In First Corinthians 9:19-23, Paul explained how he brought the gospel to those of different faiths:
19 Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. 20 To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. 21 To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. 23 I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.
Paul committed time and effort to understand how to best reach others, beginning with where they were at the moment he found them.
As the sun set this Wednesday, the Islamic holy month of Ramadan began. The word ramadan translates to scorching heat or dryness. The 30-day celebration is an opportunity for Muslims around the world to practice their faith, recognize the hardships of others, and reconnect with their communities. For your Muslim friends, Ramadan is an opportunity to forgive, let go, and focus on what is most important. As you reach out to your Muslim friends, here are some things you should know about Ramadan to help you relate to their thinking and perspectives.
1. Ramadan is not about starvation. During the daytime hours that Muslims fast, they go about our normal lives working and going to school.
2. Muslims fast from more than food and drink – they view it as fasting from physical desires.
3. They don’t want you to ‘feel bad’ for them as they fast.
4. During Ramadan, Muslims fast from dawn until sunset. What many Muslims refer to as the “break” between fasting from one day to the next is what they think of as the time of actual reflection.
5. For Muslims, Ramadan is the holiest month of the year. Muslims believe that Ramadan is the month that the Qur’an was revealed to Muhammad.
6. Not everyone has to fast. Muslims who are ill, pregnant, or still a child are not required to fast.
There may be no better time to reach out to your Muslim friends than when they are especially focused on spiritual things.