Message to the Nation from Dr the Honourable Keith Rowley on the occasion of EID-UL-FITR 2020
Today I extend Eid Mubarak; greetings to our brothers and sisters in the Muslim community, as Prime Minister on behalf of the Government and people of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago and also the sentiments of my family.
The holy month of Ramadan in which the Prophet Muhammad received the revelation of the Qur'an has ended.
It is my belief that members of the community, in their spiritual quest, have deepened their faith and devotion to the tenets of their religion, that of submission, surrender, and obedience -- qualities which, when shared among us, can help us all as citizens to work ultimately towards a more disciplined, productive, and tolerant society.
This month has been a very challenging and unusual Ramadan for the community. It is sacred on the Islamic calendar, but unfortunately it has coincided with an unprecedented period in the history of our country and the modern world, and as such many Muslim brothers and sisters may have had a shared focus in that battle to save human lives against the invisible enemy that is COVID-19.
Ramadan is prescribed in the Holy Qur’an as a period of fasting, and the time in which Muslims reflect on the countless demonstrations of God’s divine power, while they seek to cultivate virtues such as devotion, self-discipline and self-restraint.
These events around the world may have created additional challenges for the community. Muslims have not been able to congregate in their tradition of shared devotion with their brothers and sisters, because of the Stay-at-home Measures in various countries which limit the number of persons in public gatherings.
But the community’s unshakeable belief in obedience to God, as the holder of knowledge and power, and as the Creator of a majestic universe, which continues to operate ceaselessly in order and harmony, has allowed followers to sustain their daily lives.
God, in his Divine power, has given man the capability to gain knowledge, the ability to think, the sense to determine the difference between right and wrong, and the freedom of will and action.
This period, I know, will certainly help the community’s members to find ways to overcome the obstacles and earthly challenges that COVID-19 presents across the globe.
Today, I applaud the Muslim community for what has been a month of great sacrifice but also for their generous outpouring to those, who are weak, vulnerable and in need, during the COVID-19 pandemic.
I understand even before the month of Ramadan began many within the Muslim community did not wait to extend the mandatory zakat, but began giving to those affected by the COVID-19. For this, the nation extends its recognition and thanks and encourages all citizens of this country to use the example of the self-sacrifice of our Muslim brothers and sisters who have demonstrated our better selves in assisting those less fortunate.
As the Muslim community celebrates today, with the exchange of gifts, the giving of alms, and seeking a more devoted life of piety, love and altruism, let us all, in this nation, show goodness, love and compassion, sharing what we can with a neighbour, a friend or even a stranger, in need.
Let us all learn from our Muslim brothers and sisters that obedience to God also means the spirit of giving and caring for others. Let’s make sharing with others, a permanent part of our daily lives, so that we can have better communities and by extension a better country with compassion for each other in our daily activities.
For it is only through such selflessness, more so in this time of COVID-19 that we, as people, may experience the true beauty and sense of community.
Once again Eid Mubarak!