Able Muslims fast during the entire month of Ramadan, primarily to gain piety (“O Believers! Fasting has been made obligatory upon you; so that you may become pious”), to fulfill the Commandment of the Almighty God, obtain His blessings, practice self-restraint, and purify themselves by doing good deeds.
This is also an occasion to take care of the poor and needy in the society and thereby obtain the pleasure and the blessings of the Almighty God.
New Zealand accords people freedom of choice and the right to practice or follow whatever faith they desire, without any fear or hindrance.
Therefore, it is incumbent on all of us to publicly acknowledge this fact and simultaneously extend our hands of friendship and appreciation by inviting others to share the joys of our religious and other festivals.
Through participation in one another’s celebrations and festivities, we enhance our friendship and understanding of different values and cultures, thus creating a more integrated and harmonious society.
Counties Manukau Multicultural (Ethnic) Council, will host, with the support and assistance of other communities, the first Multicultural Eid Festival on Sunday, September 4, 2011 at the Mangere Centre Park Sports Stadium (101-141 Robertson Road, Mangere) from 10 am to 5 pm.
Entertainments, sports, and refreshments will be part of the daylong programmes, which is open to all.
It is my great pleasure and privilege to extend warmest Eid-Al-Fitr Greetings to everyone, particularly to Muslim brothers and sisters, who are fasting from dawn to dusk and performing additional prayers and good deeds during the Holy month of Ramadan.
Gul Zaman is President of the Counties Manukau Multicultural (Ethnic) Council.