This year will be a strange Ramadan for most Muslims with all the restrictions related to the Covid 19 pandemic.
However, there are still ways we can love our Muslim neighbour at this time. Social media can be a great way of keeping in touch with people you already know, and there may still be some face to face contact in shops, carry-outs and other business interaction. Here are a few suggestions, which can be adapted as you feel appropriate.
Send greetings and good wishes.
At the beginning of Ramadan, and at the end, at the festival called Eid ul-Fitr greetings are exchanged. Greetings from Christian friends are usually appreciated.
Be curious and ask questions about Ramadan and fasting.
This will increase your understanding not just of Islam, but of your Muslim neighbour. Ask not only what they do, but also why. Most will be happy to tell us what their traditions are, why they practice them and what they mean to them, and this may generate further discussion.
Tell Muslims friends you will pray for them.
This is usually greatly appreciated, and it will establish you in their mind as a person who prays. Of course, you should follow up on your promise! It is also a great privilege to be able to bring our Muslim neighbours and friends to our heavenly Father in prayer.
Social media is great for this. The beauty and content of many parts of the Bible resonate with many Muslims. In particular, many of the Psalms are highly esteemed and enjoyed (eg Ps 36:5-9; 46; 51; 139; 145), and God may use his word to draw your friend to himself.
Reflect on fasting in the Bible
Passages such as Isaiah 58, Daniel 9:3, Matthew 6:16-18, Mark 2:18-22, Luke 4:1-13; 18:9-14, Acts 13:3 feature fasting. This will help us understand Biblical teaching on this topic, and it will provide us with material we can discuss with Muslim friends, some of which is very challenging to all of us (eg Isaiah 58).
It is probably fair to say that fasting is at something of a discount in Western Christianity, but as will be seen from the passages above, it is a Biblical practice. The Bible does not stipulate when, how long or in what manner we should fast, and it is not a binding requirement, as it is for most Muslims. However, fasting can give greater intensity to our prayers, not least to our prayers for the Muslim world. It may also help us understand a little of what our Muslim friends are going through and empathise with them.