I take this opportunity to extend to my Brothers and Sisters of our Muslim Community, warm greetings for the Holy Month of Ramadhan who have been commanded in the Holy Quran by Almighty Allah: Ch:2, Verse 183: “O YE, WHO BELIEVE FASTING IS PRESCRIBED FOR YOU AS IT WAS PRESCRIBED FOR THOSE BEFORE YOU THAT YE MAY LEARN SELF RESTRAINT.”
The Holy month of Ramadan comes at a time when the Muslim community stands to provide leadership by example in a time of challenge and uncertainty.
The Month marks the period of 30 days of sacrifice, fasting, prayer, charity and renewal and is a special gift to Muslims worldwide as a result of Almighty Allah’s great love for the Holy Prophet (UWBP) of Islam and is an opportunity for Muslims to harness the great benefits that this month contains.
The observance of this month will fill the Muslim’s heart with peace, love and tranquility and help him to develop qualities that are associated with great character.
Here in Trinidad and Tobago, circumstances face us that challenge our very resilience and our resolve as a people, families and a united population.
In these times of challenge, we are reminded of the ultimate power that resides in Almighty God and in our religious faith, in whatever way and form we worship.
The Muslim community will stand at the forefront in the coming days by reminding us of the depth of sacrifice, the strength of faith and the power of community that really are among the core pillars of any great nation.
During Ramadan, Muslims fast from dawn until dusk and this includes abstaining from water and food and other sensual pleasures. The observance of Ramadan is also marked by additional prayers and alms-giving, all part of the five pillars of the Islamic faith intended to develop taqwah (piety). It is in this month that the Holy Prophet received the first message from Allah that commenced the revelation of the Holy Quran.
For us in Trinidad and Tobago, such a period of sacrifice will serve as a timely example of nation building, religion and spiritual discipline and appropriate moral social and economic values to establish a progressive nation in recognition of our duty, first to GOD, the Creator, and to other fellow human beings.
WITH MY VERY BEST WISHES TO ALL MUSLIMS AND CITIZENS OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO.
Kamla Persad-Bissessar, SC, MP