Comparison and Contrast between Ramadan and Lent
This study compares Ramadan and lent. Ramadan and Lent are special days in the Muslim and catholic calendar respectively. During these periods, both religions desire to draw closer to God. Lent is a period where Catholics go for fasting for 40 days (Dugan, 1995). Ramadan is a period of fasting for one whole month (Samak, 2013). There are however different objectives for holding the special days (Ricken, 2015).
According to (Samak, 2013), Lent and Ramadan are similar as they are periods where the faithful go for fasting and examine their spiritual walk. In both periods, the faithful observe sacrificial acts, prayer, and penitence.
In Ramadan, worshippers fast from morning to evening, whereas Catholics fast all through the period. It is a never the same period within the Muslim calendar, whereas it is the same period in the Catholic calendar (United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2015). Ramadan is guided by various aspects such as the movement of the moon. The main objective of holding Ramadan is to keep the pillar of Islam so a believer can be accepted in heaven, whereas lent is assumed to follow the steps of Christ before He started His ministry. He went to the desert to fast. Muslims give up food from sunrise to sunset. Catholics in contrast give up one thing. It may be chocolate, meat, or even entertainment.
During Lent period, Catholics go on with their daily activities such as schools and career development. In Islam, this period is especially dedicated to the spiritual fulfillment. The faithful are expected to unite with the less fortunate, share their material wealth and keeping off from loose talk. The days of Ramadan can be extended depending on when the moon is first seen. Hence, Ramadan ends in different days globally. Lent is usually marked on a given day after 40 days. Hence, Catholics celebrate the end of Lent in unity globally (Ortiz, 2002).
There are several similarities and differences in the special holidays of Lent and Ramadan. Ramadan for instance is observed in relation to the lunar cycle while Lent is observed in relation to a defined number of days.
Ortiz, A. (n.d.). Lent in the Catholic Church. Retrieved from http://www.aboutcatholics.com/Beliefs/lent-in-the-catholic-church
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Question and answers about lent and Lenten practices: 2015.
Ricken, D. L. (2015). Journey to the Foot of the Cross: 10 Things to Remember For Lent.Retrieved from United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
Sammak, M. The Muslim Lent: Ramadan Explained. The Vatican’s leader for Christian-Muslim dialogue explains its ancient origins and deeper spiritual meaning. 2013, July 19th.
Dugan, K. Fasting for Life: The Place of Fasting in the Christian Tradition: Journal of the American Academy of Religion. 1995 Vol. 63(3): 539-548.