Assalaamu ‘Alaikum (peace be unto you). On behalf of the Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries and as a member of the Muslim community, I wish to extend Ramadan greetings to my brothers and sisters in Islam both at home and across the world.
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. All praise and gratitude are due to Almighty Allah Subhānahu wa Ta’ala (swt), who, through His infinite grace and mercy has blessed us with the opportunity to witness yet another Holy month of Ramadan. Peace and blessings be upon our Noble Prophet Muhammad, the Seal of the Prophets and Chief of the Messengers, and upon all his family and companions.
As we welcome this blessed month of Ramadan, it provides us the opportunity to reap rich rewards from our Creator and Sustainer, Almighty Allah (swt) by fasting during the day and engaging in extra Ibādat (acts of worship) at night. During this month, the Holy Qur’ān was revealed to our Prophet Muhammad Sallallāhu ‘alaihi wa Sallam, as a guide to mankind. It is a time for thanksgiving as the mercy and forgiveness of Allah (swt) descend upon His servants.
Salmaan reports: ‘On the last day of Sha’baan, the Messenger of Allah (swt) addressed us and said: “O People, there comes upon you now a great month, a most blessed month in which lies a night greater in worth than one thousand months. It is a month in which Allah (swt) has made compulsory that the fasting should be observed by day; and He has made the taraweeh (prayer) by night a sunnah (way of life). Whosoever tries drawing nearer to Allah (swt) by performing any virtuous deed in this month, for him shall be such reward as if he had performed a fard (obligatory observance) in any other time of the year. And whoever performs a fard for him shall be the reward of seventy fard in any other time of the year.”
I want to encourage my fellow Muslims to be especially generous during this Holy month. In addition to Zakaah (almsgiving), let us give whatever we can wholeheartedly to help those in dire need in our communities and by extension to those experiencing hardships across the world. Let us also pay our Sadaqatul Fitr (obligatory dues) very early in Ramadan so that it can reach those families that would be unable to enjoy Eid.
As we join with our family and friends in deepen prayer and reflection, I urge my Muslim brothers and sisters to make full use of this blessed month by fasting, participating in communal Iftār – the breaking of the fast, filling the Masjid during the nights of Ramadan, engaging in extra forms of Ibādah (servitude) such as Tarawiih and Nafl Salawāt, reading the Qur’ān and performing Fard Salawāt in congregation.
Though the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic continue to impact us all, we remain grateful for the opportunity to worship and reflect on the teachings of Islam, reinforcing the importance of the five (5) pillars of Islam; Faith (Shahadah), Prayer (Salah), Fasting (Sawm), Almsgiving (Zakat) and Pilgrimage (Hajj).
During this month of Ramadan, let us be generous and forgiving to our family, friends and our communities at large. Clear our hearts from anger, complaints, suspicion, jealousy, grudges or dislike. Be extra kind, accommodating, courteous, supportive and helpful to all persons that you may encounter. Let us also instil into our children and the younger generations the values and teachings of Islam, especially the importance of charity and showing compassion to others. While we engage in a period of fast, we understand the blessings and sustenance that we receive from the Almighty and it is paramount for all of us, Muslims and non-Muslims to continue working together in ensuring food security.
On behalf of the Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries and myself, I am pleased to extend to the Muslim community, and by extension the national community, a blessed and peaceful Ramadan Mubarak. I pray that Almighty Allah (swt) will shower His choicest blessings upon us and our families, as we welcome this blessed Month. May our Ramadan be a rewarding and successful one. Ameen.
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