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June 28th, 2014
08:12 AM ET

The Belief Blog guide to Ramadan

(CNN) - For 1.6 billion people, the holiest month of the year began this past Saturday.

The exact starting date sometimes depends on the locale, but most Muslims across the globe will be fasting, praying and abstaining from sex and smoking during daylight hours. Many call it a time of spiritual purity and rededication to God.

Here's everything you need to know about the observance.

What is Ramadan?

Ramadan is the name of the ninth month in the Hijri, or Islamic calendar. The word derives from the Arabic ramida or ar-ramad meaning a fierce, burning heat.

How important is it?

Ramadan is the most sacred month in the Muslim year, commemorating the revelation of the Holy Quran - the sacred religious text of Islam - by the angel Gabriel to the Prophet Mohammed, according to Islamic tradition.

What does it involve?

The main obligation of the festival is the Sawm, or fast. Believers are expected to refrain from eating and drinking from dawn (fajr) until dusk (maghrib) for the entire month, a discipline that is thought to burn away all sins (hence the origin of the word 'ramadan'). The Sawm is considered one of the five "pillars," or foundations of Islam, the others being the Shahadah (profession of faith), Salat (praying five times daily), Zakat (charity) and Hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca).

When does the festival start?

Ramadan begins with the sighting of the new moon. Because it is calculated according to a lunar rather than a fixed calendar, its precise dates change from year to year, and it can begin at different times in different parts of the world. According to the Fiqh Council of North America, Ramadan started this year on June 28 and will end July 28.

Is there more to Ramadan than fasting?

Yes. As well as eating and drinking, the faithful are expected to abstain from smoking and sexual relations between dawn and dusk, and to abjure lies, slander, greed, covetousness, giving false oath and denouncing someone behind their back (all of these are prohibited throughout the year by Islam. To commit them during Ramadan, however, is considered particularly sinful). Muslims are also expected to recite a special 'night prayer', the taraweeh, in addition to the five daily prayers.

Is every Muslim expected to fast?

No. Young children - before the onset of puberty - are exempted, as are those with an illness or medical condition that would be exacerbated by fasting. If the medical condition is only temporary, the sufferer is required to make up for the days missed once they have recovered. If the condition is permanent, the spiritual benefits of fasting can be obtained by feeding a needy person for a month.

What happens if you break the fast?

If a believer intentionally breaks the fast, or performs any other prohibited activity, they become subject to a penalty, or kaffara (literally, atonement). This can take the form of an extra 60 days of fasting at the end of Ramadan, feeding 60 people in need, or - not quite so easy in the modern world - freeing a slave.

And what happens at the end of Ramadan?

Ramadan officially ends on the first day of the month of Shawwal. This heralds a three-day celebration called Eid al-Fitr, or the "Festival of Breaking Fast", a joyous occasion during which believers attend mosques, give gifts, visit friends and family and decorate their homes.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Eid al-Fitr • Faith • Holidays • Islam • Ramadan • Uncategorized

soundoff (554 Responses)
  1. 3vix6

    Instead of showing everyone the insanity of Islam, why can't we focus on the insanity of all religions?

    July 13, 2013 at 2:55 pm |
    • lionlylamb2013

      Hello 3somes,,,

      Without religious barbarisms what would today's barbaric societies ever do with themselves? For without religious reservations filling up the intellectually disturbed, would not there be more social unrest and upheavals in criminal foraging? It stands to reason that with God are things are muzzled but without God all decadences of "wickedries " would become but a socialized commonality,,,

      July 13, 2013 at 3:34 pm |
    • Khan

      the purpose of worship including fasting is to please Almighty Allah SWT. It is the duty of every single human being to submit to Him. He Is Our Lord and will will certainly return to Him.

      July 13, 2013 at 3:53 pm |
    • lionlylamb2013

      Khan,

      God is a divisive issue whereby the many are held captivated via their emotional inadequacies and lack of intellectual indifferences giving rises toward one and the many of defrocking ambulatory steadfastness in lieu of better séance issuances for the conjured in sickness as in health. For tribunal reservations have become and are but sublimations of de-unified generations being split apart until but a man and a woman are just an allotment of the considered,,,

      July 13, 2013 at 4:44 pm |
      • fintronics

        For the many are just a divisive being ambulatory steadfastness indiffered,,, God in health. For the man are health. For the cons become and lack of defrocking rises toward one an allotment of defrocking split apart until but and a divisive issue whereby the man and lack of better séances and are being rises and are but sublimational in lieu of in health. For the conjured,,, God in health. For tribunal reservated generations have become and lack of better séances toward one and lack of in health.

