Comparisons between Ramadan and Lent?

While I am a Catholic, I’ve admired Islam is some respects.
Mainly in regards to Ramadan fasting. I feel that they take self denial to a much higher level than Catholics.

Is this the case? I am not educated enough on the subject to say so, in my opinion.

all I know about Ramadan is no eating and drinking from sun rise to sun set. I don’t know if they exempt pregnant women from this.

I am glad that Catholic church doesn’t require going without food and drink ALL DAY LONG…I think I would be sick if I did that! The difference is that we are allowed two small meals and one large meal, but the two small meals must not equal the larger meal.

I know quite a few Muslims where I work. Pregnant women, diabetics, menstruating women, and people with particular medical conditions are exempt from fasting.

Typically they will eat, shall we say heartily, before sunrise and after sunset, to get through the day, but they won’t even drink water. That one would be hard for me. Ramadan is a movable event because it’s on the lunar calendar. I imagine no water all day would be quite tough on a hot day in late June or early July when the days are long.

It would be interesting if the Church changed Lenten regulations to require total abstinence from ALL food (Ramadan-like) for the daylight hours of Fridays only. I wonder if that would restore some sense of penance as well as Catholic identity. And yes, anyone could do that voluntarily, but it’s the possibility of a public stance that interests me.

I am very interested in a living Catholic identity, and a visible Christian unity. In fact, I’d love to see a thread (old or a new spin-off thread) about ways to encourage Catholic identity across the faithful. However, I don’t think fasting is meant to have a “public stance”, but be something that is between the penitent and God.

The world-wide Church still has meatless Fridays throughout the year, and fasting and abstinence as prescribed during Lent. If corporate penance was going to return the Church to a more pervasive Catholic identity, I would think the USCCB wouldn’t have decreed that the faithful in most places could substitute another form of penance during the year, being meatless only during the Fridays of Lent.

Sometimes I doubt if Ramadan is truly from THE MOST HIGH…

Because Ramadan technically does not work, if you live in the far north of this cursed earth then you would have a very long day where the human body would be fully drained and no more productivity at work!

In Saudi Arabia where the regulations in Ramadan force both the private and public sectors to shorten the duty time to 6 hours only, yet employees come late and sleep at their desks together with their managers!, (I’m serious I’m not joking), we have zero productivity in Ramadan.

Not to mention in some parts of Alaska & Antarctica, the Sun last for 24Hr for months!!!

It seems the Angel of Muhammed wasn’t aware of that…

id be sick too or faint…

Well, current Latin Catholic discipline is heavily watered down from what it used to be. Traditional Christian fasting discipline (better represented today by Eastern Christian practice than by Western) is in its own way equally rigorous, I think.

Christian fasting practice traditionally focuses on limiting amount and kinds of food, whereas the Islamic practice of Ramadan is a daylight “endurance test” which you can make up for in the evening.


We’ve discussed these two issues before and if I remember correctly, Sam in the previous threads had posted Ramadan daily fast breaking meals. They consume so much food and drink which is possible for the body to keep going.

As a matter of fact, if you visit Islamic forums, they’ll tell you they put on weight during Ramadan. They starve their bodies from sunrise to sunset and then they gorge on tons of food.

Our Lent is for 40 days, their Ramadan is 30 days.

Here are the Lent rules of the Eastern Orthodox Church ~

The Lenten Fast
Great Lent is the longest and strictest fasting season of the year.

Week before Lent (“Cheesefare Week”): Meat and other animal products are prohibited, but eggs and dairy products are permitted, even on Wednesday and Friday.

First Week of Lent: Only two full meals are eaten during the first five days, on Wednesday and Friday after the Presanctified Liturgy. Nothing is eaten from Monday morning until Wednesday evening, the longest time without food in the Church year. (Few laymen keep these rules in their fullness). For the Wednesday and Friday meals, as for all weekdays in Lent, meat and animal products, fish, dairy products, wine and oil are avoided. On Saturday of the first week, the usual rule for Lenten Saturdays begins (see below).

Weekdays in the Second through Sixth Weeks: The strict fasting rule is kept every day: avoidance of meat, meat products, fish, eggs, dairy, wine and oil.

Saturdays and Sundays in the Second through Sixth Weeks: Wine and oil are permitted; otherwise the strict fasting rule is kept.

Holy Week: The Thursday evening meal is ideally the last meal taken until Pascha. At this meal, wine and oil are permitted. The Fast of Great and Holy Friday is the strictest fast day of the year: even those who have not kept a strict Lenten fast are strongly urged not to eat on this day. After St. Basil’s Liturgy on Holy Saturday, a little wine and fruit may be taken for sustenance. The fast is sometimes broken on Saturday night after Resurrection Matins, or, at the latest, after the Divine Liturgy on Pascha.

Wine and oil are permitted on several feast days if they fall on a weekday during Lent. Consult your parish calendar. On Annunciation and Palm Sunday, fish is also permitted.

Besides these rules for Lent, the Eastern Orthodox Church as many… many more fasten periods.

And did you know…

The Copts, the Christians of Egypt, who belong mostly to the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, observe fasting periods according to the Coptic calendar.

These fasting periods are exceed by no other Christian community except the Ethiopian Orthodox. **Out of the 365 days of the year, the Copts fast over 210 days. **

Ramadan in the Arabic countries :p:

When the night or day lasts 24h, you use the timings of other regions.
I don’t know exactly for the rest. I know you can travel a distance in order to be able to break your fast.

When you eat during the night is not enough for the long fasting days…

Well…I feel wimpy now. :bowdown:

That is a new workaround established by the Muslim clerics of this generation, where they faced this technical challenge, so they came up with such Fatwas!

Just some notes on the Coptic and Tewahedo Orthodox fasts, for anyone who might be interested:

The churches actually share the same calendar, though they have different month names and dates (the Coptic calendar is marked “A.M.” for Anno Martyrum, starting in 284 AD with the ascent of Diocletian to the imperial throne; the Ethiopian year is just 7 years or so behind the Western/Gregorian year, apparently due to a difference between Ethiopia and the West concerning the calculation of the annunciation). You can see a comparison via wikipedia here.

The Tewahedo observe 7 fasting periods, just like the Copts:

The Great Fast (Lent)… ዐቢይ ጾም (55 days)
Wednesday and Fridays… የረቡዕ እና ዓርብ ጾም (all year but the “Holy fifty” after Easter)
Nineveh… ጾመ ነነዌ (3 days)
Gehad (the eves of Christmas and Epiphany)… ጾመ ገኀድ (2 days: January 6 and 18)
The fast of the prophets or advent… ጾመ ነቢያት (November 25 to January 6)
The fast of the Apostles … ጾመ ሐዋርያት (Monday after Pentecost to July 12)
The fast of the Assumption of the Holy Virgin Mary. …ጾመ ፍልሰታ ለማርያም (August 7-21)

I’m not sure if the Tewahedo somehow fast more than we do, but I did notice that some of the dates above (that I got from here) don’t exactly match what I find on the SUS Coptic Orthodox Diocese website (here), but I’m not sure what that means. I just know we all fast a lot. I just always assume we’re fasting unless someone explicitly tells me we’re not. It’s just easier that way. Hahaha.

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