Another Ramadan period is here. This Islamic holy month of fasting which starts all over the world today, as usual, opens up an avenue for Muslim faithful to rededicate themselves to the cause of Allah. This no doubt entails an unalloyed service and devotion to humanity, which remains a crucial ingredient of Islamic religion.
The ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar is usually Ramadan and it comes with unquantifiable blessings, peace, mercy and forgiveness of sins by Almighty Allah. People often take advantage of the holy month to come closer to their creator, as they fast and spend much of the night hours in exhortation, seeking the face of Allah.
More significantly, Ramadan is the third of the five pillars of Islam, after affirming belief in one God and praying five times daily. It is therefore mandatory during this holy month for Muslims to abstain from food, drinks and all worldly pleasures, from dawn to dusk.
Indeed, the Ramadan season is not complete unless it is complemented with the act of giving, particularly feeding the poor and the less privileged in the society. Therefore, the lessons of Ramadan transcend mere act of abstinence, in other words, it enables the rich to share in the pang of the poor.
This holy month comes with a blessing often associated with Allah’s mercy and forgiveness. Muslims would normally combine their piety with a lot of supplication, prayers, sermons and a strict adherence to all the tenets of Islam.
We therefore, expect that in the spirit of Ramadan, Muslims and indeed Nigerians would work towards abstaining from all acts of crime, corruption and hatred. There is no better way this Ramadan season can be justified except we all see ourselves as one under the guidance of the Almighty Creator.
We urge the traders not to inflict more suffering on the innocent by increasing prices of food items during this holy period. Oftentimes, some traders take undue advantage of this spiritual exercise to exploit the people. They should rather either give discounts or outright reduction in the prices of food items. For instance, in the Arab world, once Ramadan approaches, discounts are declared on all goods in order to earn the abundant blessings of the Almighty Allah.
In this wise, we challenge our leaders to shun all divisive acts and use the opportunity provided by this period to repent from all sinful and ungodly ways. Indeed, under strict Islamic principles and natural laws, leaders whose acts force citizens to commit crimes stand liable for the sins.
Furthermore, we urge both the Muslims and non-Muslims to nurture the peaceful atmosphere of this holy month beyond the Ramadan season. Both religions can sustain the peace needed for development and do-away with the man-made problems afflicting us as a nation. This can be done if the opportunity provided by the holy month is used in prayer, supplication and seeking the face of the Almighty Allah.
We congratulate all Muslims for witnessing the beginning of this year’s Ramadan and pray that the Almighty Allah will make them see the end happily. Ramadan Kareem!