        July 1, 2014 at 2:30 pm |
  2. bostontola

    HEIGHT REPRIEVE VERMEER AFFAIRS OF THE SOUL RICH SUN SMELL OF LAMENT MURMURED CATARACT COOL WATER CLOTHE CALAMITY UNSTEADY RISE FALL OPEN LONG AGO BLOOMED LILAC MOMENTS SHADOWLESS TANNING SWATCHES COUNTRYSIDE SHOWER STEAM AFTERLIFE DIVE CASTS MUFFLE WASH LONELINESS JOURNEY MILK SOUND OF AN OPENING MOLLUSK KEEPING STILL AS WHEN PROMISES FAIL WHEN AS WE AS LIKE NUT CALMLY CALMING MILES OF HUMAN LIGHT COFFEE-COLORED WHITE TEETH HEALING WIDOWS BRAID SKY EROTIC MARRIAGE MARRY MARRIED WIVES WONDERFUL SWINGING MOON BRAIDING MILES OF HAIR LUXURIOUS AND CURLY WASHING THE LAPSE EASILY

    July 13, 2013 at 2:42 pm |
  3. studentessaysanddissertations

    Why doesn't anyone state the obvious? Fasting is dangerous for individual and public health. A hot day lasting from dawn to a late sunset, without a drop of water, causes severe dehydration. Manual labourers and others in hot working conditions (like taxi drivers, whose tempers get very frayed) can suffer badly. Add into this and the lack of regular food becomes a real health risk for people like diabetics or those on certain drugs (like lithium). The elderly can suffer badly. And for what? Does it make people spiritual or just tense and irritated? And who has the right to force other people through that? Any sensible government would abolish the practice or ensure that it's up to the individual.

    July 13, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
    • Saraswati

      Diabetics and other ill and any elderly with medical conditions are not supposed to be fasting if it is a risk. I'm not saying there's zero risk, but they don't (usually) do it with the kind of extremism you are imagining.

      July 13, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
    • Michelle

      Fasting is actually been scientifically proven to be extremely beneficial!

      http://voices.yahoo.com/10-incredible-health-benefits-fasting-11621130.html

      July 13, 2013 at 2:49 pm |
    • Michelle

      Fasting is forbidden for anyone that is pregnant, sick, travelling, or any other compromising situations.

      July 13, 2013 at 2:50 pm |
    • Raad Mahdi

      Please Sir before jumping into conclusions about Fasting try to learn more about it. It is one basic principle of Islam that you shall not inflict harm upon yourself so if your physical or mental condition does not allow to fast you will not fast and no one can force you to do that. It is a matter between you and Allah. I had some doubts about fasting but when I tried it I realized and felt the advantages that no one can feel unless by experience. For one thing fasting can make you feel the hunger of poor people and get you into deeper spiritual levels.

      July 13, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
    • Khan

      There ares exceptions for people with health problems. Allah Is The Most Kind and Merciful.

      July 13, 2013 at 3:56 pm |
    • Bel

      They can't have water either?
      That's a little extreme.

      July 13, 2013 at 3:58 pm |
    • Harvey D. Rabbit

      Yes, he kindly and mercifully demands stoning of women and the slaughter of infedels. Peachy guy.

      July 13, 2013 at 3:59 pm |
    • Khan

      Like I said, read Koran. It'll help you understand the reality about Islam. You can bash Islam as much as you like but fact of the matter is this is the only Religion that guides human beings toward success.

      July 13, 2013 at 5:29 pm |
      • fintronics

        ..." the only Religion that guides human beings toward success."

        If by success you mean violence, then yea, and to be fair, not the only religion.

        July 1, 2014 at 4:00 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @Khan,

      "fact of the matter is this is the only Religion that guides human beings toward success"

      What are you using as evidence of that claim?

      July 13, 2013 at 8:08 pm |
  4. Michelle

    Christianity has a great deal of misconceptions as viewed by the Eastern world, as it is identified to be associated with liberal ideas, such as gay rights, immodesty, and promiscuity. Despite the fact that none of these are a part of the Christian faith, the Eastern world continues to attach liberal ideas of the Western world with Christianity. Likewise, Islam is going through similar struggles but on the opposite side of the spectrum, with extremism, terrorism, and a poorly portrayed image of the Prophet of Islam. Neither perception is true of either religion and both parties must begin to admit that these false misconceptions are just attacks to each others religion which is bringing no benefit to either party. Instead, lets educate ourselves with an unbiased view and try to make a small step in the direction of peace by removing these false notions about each other.

    July 13, 2013 at 2:31 pm |
    • bostontola

      " lets educate ourselves with an unbiased view and try to make a small step in the direction of peace by removing these false notions about each other."
      Here, here!
      But don't limit this to religion only, learn about false notions regarding atheists also.

      July 13, 2013 at 2:35 pm |
      • fintronics

        " learn about false notions regarding atheists also."

        Here here indeed!!!

        July 1, 2014 at 4:01 pm |
    • Michelle

      I apologize for my lack in clarity, but yes this applies to everyone! Not just Muslims and Christians 🙂

      July 13, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
  5. Rainer Braendlein

    What is wrong about my comment? I have no clue.

