The holy month of Ramadhan 2014 started with calls for peace, humility and tolerance dominating the goodwill messages delivered to Muslims all over the world

by various leaders and opinion shapers. As Allah the Almighty tells us, the month of Ramadhan is that in which the holy Qur’an was revealed as guidance for mankind with clear proofs for judgement between right and wrong. But in a world plagued with civil strife and conflict, especially in the Muslim world, Ramadhan could just be that familiar annual ritual where adults in good health are enjoined by their creator to abstain from eating and drinking between dawn and dusk. However, there is a deeper meaning and lesson that we as Muslims should take during this year’s Ramadhan.

Indeed, abstaining from food and drink is just but the symbolism of Ramadhan, and as the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) pointed out in the Hadith— “Verily,
Allah does not look towards your bodies nor towards your appearances. But, he looks towards your hearts.” This means that Muslims need to pursue the higher values of Ramadhan more than just being seen to abstain from eating and drinking between dawn and dusk. In this regard, the management and staff of The New Dawn wishes to acknowledge the messages of goodwill that Muslims have received from various leaders across the world—messages that remind us of the true meaning and value of Ramadhan which we Muslims need to aspire to as we face the challenges that come with the year 2014. We, therefore, acknowledge and appreciate the message of President Uhuru Kenyatta who wished all Muslims in Kenya and the world over Ramadhan Kareem. “Ramadhan is a special period for Muslims to renew their commitment to God. It is also an opportunity to renew commitments to society as it provides time to celebrate with friends and family,” President Kenyatta said. He added: “As I wish the Muslim community God’s blessings and protection, I urge them to extend their traditional hand of help to the needy members of our society.”

We also acknowledge and appreciate the most prayerful goodwill message from President Barak Obama who, on behalf of the American people and the First Lady, sent their best wishes to Muslim communities all over the world. Said President Obama: “As a time for self-reflection and devotion through prayer and fasting, Ramadhan is also an occasion when Muslims around the world reaffirm their commitment to helping the less fortunate, including those struggling because of economic hardship and inequality.” He continued: “we are grateful to the many Muslim American organizations, individuals, and businesses that are devoted to creating opportunity for all by working to reduce income inequality and poverty, not only through their charitable efforts, but also through their initiatives to empower students, workers and families with the education, skills and health care they deserve.”

The British government and other political parties also sent their goodwill message to the Muslim community on the start of the holy fasting month of Ramadhan. Prime Minister David Cameron cited Ramadhan as an incredibly special time of the year for Muslims. Said he: “Charity is one of the things that Islam is all about. Here in Britain, Muslims are our biggest donors— they give more to charity than any other faith group. We see this spirit of giving all year round, from the mosques running sports clubs for local children to the Muslim groups selling poppies for Remembrance Day, to those people from around the country who put their wellies on, rolled their sleeves up, and went to help the families hit hardest by this winter’s storms.”

Prime Minister Cameron also pointed out that Ramadhan is a time for contemplation to fast, and to pray, and to think deeply about others. “This Ramadhan, I hope that we can reflect upon a key aspect of our shared history the bravery of those who fought and died for our freedoms nearly 100 years ago. Just days after Idd, we will be marking 100 years since the First World War in which more than a million men and boys from India fought with our troops during that conflict and many thousands of them were Muslims—we will remember them and reflect upon their sacrifice.” Mr Cameron added. Mr Nick Craig, the Deputy Prime Minister and Leader of Liberal Democrats, saluted Muslims for their sacrifices during Ramadhan. “If you’re one of the many families fasting from sunrise until sunset, I certainly don’t need to tell you how challenging it is this year with Ramadhan falling during our longest days. However, I know that for many of you, fasting – as one of the essential pillars of Islam – is a chance to remember the daily struggles of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people. For me, it’s that spirit that goes to the heart of what Islam is all about. It’s that profound desire to look after other people. And it’s that sense of doing all you can, collectively and individually, to make the world around you a more prosperous and peaceful place,” Mr Craig said.

The leader of the British Labour Party Hon Ed Miliband also sent his goodwill message, pointing out that during Ramadhan, Muslims are committed to periods of intense prayer, reflection on the teachings laid out in the Qur’an, charity and fasting. “It is a time for gathering with friends and family and breaking Iftar with loved ones and sharing Iftar with those less fortunate,” he said. On behalf of the people of Canada, Prime Minister Stephen Harper extended his best wishes to Muslims on the commencement of the holy month. Said he: “For Muslims, Ramadan is the month the Qur’an was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad. It is a time for fasting, worship, and contemplation, as well as a time to share with friends, family and the community. It is also a time for charity and almsgiving, and remembering those who are less fortunate.” From Mogadishu, AMISOM Force Commander, Major General Nathan Mugisha, and Deputy Special Representative, Hon Wafula Wamunyinyi, send their messages of goodwill to the people of Somalia and neighbouring countries during this blessed month of Ramadhan. In their messages, they said that AMISOM will continue to provide security and share the resources it can with the victims of the severe drought during the holy month of Ramadhan, and called upon Somali nationals in the diaspora as well as all Muslims across the world to remember their Somali brothers and sisters who are facing a severe drought that is taking its toll on the people. From Abuja, President Goodluck Jonathan saluted Muslims in Nigeria as they began this year’s Ramadhan fast, urged Muslim faithful to use the opportunity of the fast to intensify prayers for the nation. He called upon Nigerian Muslims to offer special prayers during the period for greater peace and security in the nation.

Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, a chieftain of the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) in his message appealed to insurgent groups in Nigeria to cease the spate of attacks against innocent people and pursue the path of peace and reconciliation. The President of the Senate Mr David Mark called on Muslims to make the continued survival of Nigeria the focal point of their prayers as they begin their month-long fast. In a goodwill message to the Muslim faithful, Mark urged them to pray for the country to overcome its present challenges. “Our security operatives have been over stretched. Our people are being killed daily needlessly. Our only hope is in the divine intervention of the Almighty Creator to salvage the situation. It has therefore become imperative that you commit yourselves to praying for the peace, unity and survival of Nigeria in this holy month of Ramadan,” he said. In this regard, as Muslims conclude the first week of Ramadhan 2014, it is important to keep in mind that Ramadhan teaches us patience, humility, forgiveness and hard work. May Allah accept our fasting, prayer, charity and all other good deeds we may perform during this holy month; and may He forgive our shortcomings and transgressions— Ramadhan Kareem, wa Swaum Maqbul!

Read 1794 times
Rate this item
(0 votes)

Leave a comment

Make sure you enter the (*) required information where indicated. HTML code is not allowed.

Kmya NewsBytes

Who's Online

We have 44 guests and no members online

Get connected with Us

Subscribe to our newspaper