International (MNN) — Violence and bloodshed surround one of the most important days on the 2019 Islamic calendar.
The leader of Afghanistan’s Taliban forces promises continued fighting in his annual Eid al-Fitr message. Meanwhile, in Syria, at least 19 people perished when a car bomb exploded in Aleppo province. Shoppers buying clothes and gifts ahead of the holiday were reportedly among those killed.
Traditionally, Eid al-Fitr is a joyous occasion in the Muslim world. Prayercast director Chris Ruge says Eid al-Fitr, or “Eid,” marks the end of Ramadan: a month of daytime fasting and seeking after Allah. “Many have compared the celebration of Eid al-Fitr to a cultural celebration of Christmas in the West,” he explains.
“The entire society celebrates this event and, in many cases, don’t even realize why they celebrate it.”
Why is Eid al-Fitr important?
Translated literally, Eid al-Fitr means something along the lines of, “The Celebration of Breaking the Fast.” As described here in today’s “Love Muslims” video, Eid is traditionally a three-day holiday, but celebrations extend to a week in some Muslim-majority countries:
Muslims often view Eid al-Fitr as something purely spiritual. It is the day when Muslims thank Allah for having given them the strength and endurance to observe the fast and obey his commandment throughout the month of Ramadan. This sense of having successfully completed an important task demanded by Allah brings happiness across the Muslim world.
“All the different Muslim cultures around the world will celebrate … [and] gather together with family and friends and their community to give gifts [and] to eat,” Ruge describes.
During these gatherings, conversations typically turn to spiritual matters. “Many will tell stories of having a dream or a vision of a man in white,” Ruge says. Christ often reveals Himself to Muslims starting with dreams and visions such as these.
“We’re praying that, as the families come together, they would talk openly and share about what God has revealed to them over this last month.”
What believers can do during Eid
Throughout Ramadan, Prayercast’s “Love Muslims” campaign ushered in global prayer for the Muslim world. On each day of the annual Islamic observance, Prayercast released a new video with a new prayer focus. See the full list of videos here.
Ruge says he and his team wanted to align the global Church with God’s perspective.
“He (God) loves Muslims so much that He sent His only Son to die so that they could be reconciled with him,” Ruge observes. Muslims are “desiring many of the same things that we as followers of Christ have desired and do desire in our life,” he adds.
“The problem is the path that they’re pursuing will not get them the things that they’re pursuing.”
In John 14, Christ states that He is the only way to life everlasting. As His followers, we can help direct people who are lost – including Muslims – to the “narrow road” that leads to life. “We want to bring life and hope that [Muslims are] seeking,” says Ruge.
“We’re praying… that they would experience the love of God that they don’t see in the Quran [and] have not been taught in their mosques.”
How to “Love Muslims” after Ramadan
Ramadan is over, but Ruge says new “Love Muslims” videos spur the prayer movement on in coming weeks.
“We have many, many more videos that we’re going to release and encourage people around the world to pray strategically for Muslims around the world.”
According to Prayercast, more Muslims have turned to Christ in the past 15 years than in the previous 1,400 years combined. God certainly appears to be doing something historic in the Muslim world. Be part of it by joining the “Love Muslims” movement.
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