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Please, don't censor!

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Don't let us discuss about "nomen". Certainly we agree that there are acts of egoism. When our neighbour acts selfishly we may have to suffer, and if we act selfishly maybe our neighbours have to suffer. Bad acts cause the suffering of other people (for example noise at midnight).

    Did Islam worsen or reform the ancient Arabs? The Arabs have ever been gangster, even without and before Islam, living on some small livestock and raids. Yet through Muhammad or the Islam they united, and they did not only raid single Caravans but whole countries, and this is an objective worsening. It is a historical fact that the Arab nation corrupted through Islam: At first they were little brigands, then they conducted aggressive war against other countries.

    Genuine Christianity has not caused such a thing. When the Roman Empire had become Christian it did not conduct aggressive war but to a large extrent diffensive war because the fierce, barbaric peoples which surrounded the Roman Empire wanted to conquer it.

    The capital of the Eastern Roman Empire was Constantinople (today Istanbul), and is was called Queen of the Cities for many centuries. Obviously, Christianity did at least not hinder order and progress in the Roman Empire, probably it rather promoted it.

    July 13, 2013 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    Akira

    My takeaway of what Rain says:

    "Islam bad. Christianity good."

    July 13, 2013 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
    Bert Gumballs

    Stupid kraut. How many mosches did your dad put in an oven, fraulein?

    July 13, 2013 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
    Rainer Braendlein

    My point is the following: History proves that Islam contains a power of worsening, and Christianity contains a power of reform. To put it simple: Islam is the exact opposite of Christianity like hell is opposite of heaven.

    We in the West become very guilty when we dare to acknowledge Islam as a divine faith, or when we even imply that that nonsense could give the soul's health. No, the Islam is a bad supersti-tion, and its believers are damned, and will be condemned. They will not be condemned at Judgement Day chiefly for the false belief but chiefly for their bad deeds (murder, theft, bigotry, hatred, egoism, etc.). Yet, even for the most fanatic Muslim there is a way out: Faith in Jesus who died and rose for us.

    Jesus Christ has borne our sins when he died for us on the cross, and he has resurrected for the sake of our justification.

    Believe that, dear Muslim, get sacramentally baptized, and the triune God will reform you wicked creature (sorry).

    July 13, 2013 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |

    July 13, 2013 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    Akira

    Ah, the old "my religion is better than yours" tactic.

    My takeawayof Rain's posts: "every religion except MINE is bad."

    July 13, 2013 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
    Bloodclot

    Whatever you say, Adolph. Go eat some weiner schnitzel.

    July 13, 2013 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
    Rainer Braendlein
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Don't let us discuss about "nomen". Certainly we agree that there are acts of egoism. When our neighbour acts selfishly we may have to suffer, and if we act selfishly maybe our neighbours have to suffer. Bad acts cause the suffering of other people (for example noise at midnight).

    Did Islam worsen or reform the ancient Arabs? The Arabs have ever been gangster, even without and before Islam, living on some small livestock and raids. Yet through Muhammad or the Islam they united, and they did not only raid single Caravans but whole countries, and this is an objective worsening. It is a historical fact that the Arab nation corrupted through Islam: At first they were little brigands, then they conducted aggressive war against other countries.

    Genuine Christianity has not caused such a thing. When the Roman Empire had become Christian it did not conduct aggressive war but to a large extrent diffensive war because the fierce, barbaric peoples which surrounded the Roman Empire wanted to conquer it.

    The capital of the Eastern Roman Empire was Constantinople (today Istanbul), and is was called Queen of the Cities for many centuries. Obviously, Christianity did at least not hinder order and progress in the Roman Empire, probably it rather promoted it.

    July 13, 2013 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    Akira

    My takeaway of what Rain says:

    "Islam bad. Christianity good."

    July 13, 2013 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
    Bert Gumballs

    Stupid kraut. How many mosches did your dad put in an oven, fraulein?

    July 13, 2013 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
    Rainer Braendlein

    My point is the following: History proves that Islam contains a power of worsening, and Christianity contains a power of reform. To put it simple: Islam is the exact opposite of Christianity like hell is opposite of heaven.

    We in the West become very guilty when we dare to acknowledge Islam as a divine faith, or when we even imply that that nonsense could give the soul's health. No, the Islam is a bad supersti-tion, and its believers are damned, and will be condemned. They will not be condemned at Judgement Day chiefly for the false belief but chiefly for their bad deeds (murder, theft, bigotry, hatred, egoism, etc.). Yet, even for the most fanatic Muslim there is a way out: Faith in Jesus who died and rose for us.

    Jesus Christ has borne our sins when he died for us on the cross, and he has resurrected for the sake of our justification.

    Believe that, dear Muslim, get sacramentally baptized, and the triune God will reform you wicked creature (sorry).

