, their lives would be transformed. And finally, pray for an openness to the Gospel and for these same people to put their faith in Christ.
* Depending on the moon sightings and location, Ramadan runs from May 15th or 16th to June 14th or 16th.