Islam works on the lunar year, which is shorter than the solar year, and so everything timed by it appears to move forward by about eleven days annually when compared to the solar calendar. This means that Ramadan will be moving through the Christian season of Lent for the next few years.
Both have in common the practice of fasting but with significant differences in approach and rigour. They share much more when we think of the additional dimensions to both seasons beyond physical fasting, but each has particular aspects not shared by the other.
A conference was planned by the Islamic Centre of England, the Iranian administered mosque in London, for the summer of 2020 to make known the life and example of Husayn, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, the third Imam in Shi’a understanding. The aim was to make his struggle for justice known to the widest possible audience of people who are not Muslims. To this end, I was asked to write a short book to be distributed at the conference re-telling the story from authentic Shi’a sources with introductory paragraphs giving reflections for today’s human society.
The conference did not take place due to restrictions to contain the spread of the coronavirus but the book was written and completed. It has now been printed by the Islamic Centre through their imprint Contemporary Thoughts Press under the title Hussain and the Struggle for Justice (isbn 978-1-914282-03-4). My text can be accessed as a pdf document: Husayn, the grandson of Muhammad: contemporary reflections on the struggle for justice.
Eight hundred years ago, in 1219, Francis of Assisi made the journey to Egypt and had an historic encounter with the leader of the Muslim forces arrayed against the crusaders, Sultan Malik al-Kamil. This had an impact on the rest of his life and his legacy. Read about the meeting here
The video material for four of the practices of Islam was originally of poor quality. These have now been replaced for the units on prayer, fasting, circulating money to those in need and pilgrimage. Please draw these new audio-visual aids to the attention of all teachers and anyone else who might find them useful.