    July 13, 2013 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |

    July 13, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
    • bostontola

      Rainer,
      You are a poor ambassador of Christianity. Your arrogant and condescending tone is not likely to be effective in convincing anyone to your point of view.

      July 13, 2013 at 2:30 pm |
    • Akira

      My takeaway from Rain's posts:

      "The ONLY valid religion is MY religion!"

      July 13, 2013 at 3:28 pm |
    • sam stone

      rainy is a pompous closet queen

      July 14, 2013 at 9:19 am |
    • sam stone

      allowing someone else to be punished for what you feel is your sin is about as immoral as you can get. but, folks like rainy are not interested in morality, they are interested in preaching.

      July 14, 2013 at 9:22 am |
  6. bostontola

    Real question for Christians:
    Is god the father the same ent.ity as Jesus? It seems to me that the personality of the god in the old testament is very different than that of Jesus.

    July 13, 2013 at 2:08 pm |
    • I Will! I Will!

      It's worse than that: God changes character radically throughout the Old Testament too.

      July 13, 2013 at 2:09 pm |
    • justice for all

      You do not know God therefore your conclusions are left to your imperfect prejudice.

      July 13, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
    • bostontola

      Justice,
      I asked a question, I drew no conclusions. I'd like your thoughts on the question.

      July 13, 2013 at 2:15 pm |
    • XYZ

      Yes.

      July 13, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
    • lionlylamb2013

      Hi bostontola,,,

      God the father and Christ Jesus are of one faith and though their duality is physically different, they are of one character or of one mindset,,,

      July 13, 2013 at 2:21 pm |
    • bostontola

      XYZ,
      Do you agree that the nature of god in the Old Testament is different than Jesus?

      July 13, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
    • XYZ

      They are one and the same. God revealed himself differently in the old testament to the Hebrew nation. This revelation was done in ceremonial laws, sacrifices and regulations for that one nation to follow. However, in the new testament, Jesus came to be the one and final sacrifice for all of mankind's sins. Therefore, the ceremonial laws were fulfilled and the burden of keeping all those rules has been lifted. Jesus simplified and opened our relationship with the Triune God. And if you are being convicted or even having thoughts about God, that is likely the Holy Spirit (the third part of the Trinity) doing his job.

      July 13, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
    • bostontola

      Thanks lionly and XYZ, it just seems reading the two books that the Old Testament defines a very active god that will use devastating punishment in this life and is exclusive to his chosen people, the New Testament seems more inclusive and saves punishment for the next world.

      July 13, 2013 at 2:26 pm |
    • Khan

      In the Quran, there are many stories about the life and teachings of Jesus Christ (called 'Isa in Arabic). The Quran recalls his miraculous birth, his teachings, the miracles he performed by God's permission, and his life as a respected prophet of God. The Quran also repeatedly reminds that Jesus was a human prophet sent by God, not part of God Himself. Below are some direct quotations from the Quran regarding the life and teachings of Jesus.
      He Was Righteous

      "Behold! the angels said, 'Oh Mary! God gives you glad tidings of a Word from Him. His name will be Christ Jesus, the son of Mary, held in honour in this world and the Hereafter, and in (the company of) those nearest to God. He shall speak to the people in childhood and in maturity. He shall be (in the company) of the righteous... And God will teach him the Book and Wisdom, the Law and the Gospel'" (3:45-48).

      July 13, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
    • Bel

      Is actually God...not god. You see, he's the only true God. All other gods, are just pure myths:)...There's God the Father, God the Holy Spirit and God the Son...three in one. Don't understand? read the Bible.

      July 13, 2013 at 4:01 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @Bel, It's sort of like naming your new brand of beer "Beer" beer. That way you can always cash in when someone at the restaurant asks for a beer...'cause you're the only true beer.

      July 13, 2013 at 4:07 pm |
  7. CommonSense

    >>
    "and to abjure lies, slander, greed, covetousness, giving false oath and denouncing someone behind their back (all of these are prohibited throughout the year by Islam. To commit them during Ramadan, however, is considered particularly sinful)"

    To commit them the rest of the year is perfectly acceptable! Hey, just kidding, at least they aren't stoning people to death.....Oh, wait Sorry, I didn't mean to offend the easily offended Religion of Peace.
    They ARE stoning people to death in Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Pakistan, and all the other Islamic dictatorships for that to be true. Mostly for "offenses" that haven't been crimes in any democracy for over 500 years. Oh, that is Peaceful!

