Frequently Asked Questions -- FAQ
When does Peace Month begin?
The most fulfilling way to challenge Peace Month is overlapping with the month of Ramadan, which in 2009 for most of the world began the evening of 21st August. So I began Peace Month daytime fasting on 22nd August, and continued daily through sunset to the 19th September. Regional differences exist depending on when the new moon can be sighted; as the date nears, local-based Islamic calendars list key dates & times. If you're completely confused and have nowhere to turn for better information, just don't eat or drink for one month.
I missed the start of Peace Month - can I still participate?
Yes, you can challenge Peace Month alone. But please try fasting from dawn to dusk with Peace Month practitioners. If you've skipped days and survive to the end of Peace Month, use the next days to make-up those you missed. Or you may participate for one or more days to earn a one-day certificate, and challenge the whole month later.
Is Peace Month designed to promote Islam?
Peace Month is non-denominational and secular, for all people of the world, designed to promote peace. By overlapping with the month of Ramadan, Peace Month may generate some understanding of the world's approximately two billion Muslims, of whom more than a billion are simultaneously refraining from food & drink for the month of Ramadan (children typically do not take part in the fast). Peace Month also fosters compassion, perhaps in the midst of personal plenty, for the many millions of impoverished people who cannot eat & drink when they wish. All people are welcome to the considerable challenge of Peace Month. Those who know little of Islam may perhaps wish to learn more, but there are absolutely no obligations to know or to learn anything about Islam.
Might some Muslims feel that Peace Month somehow diminishes the holy practices of Ramadan?
Our intent is not to provide an Islamic experience. Peace Month is not Islamic; it's a human challenge aimed at promoting global peace.
Is Peace Month Anti-Zionist?
What are the goals of Peace Month?
The Peace Month experience provides substantial impetus for self-reflection and outreach. Peace Month is a huge challenge, with strong mixed impressions about consumption patterns, poverty, religious dedication, etc. Of course we hope participants and those near them will be kind, and always question ignorance. We hope participants can recognize that the demonization of other people subverts peace.
I'm a Muslim planning to observe Ramadan as part of my religion. Am I also eligible to participate in Peace Month?
Yes. All are welcome to participate in Peace Month. Everyone fasting successfully can apply for the Peace Month certificate.
I am an active Christian. Is Peace Month a reasonable activity for me?
Yes, Peace Month is a reasonable way for all people to work for peace. Redemptive work in the world is a key part of Christianity. Understanding oneself & others brings us nearer to peace.
I'm not religious, but generally agree peace is better than conflict. "The Peace Month Challenge" is a rad
way to impress people I'm not a total waste. Am I welcome?
Sure! 'Build cred' with Peace Month experiences & certification. Skipping one meal is a bit uncomfortable yet everyone does it sometime; refraining from daytime food & drink for a month is truly tough. Show off what you're made of. Become a local hero. We each learn a lot during Peace Month; it's a time for growth. Have fun. Reach out & Radiate Peace.
What about tobacco and sexual activity during Peace Month?
Those things are left up to you.
Peace Month seems to ignore violence of war, brutal raw survival, and injustice. My community's systematically being undermined. Shall I ignore reality for Peace Month?
No. Yet for a better world, we must try to reach-out, stopping cycles of violence & ignorance. During your normal feeding time, try instead to listen, communicate, and work at building foundations for a better future. Let's share ideas of ways to progress.
Is Peace Month a gateway to Muslimization and the spread of Islam? Does Peace Month encourage extremism in physical culture?
No. All healthy people are invited to try Peace Month: Fundamentalists, Christian Crusaders, any & all faithful or Orthodox. You'll need major willpower to succeed with the Peace Month challenge. Toughen yourself! Over one billion Islamic people find the strength for fasting. Visualize Peace.
After a day with no eating or drinking, how's the taste of that first bit of food or drink?
Great! Try it.
What are the Peace Month rules? Islam allows exception days to fasting for travelers. Also children, pregnant women and the sick are excused from fasting...
People who cannot bear the challenge of Peace Month should not participate. Ask your doctor for advice if uncertain. As to rules, Peace Month is reasonable: if necessity requires a break from Peace Month fasting, you can make up missed days immediately afterward. But it's better to enjoy the special festivals along with everyone else at the end of Peace Month (and Ramadan). Peace ain't easy!
I live in Kiruna, Sweden, above the Arctic Circle. The sun doesn't set here in summer, with no sunrise in winter. In the summer light the moon is seldom seen. Can I challenge Peace Month?
Of course, please join us in Peace Month. If you live so far north or south that daily sunset & sunrise data are meaningless, you may use the data from a 'nearby' major city (in your case, Stockholm). Further, Peace Month calculations accept defining an eight-hour period each day allowing food & drink (perhaps 9PM to 5AM). Going without food & drink need not exceed 16 hours per day. For those places or years when sunrise-sunset & thus fasting would be extraordinarily short or non-existent, we suggest a daily period of at least eight hours without food or drink. This diverges from Islamic calculations (where some leaders have urged migration to more temperate regions for Ramadan). Overall however, we encourage you to try to observe the timing recommendations followed by Muslims in your locale.
On the internet I found a table of local Ramadan times, but the column titles use unfamiliar words. What's up?
Peace Month goes from dawn to dusk for a month. If using an Islamic prayer chart as your timing guide, it perhaps lists Arabic words: "fajr" is dawn, and "maghrib" is sunset. These are the key words for us with Peace Month. A pre-dawn meal is "suhoor" and the meal after sunset that ends fasting is "iftar". Muslim fasting (abstention, includes abstaining from smoking, anger & sexual activity) is "sawm". The end of Ramadan (and Peace Month) is "Eid ul-Fitr" or often simply "Eid". ... (Romanization of these words sometimes differs. Additional key words should perhaps be added, but if you've interest in Islam, study yourself)...
Are there are doctrinal differences or competing interpretations of the Koran that impact on Ramadan?
We are not experts in Islam, and Peace Month claims no religious authority. Please enjoy the challenge of Peace Month, with a healthy & wholesome approach to life.
Do you have other suggested Peace Month activities?
Peace Month allows uncommon opportunities for contemplation and activity. Quietly step-away from your normal patterns; uncover self-control; seek peace. We have listed some possible activities and ideas at:
If you've other ideas, please share them with us via our Peace Month blog.
Questions or comments to:
Dr. Bruce Henry Lambert
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