Ramadan begin on Monday, August 1st and continues through August 29th. It is the Islamic holy month of fasting. From Sun rise to sun down, Muslims across the world cease to eat or drink. They refrain from sexual relations as well. Then, at sundown the fast is broken (usually by eating dates and drinking water), followed by a meal that is shared with family, friends, and neighbors. Over the years I've participated in several and was invited to one this evening, but am unable to attend -- this time.
I thought it valuable to note the purpose of Ramadan:
The word Ramadan is derived from the Arabic word Ramida, meaning intense scorching heat and dryness especially the ground. Ramadan is the ninth month of an Islamic Calendar. Muslims believe that during the month of Ramadan the Holy book Quran was sent down from heaven as guidance for men and also as a direction and a means to Salvation.
Being that I've not been very successful at fasting, I am always impressed that an entire community can commit itself to such a stringent experience. My Muslim friends tell me that while difficult, the experience focuses their attention on God, drawing them closer to God. We can all learn from their experiences of faith, even if our own faith is different.
So, to my Muslim friends, may your Ramadan experience be blessed. And to my Christian friends, I say, may we learn something from their devotion to God.