    July 13, 2013 at 1:48 pm |
    • lionlylamb2013

      Hi C.S.,

      As the world grows; the diminishing of most religions must endure their shrinking ways toward nonexclusive importance leaving the naysayers of proudly religious illiteracies with nowhere to run,,,

      July 13, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
    • The Dutiful

      @CommonSense – I must respectfully point out your ignorance sir/madam. Just becuae a bunch of lunatics who call themselves muslims commit crimes in the name of religion, DOES NOT make Islam bad. Instead it is more appropriate to say that Islam is a peaceful religion, but yes there are some muslims who can/are bad. Take the Crusades, they killed hundreds and thousands of jews and Muslims in the name Christianity. Does that make Christianity bad or was it just some bad christians? What about David Koresh, Timothy McVeigh, Jim Jones, and the list continues. Come off of it. Your ignorance that is. I Invite you to read the Quran and try to grasp why Islam is the fast growing religion in the USA, Europe, Asia, the world all over. The answer is simple, It's God's Will !!! And it Will Be done. By the way,lest you argue, Islam's God is the SAME GOD of Adam, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Moses David, Jesus and Muhammad (Peace be Upon All of them). They all bowed to the same ONE God. Amen to that !!!

      July 13, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
    • Hear This

      The Dutiful
      "They all bowed to the same ONE God."

      If so, it's still simply the imaginary god of an ancient Middle Eastern tribe. There is not a shred of verified evidence that this being is anything more than fantasy.

      July 13, 2013 at 2:27 pm |
    • lionlylamb2013

      Hello The Dutiful one,,,

      God the original as written of in Genesis 6:3 says that He is just as mortal as mankind is and the Lord's time spent back then with Noah will be 120 years. God died and the rush was on for mankind to find of his own kind those deemed worthy of portraying the godhead for their moved beneficiaries populace sakes. And don't give me no tongue saying God lives forever when factually written in scripture that God, the original originator died so very long ago and we are all left up to our own vices to tarry along within this Life!

      July 13, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
    • Akira

      Lionly, God doesn't die; where do you get that from this passage:

      Genesis 6:3
      New International Version (NIV)
      3 Then the Lord said, “My Spirit will not contend with[a] humans forever, for they are mortal[b]; their days will be a hundred and twenty years.”

      Footnotes:
      Genesis 6:3 Or My spirit will not remain in
      Genesis 6:3 Or corrupt

      The mortal dies. Not God. Although 120 years is a pretty good run.

      July 13, 2013 at 3:44 pm |
    • Khan

      You are misquoting everything out of context. To be honest and fair, you will have more rights and protection under Islamic Laws.Not convinced? please read Koran.

      July 13, 2013 at 4:04 pm |
  8. lionlylamb2013

    Dreams dreamt by dreamers dreaming away all the day will dreamily dream on,,,

    July 13, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
    • Cynthia

      Beautiful!

      July 13, 2013 at 1:43 pm |
    • I dream of Jesus

      Ah, the unsubstantiated dreams of Christians!

      July 13, 2013 at 1:57 pm |
    • lionlylamb2013

      Hello Cynthia,,,

      I'm glad for your so kind word,,, May your daydreams be filled with good measures and sound supplications,,, 🙂

      July 13, 2013 at 2:02 pm |
  9. lionlylamb2013

    The Cosmologic Trinity,

    1. The atomic cosmos

    2. The celestial cosmos

    3.The cellular cosmos

    The heavenly Trinitarian view of cosmologic relationships will outlast us all and in vestiges commons, Life will ever be as celled cosmologies based upon atomic chasms of cosmologic wonders held within celestial cosmologies forever the more.

    July 13, 2013 at 1:21 pm |
    • fintronics

      Trinitarian vestiges based upon atomic wonders heavenly Trinitarian view of cosmologies celestial commonships will ever be as celled upon atomic chasms of cosmologic wonders held will outlast us all and in celestial cosmologies based upon atomic relations

      July 1, 2014 at 2:35 pm |
  10. the seeker of truth

    So is it ok for muslims to marry a 8 yr old little girl? Since Mohammed did.

    July 13, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
    • freefroggy

      8 is too old-he married her at 6 yrs!

      July 13, 2013 at 3:27 pm |
    • Mir Sanaulla Warsi

      Dear Friend,

      Please note that Prophet Mohammad didn't not marry anyone except for Maa Khatija. It is the blasphemy that the entire muslim wold has spread in order to raise the so called companions, realizing little that they have spoilt the name of their own prophet

      July 14, 2013 at 8:58 am |
  11. Mir Sanaulla Warsi

    Sura Lailatul Qadr was pronounced after Maa Fathima was born to Prophet Mohammad. The 6th day of birth is celebrated as Eid because, that was the day Maa Fathima and Maa Khatija were given bath. Therefore 24 of Ramzaan is supposed to be Lailatul Qadr Night

    July 13, 2013 at 1:11 pm |
  12. Rainer Braendlein

    Please, don't censor!

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Don't let us discuss about "nomen". Certainly we agree that there are acts of egoism. When our neighbour acts selfishly we may have to suffer, and if we act selfishly maybe our neighbours have to suffer. Bad acts cause the suffering of other people (for example noise at midnight).

