In the name of Allah, the Beneficent and Merciful; May His peace and blessing be upon Mohammed (peace be upon him), his family, companions and all the good people until the Day of Judgment.
On the occasion of the Holy Month of Ramadan, I am most pleased to express my heartiest ‘Ramadan Mubarak’ to all Muslims, and particularly those who are part of the community in New Zealand.
Once again, we thank and praise Allah Almighty for offering us yet another opportunity to fast during this blessed month, perform pious deeds, improve our physical and spiritual wellbeing and reap maximum rewards from His Mercy and Bounty.
May Allah accept our fasting and good deeds.
For Muslims all over the world, the Holy Month of Ramadan is of very special importance. It is observed throughout the Muslim world with all sanctity and reverence that it demands.
It is a time for extra worship and reflection and brotherhood.
It inculcates patience, perseverance and everything good about the society.
If we observed fasting with sincerity and dedication, it will instill discipline and steadfastness keeping us on the straight path for the next 12 months of the year.
This month has been declared sacred in the Holy Quran wherein Allah Almighty says:
“O you who believe, fasting is prescribed on you as it was prescribed to those before you so that you may become pious.” (Chapter 2, Verse 183).
“The prescribed fasting is for a fixed number of days, but whoso among you if sick or on a journey, shall fast the same number of other days; and for those who are able to fast only with great difficulty, is expiation – the feeding of a poor man. And who so does well of his own accord it is better for him. And fasting is good for you, if you only knew.” (Chapter 2, Verse 185).
Ramadan is also about doing good work for society. Muslims are enjoined to do good for their fellow human beings regardless of their faith.
Helping the poor and the indigent, bringing relief to the needy and orphans, providing safety for weak members of the society are but few examples of good work.
Sympathy for sufferers
During this special time, we should also remember our brethren who suffer from war and persecution and other calamities in this world and sincerely supplicate to Almighty Allah to eradicate their sufferings and bless them with peace and goodness in their life.
Together with our families and friends, let us seize this golden opportunity from the blessed month of Ramadan to improve ourselves spiritually and socially and work towards creating a united, compassionate and just society and interact with our fellow New Zealanders to share the beauty of this blessed month and Islam.
May Allah almighty accept our fasts and all the good deeds. May He bless New Zealand with peace and prosperity and a model society living in harmony with each other and with the nature.
Dr Anwar Ghani is President of the Federation of Islamic Association of New Zealand. He is based in Hamilton.