For many Christians, Lent is a period of self-denial. This can mean a gesture as small as giving up a certain luxury, or a larger commitment to fasting, prayer and repenting sins.
This year’s Lent started on 1 March – Ash Wednesday – and will end just before Easter Sunday on 16 April, the period reflecting the 40 days Jesus spent fasting in the desert.
In an excellent show of inter-faith solidarity, the last few years have seen many Muslims observe Lent in support of their Christian pals.
— Eid.Pray.Love. (@EidPrayLove) February 18, 2015
— Eid.Pray.Love. (@EidPrayLove) February 17, 2015
— Bassel (@viabassel) March 1, 2017
This year, many Nigerian Muslims are giving up something they love for Lent in solidarity with the millions of Christians in the country:
— john femi adi (@femiadi) March 20, 2017
We love gestures like this, as they serve to increase understanding and openness between different faiths which, in these divisive times, is something we need more than ever.
This particular story also reminds us that Lent shares a lot of similarities with Ramadan: as well as the obvious connection with fasting, they both ask us to reflect on what we have in an effort to bring us closer to our families, communities and our faith. Plus, both events end in a celebration (and a lot of food).
#Muslims4Lent shows that we share far more in common than we often think.