    Did Islam worsen or reform the ancient Arabs? The Arabs have ever been gangster, even without and before Islam, living on some small livestock and raids. Yet through Muhammad or the Islam they united, and they did not only raid single Caravans but whole countries, and this is an objective worsening. It is a historical fact that the Arab nation corrupted through Islam: At first they were little brigands, then they conducted aggressive war against other countries.

    Genuine Christianity has not caused such a thing. When the Roman Empire had become Christian it did not conduct aggressive war but to a large extrent diffensive war because the fierce, barbaric peoples which surrounded the Roman Empire wanted to conquer it.

    The capital of the Eastern Roman Empire was Constantinople (today Istanbul), and is was called Queen of the Cities for many centuries. Obviously, Christianity did at least not hinder order and progress in the Roman Empire, probably it rather promoted it.

    July 13, 2013 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    Akira

    My takeaway of what Rain says:

    "Islam bad. Christianity good."

    July 13, 2013 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
    Bert Gumballs

    Stupid kraut. How many mosches did your dad put in an oven, fraulein?

    July 13, 2013 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
    Rainer Braendlein

    My point is the following: History proves that Islam contains a power of worsening, and Christianity contains a power of reform. To put it simple: Islam is the exact opposite of Christianity like hell is opposite of heaven.

    We in the West become very guilty when we dare to acknowledge Islam as a divine faith, or when we even imply that that nonsense could give the soul's health. No, the Islam is a bad supersti-tion, and its believers are damned, and will be condemned. They will not be condemned at Judgement Day chiefly for the false belief but chiefly for their bad deeds (murder, theft, bigotry, hatred, egoism, etc.). Yet, even for the most fanatic Muslim there is a way out: Faith in Jesus who died and rose for us.

    Jesus Christ has borne our sins when he died for us on the cross, and he has resurrected for the sake of our justification.

    Believe that, dear Muslim, get sacramentally baptized, and the triune God will reform you wicked creature (sorry).

    July 13, 2013 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |

    July 13, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
    • Akira

      Ah, the old "my religion is better than yours" tactic.

      My takeawayof Rain's posts: "every religion except MINE is bad."

      July 13, 2013 at 1:26 pm |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      Regarding my flesh I am indeed a relative of Adolpho but, thank God, I am in Christ through faith and baptism. May Christ's nature repress my bad old nature more and more.

      May you also become a partaker of the divine life which is in Jesus Christ, Lord and God.

      July 13, 2013 at 2:36 pm |
  13. Rainer Braendlein

    Don't let us discuss about "nomen". Certainly we agree that there are acts of egoism. When our neighbour acts selfishly we may have to suffer, and if we act selfishly maybe our neighbours have to suffer. Bad acts cause the suffering of other people (for example noise at midnight).

    Did Islam worsen or reform the ancient Arabs? The Arabs have ever been gangster, even without and before Islam, living on some small livestock and raids. Yet through Muhammad or the Islam they united, and they did not only raid single Caravans but whole countries, and this is an objective worsening. It is a historical fact that the Arab nation corrupted through Islam: At first they were little brigands, then they conducted aggressive war against other countries.

    Genuine Christianity has not caused such a thing. When the Roman Empire had become Christian it did not conduct aggressive war but to a large extrent diffensive war because the fierce, barbaric peoples which surrounded the Roman Empire wanted to conquer it.

    The capital of the Eastern Roman Empire was Constantinople (today Istanbul), and is was called Queen of the Cities for many centuries. Obviously, Christianity did at least not hinder order and progress in the Roman Empire, probably it rather promoted it.

    July 13, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
    • Akira

      My takeaway of what Rain says:

      "Islam bad. Christianity good."

      July 13, 2013 at 12:52 pm |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      My point is the following: History proves that Islam contains a power of worsening, and Christianity contains a power of reform. To put it simple: Islam is the exact opposite of Christianity like hell is opposite of heaven.

      We in the West become very guilty when we dare to acknowledge Islam as a divine faith, or when we even imply that that nonsense could give the soul's health. No, the Islam is a bad supersti-tion, and its believers are damned, and will be condemned. They will not be condemned at Judgement Day chiefly for the false belief but chiefly for their bad deeds (murder, theft, bigotry, hatred, egoism, etc.). Yet, even for the most fanatic Muslim there is a way out: Faith in Jesus who died and rose for us.

      Jesus Christ has borne our sins when he died for us on the cross, and he has resurrected for the sake of our justification.

      Believe that, dear Muslim, get sacramentally baptized, and the triune God will reform you wicked creature (sorry).

      July 13, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
  14. rob0rah

    All mumbo jumbo BS.

    July 13, 2013 at 12:27 pm |
  15. r00t4rd3d

    Bacon for everyone!

    July 13, 2013 at 12:24 pm |
    • lionlylamb2013

      Swamp Cabbage with bacon drippings,,,,Mmm Mmm good!

