Eid-El Fitr Message
Saturday, 23 May 2020 | Ramadan 30, 1441 AH
As the global Muslim community completes the month of Ramadan which is dedicated to fasting, prayers and almsgiving, I like to share the joy of the blessed month and its festival with you and your family.
The completion of the fast and the blessings of renewed faith that come with it mark a special occasion for observant Muslims who see the grace of God in the midst of the extremely challenging and distressing events around us today. I pray to Allah Almighty to grant us His guidance, safeguard our faith, unite our ranks, strengthen our solidarity, heal the sick and afflicted and make the world a prosperous and peaceful place.
This year’s Ramadan and its festival are unusual in many respects due to the novel Coronavirus pandemic, COVID-19. Within the year, the world has seen close to 35% of the entire human race in lockdown. Family and extended family members who would normally look forward to dressing up for eid have now been advised to do something unthinkable only a few months ago: to celebrate alone and observe social distancing.
Under the resulting conditions, Muslims generally were unable to fully approximate all the collective rites of worship customary to this period, the most important being tarawih prayers, i’tikaf and of course the Eid prayers.
However, it was gratifying that despite the pressure, temptations and the spiritual sacrifices, Muslims mostly complied with the stay-at-home-to-stay-safe directive of the Federal and state governments. Similarly, it is most important that the directive of His Eminence, the Sultan of Sokoto and President-General of the Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), Alhaji (Dr.) Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar, CFR, mni, regarding the need for all Muslims in Nigeria to observe the eid prayer at home alone or with family members only, be strictly adhered to.
The pandemic has exposed the susceptibility or fragility of mankind to superior forces of nature. The concern of everybody especially Muslims at a time like this should be on how to reconfirm the Quranic values of peace, justice, goodness, human fraternity and coexistence and to promote these values everywhere. It is equally important to promote the spirit of sacrifice and universal mercy, mutual cooperation and culture of tolerance to strenuously deal with a common threat like the pandemic which the world is currently experiencing. These are all important messages of Ramadan, its fasting and its festival.
It is time to talk about sustainable development and unveil a new vision of social inclusion and social empowerment programme for those who keep falling through the crack in our society. It is time to spread and anchor the social safety net for the vulnerable. It is time to work for and pursue global peace and harmony. It is time to commit to preserving humanity through conscious effort and global cooperation. Our conditions now must focus our minds on the important issues of those whose natural environments have become the trouble spots of the world. We must think about the less privileged, the needy, the vulnerable who are mostly worsted by the pandemic because they had been living with the pre-existing conditions of poverty, hunger, deprivation, social exclusion and other inequities.
As we give thoughts to these, I congratulate all on behalf of the Muslim Public Affairs Centre, MPAC, Nigeria, for witnessing another blessed month of Ramadan and Eid-el Fitr. We wish you and your family a blessed Eid marked by faith, prosperity and joy, and we pray for safety and protection for our nation and globally.
Muslim Public Affairs Centre, MPAC, Nigeria.
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