For Muslims, Ramadan is the holiestIMG_0135-1 month on their (lunar) calendar. It is a time when they give up “worldly” pleasures and devote their lives to God.

Our friends and colleagues are curious about what we do for thirty (30) days. There is no mystery. Here are some of our practices during the Ramadan:

Fasting (Saum): Fasting begins one hour and half before Sunrise and ends at sunset. We follow the lunar calendar and this year the times are approx. from 4:00 A.M. to 8:30 P.M. Yes, it’s a long day (16 & 1/2 hours) without food or water. However, it is not food, but Faith in God that gives strength to the Fasting person.

Prayer (Salaat): We pray five times per day –before sunrise, midday, late God-skyafternoon, sunset, and evening. Men go to mosque, women pray at home, or mosque.

Quran: Read the Quran, learn the Quran, use it as guidance in our daily lives.

Charity (Zakaat): We give at least 2 & 1/2% of our income/wealth to the poor. From 2013-01-04 22.53.21a socio-economic point of view, giving Zakaat helps maintain a financial balance in society. Those who are able (and willing) give to the less fortunate, the orphans and the widows. However, Zakaat is not only giving money. Any act of kindness, e.g. teaching a child to read, helping someone cross the street, giving someone a meal, helping a sick person, a smile, a kind word, are all considered acts of charity.

Muslims pray for their own souls, but they Fast for God. One can fake prayers (to show off)2013-01-04 22.53.31 but one can not fake Fasting. In addition, in Ramadan one prays to God for Mercy, Forgiveness and to be Spared the Fire of Hell. One also prays for their parents, children and siblings.

It is written that in the Month of Ramadan, God would not deny a Fasting person that which he asks for.

The Holy Month of Ramadan is the best of times for practicing Muslims. Yes, there is work, and chores, and the days are long, but it is a time when we talk to God, ask him for stuff, thank him mosquefor stuff, and we are at peace with ourselves.

God wants us to love him best, even more than ourselves; and our Prophet even better than ourselves. And in Ramadan we certainly do love them more.

Kind words and forgiving faults are better than giving charity. Quran 2:263.

 

 

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Jesus said: Love thy neighbour as thyself. Obraz 100

Nine people died because of the colour of their skin. God gave us pigmentation, so how can we be guilty of, or responsible for, our gift from God?

Churches used to be sanctuaries where protection from evil or hunger was guaranteed.

Just imagine, but it’s hard to imagine, that he came to church with the premeditated plan to kill black people. Also, this kind of terrorism makes one unsafe and afraid to be “free’ in this country.

Premeditated, cold-blooded, heartless, an act of terrorism, a crime without reason, how can anyone shoot people in a church, in prayer, in the act of serving God?praying_on_bible_red

There is so much hate, racism, prejudice, persecution and oppression in this country that one wonders how America fell to the bottom of hell in less than 400 years.

We, in this land of immigrants and kidnapped slaves, don’t have to love each other (although Jesus did say to love your neighbour as yourself), but can’t we show tolerance and respect for each other? Can’t we accept the neighbour who is different? God’s creation all!

Nine neighbours, friends, colleagues, worshippers, were buried this week because of their colour. That’s a sad commentary on a civilized society in the 21st Century. But then again, this country was built on racism and slave labour.

praying-hands-PencilThe white supremacists in the south lost their slave labour, and they cannot forgive those laws that denied them those rights. Also, they are not about to relinquish their confederate flag and their rights to apartheid.

These good Christians believe in racism, hate, prejudice, bigotry… Amen.

Wonder how Jesus feels about their beliefs.

 

 

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