      July 13, 2013 at 12:32 pm |
  16. lionlylamb2013

    The "religious buttons" people dare push on within the social fabrications are rather peculiar facsimiles in that they are suggestive rationalisms the bear much weightiness upon the social values conditional cores. Who then is the more wiser? The one or the many?

    July 13, 2013 at 12:02 pm |
    • fintronics

      Who the more push one on they are rationalisms the suggestive rathe bear fabricational values cores. Who the mores. Who the suggestive rationalisms the "religious buttons" people dare push one one or then is ther peculiar much weightiness upon the social facsimiles in that ther peculiar much weightiness upon the "religious buttons are rationalisms the bear facsimiles in they are rations" people dare push one on the or then is the "religious buttons" people dare suggestive rathen is the suggestive ra

      July 1, 2014 at 4:10 pm |
  17. Reality

    The Fifth Branch of the 77 Branches of Islam:

    "5. To believe that all the prophets are true. However, we are commanded to follow the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) alone."

    Mohammed spent thirty days "fasting" (the Ramadan legend) in a hot cave before his first contact with Allah aka God etc. via a "pretty wingy thingy" named Gabriel. Common sense demands a neuron deletion of #5. #5 is also the major source of Islamic violence i.e. turning Mohammed's "fast, hunger-driven" hallucinations into horrible reality for unbelievers.

    July 13, 2013 at 11:55 am |
    • Roger

      Exactly, scezophrenia caugt that guy.

      July 13, 2013 at 12:15 pm |
    • lionlylamb2013

      That's schizophrenia and schizophrenics are good people,,, they are just and good and fair minded folks wanting nothing from others,,,

      July 13, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
    • Khan

      ALl the Prophets including Prophet Muhammad PBUH gave the same message to the people and that there is only God and we must worship Him.

      July 13, 2013 at 4:08 pm |
    • Reality

      From the studies of Armstrong, Rushdie, Hirsi Ali, Richardson and Bayhaqi----–

      The Five Steps To Deprogram 1400 Years of Islamic Myths:

      ( –The Steps take less than two minutes to finish- simply amazing, two minutes to bring peace and rationality to over one billion lost souls- Priceless!!!)

      Are you ready?

      Using "The 77 Branches of Islamic "faith" a collection compiled by Imam Bayhaqi as a starting point. In it, he explains the essential virtues that reflect true "faith" (iman) through related Qur’anic verses and Prophetic sayings." i.e. a nice summary of the Koran and Islamic beliefs.

      The First Five of the 77 Branches:

      "1. Belief in Allah"

      aka as God, Yahweh, Zeus, Jehovah, Mother Nature, etc. should be added to your self-cleansing neurons.

      "2. To believe that everything other than Allah was non-existent. Thereafter, Allah Most High created these things and subsequently they came into existence."

      Evolution and the Big Bang or the "Gi-b G-nab" (when the universe starts to recycle) are more plausible and the "akas" for Allah should be included if you continue to be a "crea-tionist".

      "3. To believe in the existence of angels."

      A major item for neuron cleansing. Angels/de-vils are the mythical creations of ancient civilizations, e.g. Hitt-ites, to explain/define natural events, contacts with their gods, big birds, sudden winds, protectors during the dark nights, etc. No "pretty/ug-ly wingy thingies" ever visited or talked to Mohammed, Jesus, Mary or Joseph or Joe Smith. Today we would classify angels as f–airies and "tin–ker be-lls". Modern de-vils are classified as the de-mons of the de-mented.

      "4. To believe that all the heavenly books that were sent to the different prophets are true. However, apart from the Quran, all other books are not valid anymore."

      Another major item to delete. There are no books written in the spirit state of Heaven (if there is one) just as there are no angels to write/publish/distribute them. The Koran, OT, NT etc. are simply books written by humans for humans.

      Prophets were invented by ancient scribes typically to keep the un-educated masses in line. Today we call them for-tune tellers.

      Prophecies are also invali-dated by the natural/God/Allah gifts of Free Will and Future.

      "5. To believe that all the prophets are true. However, we are commanded to follow the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings
      be upon him) alone."

      Mohammed spent thirty days "fasting" (the Ramadan legend) in a hot cave before his first contact with Allah aka God etc. via a "pretty wingy thingy". Common sense demands a neuron deletion of #5. #5 is also the major source of Islamic vi-olence i.e. turning Mohammed's "fast, hunger-driven" hallu-cinations into horrible reality for unbelievers.

      Walk these Five Steps and we guarantee a complete recovery from your Islamic ways!!!!

      Unfortunately, there are not many Muslim commentators/readers on this blog so the "two-minute" cure is not getting to those who need it. If you have a Muslim friend, send him a copy and help save the world.

