Islamic fasting month (Ramadan).

During this month, Muslims must 100% abstain of all foods and drinks (including water) from dawn to dusk, that would be hardly done when the day is long and the night is short, for example here in Saudi Arabia our timing is around 3:00am (dawn) till around 7:00pm (dusk), that is why the working hours are reduced to 6 hours per day so people can sleep in their homes while fasting.

The issue is not there, the issue with countries which have very long day, for example the night in north Finland and Sweden is around 4 hours only, so Muslims theoretically have to fast around 20 hours! which is almost impossible specially for working people, that is why Muslims over there were seeking Fatwas allowing them to follow the timing of Arabian Peninsula because there is nothing in the Islamic dogma about their case, not to mention that in the north and south poles there are months where the sun never goes down.

So here is my main comment on that: Wasn’t Allah or Muhammed aware of such phenomenon !!! that is either ignorant (which cannot be with the true GOD, so it’s a man made concept) or Islam is not universal.

Thoughts?

I was doing some business with a Moslem man in his home the other day and he and his family were fasting 'til sundown at 10pm. Nevertheless, his wife still offered me food and drink during the appointment.

I declined out of respect for their fast, but was impressed by their hospitality.

We can spend time trying to figure out why someone else’s religion is wrong, or we can commend them when their religion impels them to do the right.

Muslim people here fast the normal dawk to dusk, (Which right now is around 9PM) When I work in a restaraunt they used to come in and eat really late. Their kids would be nearly falling asleep into their nachos. I don’t think the kids are required to fast until they reach a certain age, but they have to stay up late when everyone else has to wait until that late to eat. I can’t speak as to whether Muhamed should have forseen Muslims in Alaska or not, but it seems to me that Alaska isn’t the best place for a Muslim person to live for that reason.

In combination with Arabic being the true, most accurate and nuanced language for Qur’an, it does seem that this was only a regional religion, and certainly not universal. As well, it was spread by force, and was not a matter of desire of the human heart.

One thing that I simply cannot understand is that the claimed revelation to Muhammad either opposes, or is substantially different from what our Lord Jesus revealed. Yet, even with these conflicts (nature of God, Jesus as divine Son of God, Jesus as the Alpha and Omega, etc.) Muslims still hold to Jesus as a prophet - just a lesser prophet than Muhammad. Clearly, one of the two was not telling the truth. With any level of intellectual honesty, how can you have it both ways?

Thanks everyone for your contributions, however, that brought to my attention fasting in Christianity versus fasting in Islam, in Christianity you can at least drink water and eat minimal food to give you some calories to do you basic day activities, but in Islam all that is prohibited thus the productivity is very low specially in hot countries when at least water is needed frequently.

That shows how GOD in Christianity is very merciful on His children while Allah in Islam is very harsh on his slaves…

Where I live I think they have certain requirements to discern when one can fast. It is flexible in other words. Main thing is to abstain from food and water to keep in mind of the poor who suffer from proper lack of both. Muslim here aren’t really watched to come down on them by some sort of punishment for not trying.

That said I’m glad I’m a CatholIc :smiley:

MJ

I work in a Muslim Firm. I am amazed at their dedication.

And Ramadan is a moveable feast based on lunar indications. Ramadan is in July this year, but will eventually be in the fall, in the winter, and the spring. Hours will differ.

You have to admire the dedication of the muslim olympic atheletes. Many of them are competing while fasting!

I always thought the faith of Islam proves in itself that Muhammad was pretty darn ignorant of the world outside Arabia. For example, the rule that all people must pray facing Mecca. The average Arabian would have a pretty easy time figuring this direction out, but now we have prayer mats with compasses built in to make sure you face the right direction, and even little tabletop computers specifically designed to not only point the exact direction to Mecca, but also time the five daily prayers in perfect conjunction with sunrise, noon, and sunset. If Muhammad (and Allah) had been aware of places such as, say, England in the seventh century, do you think that law would be put into place?

And there’s the issue of the pilgrimage. Every single Muslim on earth, with the financial means and physical strength, is supposed to take it. (Personally I don’t understand a god who insists his followers go on a specific pilgrimage and engage in specific rituals in that spot, but that’s just me.) This was fairly easy in the early days of Islam. Now we’ve got millions of people every year packing into Saudi Arabia, which has to resort to tents to accommodate all of them, and the mosque at Mecca constantly being expanded, and still has people pressed in at every side during pilgrimage time. Try to imagine a crowd of thousands of people circling a tiny building. The “run between two hills” has been reduced to a slow stroll because thousands of people running between two hills makes for a dangerous situation (could it be said then that modern Muslims aren’t conforming to Allah’s rules by walking?), and then there’s the well of Zamzam. When there were a few hundred or thousand believers, sure, getting water from the well was no real problem. Now we have lines in which people stand for hours on end to get a tiny sample of the water as it’s frantically bottled. (Also we have the issue of Allah making holy a well whose water is only questionably safe.) People get trampled every year throwing stones at the pillars. Obviously this was not an event meant to be perpetrated on such a large scale. Muhammad wanted his religion spread across the world - but to him, he was completely unaware of the world outside the peninsula.

Considering such facts it’s not hard to imagine Muhammad commanding a particular practice without any thought towards arctic regions and places where days could seasonally be longer.

I’m about to begin studies to become a Catholic priest in the Dominican Order and one of my parents is Muslim so this is something that interests me.

I do think the way that Muslims look upon God is very different than how Catholics do. Muslims seem to view God as a master to bow to and who might punish them for wrongdoing.

Christians see God as a loving Father who humbled himself to become human and die a horrific death on the cross for the sins of mankind, whom he created and loves. And who lives on today and for all time in the gift of the holy Eucharist.

I’ve had many conversations with Muslim friends about the concepts of forgiveness he Christian God and It’s a major stumbling block. I think it’s not in the Islamic culture that sin can be just wiped away or forgiven…and that is the beauty of catholicism.

Very interesting. In anycase I understand that for Muslims that if they die during the pilgrimage at Mecca (and it seems that there will be chances of it due to the massive crowds) they will be considered a Martyr.

MJ

Concisely and clearly comprehensible. Thanks for that :slight_smile:

Of course as we can see, Muslims need to be different in some way than in Catholicism/Christianity. Unfortunately they misunderstand the concept when their faith comes from 700 years after Christianity grew.

MJ

Glad to put in my :twocents:

Happy to chat more via Facebook or PM if you’re interested. I love talking about different faiths, especially Islam, as I do have Muslim family.

:slight_smile:

My Egyptian and Lebanese friends tell me that it is common for Muslims to gain weight during Ramadan, because they will be so hungry from fasting that once they’re allowed to eat again, they’ll eat more than they would regularly eat. I don’t know if that’s true, but I guess it would make sense if they look at their fast like a law that they have to follow, so that once it is over for the day they can eat as they wish. Probably there are Christians like that, too.

In the Orthodox tradition, we look at fasting a bit differently. I think this video showing preparation of food for St. Mary’s fast (Aug. 7 - Aug. 21) explains it pretty well: We fast to become closer to God by training our body to be united to the soul, instead of constantly driving our activity and thoughts by worrying about what we’ll eat, when we’ll eat it, etc. The fast really is not about the food or the water at all. These are a means of spiritual exercise to help us become better Christians, closer to God and more effective in striving against the earthly passions.

Hi there. As a Catholic Ive learned that way too. It’s not only about food and water. :thumbsup:

MJ

From what i know, Fasting is an obligation for a Muslim, but if it is too difficult for the individual, then options such as providing for the poor or charity is also acceptable during the holy month of Ramadan.

I wouldn’t call it ignorant, or think that Allah is harsh to his believers, on the contrary:

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 Albaqarah 2: 185). Allah Almighty also says: {Allah does not charge a soul except [with that within] its capacity.} (Surat Albaqarah 2: 286).

The rules are to fast from sunrise to sunset, but the main improtance of Ramadam is to free the soul from desires through abstaining from food and liquids.

Hope i was able to shed some light!

what is it that that their religion “impels them to do right” cause I would surely like to know:confused:(other than offering you food and drink)

Make a list of what Christianity impels you to do right in terms of your behavior. I expect the lists will be quite similar.

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