Muslims worldwide are celebrating the Eid-el-Fitr today, marking the end of a month-long fasting during the Islamic lunar month of Ramadan. The Sultan of Sokoto and President-General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, on Saturday urged the Muslim Ummah to look out for the new moon of Shawwal yesterday.
The federal government had today and tomorrow as public holidays to celebrate the occasion.
In his message, President Muhammadu Buhari, congratulated Muslims in Nigeria and around the world on the successful completion of the month-long spiritual journey of fasting, prayer and almsgiving in obedience to Allah’s command.
He said: “On this happy occasion, it is my strong belief that all true followers of Islam have been rejuvenated on the true meaning and essence of life and through the teachings of Prophet Muhammad (SAW), we have learnt to imbibe the virtues of piety, sacrifice, love, self-denial and good conduct in our daily relationship with one another.”
Buhari admonished all patriotic Nigerians to uphold these lessons and also appreciate the numerous material and human blessings God has endowed us with.
Earlier on Thursday, the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, had announced the public holidays in a statement released by the ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Shuaib Belgore.
He enjoined workers to imbibe the culture of productivity and urged them to raise the bar of their trade in line with the President, Muhammadu Buhari-led administration’s drive to rev up the vehicle of governance and make all the people of Nigeria derive maximum benefit from the nation.
He said: “The end of work is productivity. It is productivity that leads to the satisfactory provision of goods and services and wealth creation. It is therefore the path to national and individual prosperity”
The Sultan in his message urged the Muslim Ummah to continue to pray for peace, progress and development of the country while wishing all Nigerians happy Eid-el-Fitr.
Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam compulsory for all Muslims of fasting age and it is ingrained in the Holy Quran. In obedience to the command of Allah, Muslims all over the world began a spiritual journey in denial of the comfort of life a month ago. During the period, there was empathy for the poor, display of shared humanity through the pangs of hunger, which do not discriminate between the rich and poor… a lesson in the fact that we are all human and equal before God. It was also a period of sharing, avoidance of negative attitudes such as backbiting, smoking, indulgence in the flesh, etc. Above all, it was a time for prayer for the salvation of the soul.
One of the requirements of this season is the injunction to exchange visits and gifts with friends, relations and family members. This is even more apt at a moment like this when the spirit of camaraderie and good neighbourliness is vanishing and peaceful co-existence among us is threatened. Eid Mubarak, therefore, provides us the opportunity to have a positive rethink, heal all wounds, rekindle and foster the bond of friendship among Muslims and between them and their Christian compatriots.
Ramadan reengineers and strengthens all true Muslims in faith and in good deeds. It is equally important to retain all these good deeds beyond the Ramadan. Thus, how well we have imbibed the lessons during the Ramadan is simply to continue those positive deeds. Our favourable disposition should not vanish with the end of Ramadan. It should form our way of life, else the exercise remains a mere annual ritual. We must be steadfast in prayers for our country and the world at large especially in the face of global challenges like terrorism, hunger, depravations and the current Covid-19 pandemic.
Muslims must continuously be in a state of obedience to Allah’s commands, steadfast upon His will so that they will not be among those who worship Allah during the Ramadan alone. Believers ought to know that the Lord of Ramadan is also the Lord of other months, Lord of all times and places. Also, they should understand that righteous actions are for all times and all places.
There is the need to also remind the Muslim faithful that if Ramadan has ended, there is still voluntary fasting such as fasting six days in the month of Shawwal, fasting Mondays and Thursdays, three days in the middle of the month, the days of Aashoora and Arafat and others. If the charities, kindness, almsgiving in Ramadan and Zakat ul-fitr have ended, there is still the obligatory Zakat and Sadaqah as there are many other open doors for charity and voluntary actions.
We wish all our readers happy Eid Mubarak.