As we begin this Holy and blessed month of Ramadan, we wish the Muslim community of our beloved nation of Trinidad and Tobago, Ramadan Kareem (blessings).
Ramadan is a month in which the noble Messenger Muhammad (peace be upon him) describes as a great month. A month of blessing, mercy and forgiveness. A month which, with Allah is the best of months. Its days, the best of days. Its nights, the best of nights and its hours, the best of hours. It is such a month which invites the believers to be from amongst those who are near to his creator, with his reward for every good deed being multiplied seventy times.
Allah (the Most High) says: “O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may learn self-restraint.” (Qur’an, 2:183)
During this month, more than 1.7 billion Muslims worldwide will practice compassion, restraint and generosity as a reflection of their commitment to Allah and in fulfilment of the commandment of fasting, one of the five pillars of Islam.
Ramadan brings about happiness, goodness, spiritual enlightenment, rewards, and physical and spiritual benefits to all the Muslims. It brings out a special feeling of excitement and religious enthusiasm among Muslims of all ages. Muslim families throughout our country often wake up together before the break of dawn to have their meal. They also invite one another to break their fast together, which creates friendship and stronger ties among neighbours, families and friends. Such joy comes with this holy and blessed month of Ramadan.
As we welcome the holy month of Ramadan, it is such a special month for the Muslims as it is also the month in which the Qur’an was revealed as a guidance for the entire mankind.
“The month of Ramadan is the month in which the Qur’an was revealed as a guidance for humanity, as a clear proof of that guidance, and as a criterion for distinguishing between right and wrong” (2: 185).
It teaches us how to live our lives with respect, dignity, honour, and love for one another.
So as the Muslim community embarks upon this spiritual journey, we too should take this opportunity to reflect on ourselves in our spiritual upliftment in our daily lives.
It can be said Ramadan is like a rare flower that blossoms once a year and just as you begin to smell its fragrance it disappears for another year. Therefore, as this rare occasion is upon us once again, let us not waste the opportunities that lie in the road ahead.
The beloved Noble Messenger Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:
“If my Ummah (nation) had known what Ramadan is, they would wish if only Ramadan had remained the whole year.”
Kamla Persad-Bissessar, SC, MP
Leader of the Opposition