Happy Ramadan! Encountering God’s Care through Islam

Happy Ramadan! Encountering God’s Care through Islam June 18, 2015

ramadan kareemHappy Ramadan!

Ramadan Kareem means “Generous Ramadan” and points to the generosity of God in Islam. God’s generosity encourages Muslims to be generous people.

In the video below I discuss the importance of Ramadan. Ramadan critiques the popular misunderstanding that the God of Islam is a God of power, might, and conquest. Rather, Ramadan claims that the God of Islam is the God who cares about the poor, hungry, and marginalized of culture. Muhammad critiqued the pre-Islamic Arabian view that Fate was in control of life. The Jahaliyya, or Age of Ignorance, believed fate controlled who was rich and powerful and who was poor and marginalized. There was little incentive for the rich to care for the poor. Muhammad challenged this view, and fasting during the month of Ramadan forces Muslims to identify with and care for the poor, weak, and hungry by living in the spirit of God’s generosity.

I created this video during Ramadan a few years ago when Ramadan began in August, which is why I stated that Ramadan starts in August. This year it begins in June. The beginning of Ramadan changes each year because the Islamic calendar is based on the lunar phases, not on the solar phases.

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  • bex

    doing the full 18 hour fast in northern climes is nuts and dangerous though

    • I appreciate the point. Fortunately, Ramadan allows for people to not participate in the fast. For example, the people at Alt Muslim state, “Adult believers are proscribed to fast from all food and drink from dawn to sunset except pregnant and nursing mothers, travelers, menstruating women, and those who are ill.” If someone becomes ill during Ramadan and it becomes dangerous, they do not have to continue the fast.

      http://www.patheos.com/blogs/altmuslim/2015/06/approaching-ramadan-recharging-for-social-justice-work/

      Peace,

      Adam

      • bex

        what about in Northern Alaska or Greenland where it does not go dark. Ramadan is an unfair playing field depending on where you live, BTW its 14 hours in mecca that’s as long as it ever gets

        • That is a good question. I’m not sure.

          As far as Ramadan being unfair, I’m not sure. Faith/religion, as with life in general, isn’t always fair. In any case, it doesn’t seem to me that any Muslims in Mecca are resentful of any Muslims living in Greenland or Northern Alaska. That non-resentment in the face of something potentially being an unfair playing field can teach non-Muslims a lot about mercy and generosity of spirit that guides Ramadan.