Every year, Muslims observe a month-long fast during the 9th month of the Islamic calendar. The first day of Ramadan 1438 (2017) will be Saturday 27th 2017. Religions for Peace Australia wishes Muslims a blessed and holy Ramadan.
Every year, Muslims observe a month-long fast during the 9th month of the Islamic calendar: Ramadan. Muslims believe that this month is filled with blessings, and it is appropriate to wish them well at the beginning of the month. Friendly words in any language are welcome, such as “I hope you have a blessed Ramadan,” or “may you have a peaceful Ramadan.” There are some traditional or common Arabic greetings that one may use or come across:
- “Ramadan Kareem!”
(“Noble (or Generous) Ramadan!”)
- “Ramadan Mubarak!”
- “Kul ‘am wa enta bi-khair!”
(“May every year find you in good health!”)
At the end of the month, Muslims observe a holiday called Eid al-Fitr (the Festival of Fast-Breaking):
Islam a Religion of Peace:
Recently, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew said that during the last two decades, humanity has experienced continuous terrorist attacks, which are the cause of death and hurt of thousands of people, and which are becoming the greatest threat and source of fear for contemporary societies. Since then, religions have been often suspected or openly accused for inspiring terrorism and violence. Our everyday life has become filled with horrible news about terrorist attacks in the name of religion.
The Ecumenical Patriarch went on to say that at the same time, we notice the willingness and capacity in our world to promote dialogue instead of conflict. This is true, not only for political leaders and secular organisations, but also for religious leaders and institutions that have shown their readiness to engage into a dialogue of peace on a local and on an international level, in order to insure a pacific coexistence and collaboration between people. Religions for Peace Australia actively promotes and engages in the dialogue of peace in Australia, in the Asia-Pacific Region, and internationally.
In order that we might not be disillusioned by media coverage of horrid events but rather, that we might understand what happens in our world today, let us reflect on the role of religion in humankind. Paradoxically, instead of the modernistic expectation of a “post-religious secular age”, our epoch is in fact becoming a “post-secular period” or even one of “religious explosion”. Religion appears as a central dimension of human life, both at the personal and the social levels. It claims a public role, and it participates in all central contemporary discourses.
The crucial functions of religion are evident at the following four areas of the human existence and co-existence:
- Religion is connected with the deep concerns of the human being. It provides answers to crucial existential questions, giving orientation and meaning of life. Religion opens to human beings the dimension of eternity and the depth of truth.
- Religion is related to the identity of peoples and civilisations. This is why knowledge of the belief and religion of the other is indispensable precondition of understanding otherness and of establishing dialogue.
- Religion has created and preserved the greatest cultural achievements of humankind, essential moral values, solidarity and compassion, as well as respect of the whole creation.
- Religion is a vital factor in the peace process. As Saint Paul once wrote: “God is not the author of confusion but of peace” (1 Co 14:33) Religion can, of course, divide by causing intolerance and violence. But this is rather its failure, not its essence, which is the protection of human dignity.
In Australia Today
Many await the figures from the recent census, there will be those who point to the “nones” (no religion specified) in the Census and gleefully proclaim that religion is rapidly becoming irrelevant in Australia. What is really multiplying rapidly is people living without a purpose, a purpose that gives a meaning to their lives. The noted historian Manning Clarke spoke of the typical Australian lying in the sun on Bondi Beach and sunbaking; without inwardness, without purpose. (refer to A Short History of Australia.) What the Census will not reveal, is how many people wish to say, “We are spiritual but not religious“. It is all the spiritual people who are people living with a purpose. This purpose has a central role in their lives.
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew has highlighted that religion plays a central role and that knowledge of the belief and religion of the other is an indispensable precondition of understanding otherness; we prefer to say it is a hidden element in social cohesion and building better communities. To be religious in Australia in 2017 is to be interreligious, that is, we know a little bit about the religions of our neighbours and understand their purposes are peaceful.
Religions for Peace Australia wishes Ramadam Kareeem (noble Ramadan!) and Ramadan Muburak (Blessed Ramadan) to all Muslims who celebrate the month of Ramadan.