Yesterday the month of Ramadan started for Muslims. In Belgium most Muslims will not eat or drink for about 15 hours between sunrise and sunset. The chance is high that you personally know Muslims who will be fasting during the coming 30 days. So, how can we as Christians be a blessing for our Muslim friends and neighbours during the month of Ramadan?
1. Be attentive: whilst the chance is high that your Muslim friend is taking part not all those who identify as Muslim will fast. Beside those exempt from fasting, such as the elderly and pregnant women, some may not feel the need to fast. They may feel a degree of shame as most of the community will fast, so it is important not to judge them either way. People experience their religion in their own way.
2. Let them know you care and are praying: it may be appropriate that you share with your friend that you are praying for them during this special time. Let them know that you are praying that God would bless them and that they would encounter God in a special way. This is a time when many Muslims are more aware of their spirituality. They are seeking good things from God. As Christians we can wish them well in their search, praying that God would satisfy their desires.
3. At work: if you have Muslim colleagues then it is important to acknowledge that they are fasting and to recognise that it is not easy to go without food and water for 15 hours whilst working. Let them know that you admire their commitment both to their faith and to their work. Consider being a bit more understanding of mistakes made whilst at the same time not treating them as victims in any way; it was their choice to take part in the Ramadan.
I hope you found these three easy tips helpful. If you have any other practical tips on how we as Christians can bless our Muslim neighbours during the Ramadan why not share it below in the comments section?