Ramadan is the holiest month in the Islamic year. Muslims believe that the prophet Muhammad received his first revelation from the angel Gabriel on the 17th day of this month in the year A.D. 610.
For years, the businessman had retreated during Ramadan to a cave near his home in Mecca to pray and fast. On that fateful day, called “the Night of Power and Excellence” by Muslims, he was gripped by an experience which marked him for the rest of his life and birthed a global movement. He heard, or felt, a voice commanding him to “recite!” The words he “recited” that day formed the first revelation of what became the Qur’an (the “recitation”).
The Qur’an requires all Muslims to observe this month by following Muhammad’s example in fasting and prayer: “Ramadan is the month in which was sent down the Qur’an, as a guide to mankind, also clear signs for guidance and judgment between right and wrong” (Qur’an 2:185). As a result, Muslims the world over swallow nothing from sunrise to sunset. (After dark they can eat and drink as they wish.) They refrain from smoking and sexual relations during the day as well. They pray more fervently. And they study the Qur’an, which has been divided into 30 equal parts so it can be read in its entirety during this month.
How does the Holy Spirit use Ramadan?
First, he responds to the fervent and sincere prayers of Muslims by revealing Jesus to many. The Qur’an teaches that Jesus was born of a virgin (Qur’an 3:47), lived a sinless life (3:46), healed the sick and raised the dead (3:49), and ascended to heaven (3:55). Now he is appearing to Muslims the world over in visions and dreams, often during this month. To read stories of such miraculous revelation, do an Internet search on “Muslim dreams of Jesus.”
Second, he is mobilizing Christians to pray for Muslims during this month, that they might know personally the One they seek so fervently. An excellent prayer guide is available through the 30-Days Prayer Network.
Third, he is calling Christians to support Muslims who come to Christ as their Lord. Muslim-background believers (MBBs) often lose their jobs and families when they leave Islam. They need encouragement, support, and discipleship. The best ministry to MBBs I know is Dr. Abraham Sarker’s organization, “Gospel for Muslims.” You can visit their website and find ways to join the global Muslim awakening personally.
Jesus met felt needs in order to meet spiritual needs. He asked for water from the Samaritan woman who came to Jacob’s well, then led her to living water (John 4). He healed blind eyes in order to heal a blind heart (John 9). Now he continues his ministry through us. How will you show Muslims his love in yours?