Faiths come together as Easter, Ramadan coincide

24 Mar, 2024 - 00:03 0 Views
Faiths come together as Easter, Ramadan coincide Footballer Qadr Amini, who is also Ngezi Platinum Stars captain and reigning Soccer Star of the Year, is currently observing his 30 days of Ramadan

The Sunday Mail

Veronica Gwaze

THERE is something unique about this year’s Easter and Ramadan celebrations.

The two occasions — Easter and Ramadan — are coinciding, a phenomenon that only happens once every 30 years.

As per tradition, millions of Christians across the globe will be celebrating Easter in commemoration of the pain, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

March 29 will be Good Friday, which marks the crucifixion of Jesus and his death at Calvary. This culminates in his resurrection on the third day — Easter Sunday.

The episode is important for Christians as it reminds them that Jesus was crucified to cleanse men of all sin.

As per tradition, millions of Christians across the globe will be celebrating Easter in commemoration of the pain, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ

Similarly, Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and the month in which the religious text of Islam was revealed, is a very crucial period for the Muslim community.

The Islamic calendar is referred to as lunar and is 10 to 11 days shorter than the solar year.

Its months begin when the first crescent of a new moon is sighted, resulting in the Ramadan changing each year.

This year, it runs between March 10 and April 9.

Muslims across the globe observe the period through prayer and fasting, which is one of the pillars of Islamic practice, and engaging in charity work, among other activities.

But does such a rare occasion have any significance?

Well, religious scholars believe this is an important opportunity for people of different faiths to come together, worship and learn from each other.

One major difference between Christianity and Islam is the nature of God.

Christianity teaches that God sent his son, Jesus Christ, to redeem all mankind and that only belief in Christ will allow someone to enter Heaven.

Muslims, however, refer to God as Allah.

They believe Allah created everything that is in existence.

“We are all believers, although we subscribe to different superiors. The coincidence may come once in three decades but it sure signifies something. Maybe it is a sign to say even if we believe in a different God, there is a time that we should come together and fight for a common good,” notes       Reverend Xolani Moyo of the Methodist Church in Zimbabwe, Ntabazinduna.

“For example, we are currently battling drug and substance abuse; it affects everyone despite background, so, in our respective areas of worship, it is worth praying for that.”

Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs in Zimbabwe president Sheikh Ishmail Duwa said it is a blessing to witness Easter and Ramadan coincide. Ramadan, he added, is a commemoration of Prophet Muhammad’s first revelation from God.

“In AD 610, Muhammad was meditating in a cave on Mount Hira when the Angel Gabriel appeared, said to him, ‘Allah’, and he (Muhammad) began reciting words which he believed came straight from God,” said Sheikh Duwa.

In the first week of Ramadan, the Islamic community engaged in programmes with the Ministry of Health and Child Care, and other stakeholders to raise awareness on issues involving cholera.

While fasting throughout the day, the Muslims would take breaks during the programme for prayer sessions as per the dictates of the Ramadan.

According to Sheikh Duwa, the period is observed through worship, good works and staying away from sin.

Muslims believe Allah rewards His worshippers this month and saves them from all forms of punishment.

“The primary duty of Ramadan is fasting; therefore, all healthy Muslims are required to fast. The objective of fasting is to encourage the fear of Allah.

“Ramadan symbolises a true test of faith and this year, we are largely praying for the scourge of drug and substance abuse that has devoured our country,” said Sheikh Duwa.

Chegutu’s Baitul Salaam Mosque teacher Ustaaz Abu Hurayrah said this is a month of worship for Muslims and a time for them to introspect, mend and strengthen their bonds with God.

“We attain a heightened state of spirituality, discipline and piety through abstaining from food, drink and sexual intercourse from dawn to dusk throughout the month,” he said.

The dictates of the Ramadan are derived from Surah Al-Baqara verse 183 of the Koran, which says: “O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you, as it was prescribed for those before you, so that you may guard (against evil).”

“Deriving from that verse, fasting during the month of Ramadan was made compulsory by Allah,” added Hurayrah.

Epworth-based teacher Admit Malik Musademba said: “Ramadan is not only about fasting but observing its dictates, which include being patient and assisting the underprivileged.”

During this period, which is also synonymous with mass gatherings, Muslims are required to recite the Koran.

However, children, the elderly, the sick, pregnant women and those menstruating are not obligated to fast.

Footballer Qadr Amini, who is also Ngezi Platinum Stars captain and reigning Soccer Star of the Year, is currently observing his 30 days of Ramadan.

Throughout the month, he will be on dry fasting every day.

He has made a commitment to also remain celibate during the period.

Amini also has to avoid swearing and arguing, acts which are against the dictates of Ramadan.

Share This: