As the holy month of Ramadan commences thousands of our Muslim brothers and sisters embark on fasting. Fasting is one of the five fundamental pillars of Islam. The month of Ramadan signifies a Muslim’s obedience to the commands of Allah (God) where in Al Qur’an (Verse 2:183) it was stated:
“O ye who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that ye may (learn) self-restraint”.
The practice of fasting is not only abstinence from food or drink from dawn till dusk but to exercise control from transgressions so that one may elevate himself spiritually. Muslims engage in increased devotion and worship during this sacred period. It is a time for internal reflection, spiritual upliftment, patience, compassion for the poor and unity.
I reflect upon breaking the fast at a mosque where one Muslim sister told me that the holy month of Ramadan is one of joy and togetherness as families will join with each other to enjoy the suhoor (meal to begin the fast) and iftar (breaking of the fast).
I urge that in a time where there is a rapid decay of the social fabric of our beloved country that we learn from the principles of our Muslim brothers and sisters to unite our homes, our villages, our communities and our country.
I have always stood firmly against the voices of division and stood strongly with protecting the voices of the weak and powerless. I commit to restoring Trinidad and Tobago to a nation of peace, harmony and justice.
While our brothers and sisters of Islam engage in this period of spiritual purity let us do our part to ensure that they are able to do so, let us not make it more difficult for them.
I look forward to joining with the Muslim community in commemorating the holy month of Ramadan and certainly hope that this month is one of devotion, peace and unity.
Kamla Persad-Bissessar, SC, MP
Leader of the Opposition
5th May, 2019