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Archive for August, 2012

Iftar, breaking the fast during Ramadan is a lovely experience.

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Ramadan begins during the ninth lunar month.  This annual moth of fasting begins at dawn and ends at sundown.  Traditionally the fast is broken by eating three dates, drinking some water and having something light, like a delicious soup.  The soup is followed by an amazing meal…but first the Prayer;

“I have fasted for your acceptance and I am breaking my fast with Your provision.  The thirst gone, the arteries dampened; the reward has become definite, Lord willing.  O my Lord, forgive me for the sake of your mercy which encompasses the whole universe and forgive me my sins.”

I’d heard about Ramadan in the past and this year I got to experience it with my Muslim friend Ouahida.  Above are some pictures of a typical Iftar meal she prepared while she was fasting.  Middle Eastern food is amazingly delicious, so you can imagine how good it smells as you struggle through those last few hours before the sun sets.

It was difficult not having my coffee in the morning the first day because this fast even excludes water!   I have to admit I had a head ache and felt nauseous the entire first day until sundown.  Then it was a free for all, I could drink and eat as much as I wanted before dawn the next day.   This is why so many turn into night owls during Ramadan.

By the second day I was happy to deny my flesh its natural desire for food and water because I knew, from my previous fasting, it was strengthening me spiritually.  My old habits of grabbing a snack whenever my stomach growled or fearing I wasn’t drinking enough water, turned into some good reminders to pray.  instead of dwelling on the fact that I was hungry or thirsty, I set my mind on the One Who is more important to me than my appetite.

Fasting is telling your body it is not the one in charge.  Every time we conquer our appetite it is reason to praise God, especially when you pass by one of your favorite foods!

I was just reading Deuteronomy today and realized that Moses did not only fast once for 40 days and nights but twice he went without water or food!  Jesus also fasted 40 days and nights!  Both fasted when they needed to be strong and receptive spiritually.

Ramadan is a time of self-discipline, giving and spiritual growth.  Like prayer, fasting is not done to impress people.  These disciplines can only be motivated by ones faith in the Creator of the universe.

The End Results of Fasting

Isaiah 58 reminds us what fasting does:

“Is not this the fast that I choose:
to loose the bonds of wickedness,
to undo the straps of the yoke,
to let the oppressed go free,
and to break every yoke (bondage)?
Is it not to share your bread with the hungry
and bring the homeless poor into your house;
when you see the naked, to cover him,
and not turn away from your own flesh and blood?”

I am hoping you will join me this month in praying The Almighty would enlighten us with Spiritual eyes and ears, giving us perception to know the Truth of His Spiritual Wisdom:

“Holy Father, keep them in Your Name, the Name which You have given Me, Y’shua, that they may be One (Echad) even as We are, John 17:11

Ramadan Kareem

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