Ramadhan Day 14

We’re almost at the halfway point of Ramadhan. Perhaps this is a good time to reflect on everything that has happened so far. Take a moment.
I played host to some friends from overseas last night. Took them to dinner (it was blast to see them try sambal petai!), then we shared some drinks and cigars together at a nearby haunt.
As the night progressed, i realized that they knew Muslims fast during the month of ramadhan, but they didn’t understand how or why it was practiced. I found that quite interesting actually: friends from far, far away, they live in societies where there are very few Muslims, perhaps i am their only Muslim friend, minimal exposure to Islam, yet they knew the term “ramadhan”, they identified it as a month in the Muslim calendar, and they understood that this is a religious month of fasting for Muslims; no food or drink or sex from sun-up to sun-down. I would say these friends of mine represent your average cross-section of their society; they were certainly not rocket scientists nor were they bums. Moderate, average people.
It got me wondering, how much does the moderate, average Muslim know about the religious practices of our non-Muslim friends. I certainly know very little eventhough i took a course in Comparative Religion while in uni. How much do we understand the significance of the Bar Mitzfah or the Baptism, or religious holidays like Christmas? In my own quiet corner, last night, i felt more than a little ashamed.

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