RAMADAN is here again. It is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and the most propagated month in the Islamic sphere, when Muslims fast for 29 or 30 days. Last Wednesday, the moon was sighted as declared by the President-General, the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, and the Sultan of Sokoto, signaling the commencement of Ramadan.
Muslims’ key acts of worship during the month are abstinence from food, drink, and sexual relations every day. Other visible acts of worship include late night prayers, Quran recitations, and charity, among others.
Fasting during this month is one of the five pillars of Islam, along with the Muslim declaration of faith, daily prayers, alms-giving, and performing the Hajj pilgrimage to Makkah if physically and financially capable.
As intense devotion begins, we congratulate all Muslims for having the grace to tap into the blessed moment for spiritual renewal and to reap countless divine rewards.
Even as we seek to improve our relationship with Allah by seeking His forgiveness and blessing, getting a broader perspective on doing good, striving to outdo one another in all good acts, and making lasting changes in our inner lives, we should not lose sight of the broader definition of good deeds as well as our duty to our dear nation as responsible citizens, particularly at this auspicious spiritually elevating moment.
As we build the path to another political dispensation, absolute commitment to peaceful co-existence, progress of the country through our actions will attract more reward. Ramadan provides us with an excellent opportunity to broaden our horizons when doing good deeds, as we have repeatedly learned from both the Quran and the hadith.
To achieve this, we should engage ourselves more than ever before to purge ourselves of various forms of iniquity and move to a higher level of spirituality. Allah has no need for one who abandons his food and drink yet dances in the vivacity of iniquity. If we can move away from covetousness, ungodliness and venality, avoiding and fending off immorality and inhumanity to man during this period, then we can completely shun these vices even after Ramadan and become permanently transformed. Let the exercise lead us to a sublime state of mind in order to develop positive attitudes about fellow human beings and our society, and allow the period to evoke the ideal change in the attitudes of politicians so that they can abandon personal interest for national concern.
This Ramadan should not go by without rejuvenating ourselves with the virtues of love, justice, kindness, honesty, tolerance, a sense of nation-building, dedication and patriotism. Virtues are the essence of good governance, just as good governance guides national development. Ramadan is one way we can use to change our situation for the better. Ramadan Mubaraq!
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