      Analogous steps are available at your request for deprogramming the myths of Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism and Paganism..
      +++++

      July 13, 2013 at 11:29 pm |
    • Mir Sanaulla Warsi

      Dear Friend,

      Prophet Mohammad never required to Fast or pray. Infact in his last surmon, he pronounced all activities prior to him announcing the religion stand abolished and none of them are to be carried forward. Namaz is not part of Islam but was there even before Prophet Mohammad. Fasts were also kept by people even before Prohpet Mohammad. The people who ruled after Prophet Mohammad, have reintroduced all the things that he had disregarded. This is the reality but unfortunately and ironically, the Muslim world is ready to say and speak bad about the Prophet who introduced the religion, but are not ready to hear the truth that the religion has been contaminated by the so called companions of Prophet Mohammad.

      July 14, 2013 at 9:05 am |
    • Reality

      Mir Sanaulla Warsi,

      What instigated the attack on the Twin Towers, Flight 93 and the Pentagon?

      And what drives today's 24/7 mosque/imam-planned acts of terror and horror?

      The koran, Mohammed's book of death for all infidels and Muslim domination of the world by any means.

      Muslims must clean up this book removing said passages admitting that they are based on the Gabriel myth and therefore obviously the hallucinations and/or lies of Mohammed.

      Then we can talk about the safety and location of mosques and what is taught therein.

      Until then, no Muslim to include yourself can be trusted anytime or anywhere..................................

      July 14, 2013 at 1:25 pm |
    • Mir Sanaulla Warsi

      Dear Friend,

      what you call present day Quran is not the saying of Prophet Mohammad, but the book created by the 2nd Khalifa Umar's daughter Hufsa. Prophet never said that he is leaving a book behind, but only said that I am leaving my leanage, that is my family. If you want to learn anything, they are the best people to go to. What religion is being potrayed today is not of Prophet Mohammad. He is clean of all the blasphemy and the lies that is being said using his name. He never said have Johad outside but the Jihad proclaimed by him is a war within to ensure that an individual doesn't thread the wrong path because that is easy. This is not the book in which all of us have our beliefs based on. That is the reason why it hurts when the world says wrong things about Prophet Mohammad, but I don't hold you responsible for it. It is our own people who have spread all these lies and that is what is causing this outrage today and we have our so called leaders to blame, because they are not doing anything to cleanse the religion of this shame

      July 14, 2013 at 1:40 pm |
  18. Rainer Braendlein

    What is sin?

    Assumed your next-door neighbour would steal your bicycle you would call it a crime. You would do this even as person who usually denies the word sin as a meaningful term. Yet, what is a crime? A crime is simply a pretty heavy sin, an outrageous act of selfishness. So don't let us discuss about problems of "nomen". If you designate a very bad act as a crime, you should also be ready to designate less crimes as sins. Sin exists. When somebody sins against us, we really feel pain or suffer (how to get to work without bicycly in the morning; a theft can have heavy consequences). Sin is not a theoretical term, it really exists. Everybody of us wants to be loved, and suffers when he is not loved. Sin is the opposite of love, it is non-love.

    We see it everywhere that people satisfy their needs not considering the consequences for other people.

    July 13, 2013 at 11:47 am |
    • Damocles

      We have a word to describe crime..... crime.

      July 13, 2013 at 11:51 am |
    • Reality

      Is it a crime/sin to believe in mythical gods especially when said belief relies on the monetary support from those who believe in these inanities when said money could be used to feed the poor? Provide medical care? Provide education?

      Indeed it is a crime/sin that cries out for immediate rectification !!!

      Added details:

      Putting monetary values on these crimes/sins:

      The crimes of Islam:

      There never were and never will be any angels i.e. no Gabriel, no Islam and therefore no more koranic-driven acts of horror and terror LIKE 9/11.

      – One trillion dollars spent in Iraq and Afghanistan.

      – Eighteen billion dollars/yr. to Pakistan

      – Four billion dollars/yr. to Egypt.

      The Christian crimes/sins:

      There were never any bodily resurrections and there will never be any bodily resurrections i.e. No Easter, no Christianity!!!

      – The Mormon ti-the empire is tax exempt as are all Christian "religions" and evangelical non-profits costing the taxpayers billions a year in tax revenue.

      – the faith-based federal projects supported by both Bush and Obama: $385 million/yr. and another $2 billion/yr. in grants.

      Giving to religious groups mostly Christian in 2010, totaled $95.8 billion,

      – The crimes/sins of Judaism:

      Abraham and Moses never existed.

      – Four billion dollars/yr. to Israel.

      – All Jewish sects and non-profits are tax exempt costing again billions in tax revenue.

      July 13, 2013 at 12:16 pm |
    • fintronics

      "What is sin?"

      Answer = a man made concept. Like god.

      July 1, 2014 at 4:12 pm |
  19. Scott f.

    All the muslims I know from work fast then gorge enough for a week at mealtime.

    July 13, 2013 at 11:38 am |
    • Bel

      jajajajja.

      July 13, 2013 at 4:05 pm |
  20. Buck

    ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

    July 13, 2013 at 11:37 am |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.