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Religious Faiths Are Interlinked By Ramadan, Passover, Easter

series of special religious observances - for Muslims,

Christians and Jews - unfold in the coming two weeks, each

the Koran, referring to the Bible.

While many Westerners of predominantly Judeo-Christian affiliations

regard Islam as a remote, foreign faith of which they know

little, the Koran says of Jews and Christians in Sura 3:64:

"O People of the Book! Come to common terms as between

us and you: That we worship none but God."

Ramadan, ninth month of the Islamic calendar, is a period

of daytime fasting whose observance is obligatory except

for travelers, the pregnant or sick. It is one of "five

pillars of Islam."

The period customarily begins in many Muslim countries with

repeated firing of cannons on the eve of the first day.

Days are marked from sunset to sunset in the Islamic calendar,

as in the Jewish calendar.

In Islamic thought, fasting points up limitations of self,

that without recognizing limitations real knowledge is impossible,

that only in seeing the limits of anything does its true

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of the occasions signifying humanity's dependence on God.

But they differ in form and procedure.

Islam's month of Ramadan starts this Sunday evening. Christianity's

holy week begins the following Palm Sunday, March 24, leading

to Easter Sunday, March 31. Judaism's Passover week commences March 29.

All three monotheistic religions are interlinked, both Christianity

and Islam finding prophetic roots in the older "mother

religion" of Judaism.

The chain of observances opens in Islam which, in its own

way, includes champions of all three faiths - Islam's founder

Mohammed, the Jewish hero of Passover, Moses, and Christianity's

savior, Jesus.

Muslims regard Jews and Christians as the "People of the

Book," the designation applied to them by Islam's Scriptures,

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