Happy Eid-el-Fitr celebration

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, had on Monday urged the Muslim Ummah to look out for the new moon of Shawwal ending the fasting the next day. However, the crescent was not sighted, consequently pushing the spiritual exercise to a full circle of 30 days.

The federal government had also declared yesterday and today as public holidays to celebrate the occasion. But with the fasting ending yesterday, the public holidays had to be shifted to today and tomorrow to enable to Muslim Ummah mark the occasion.

In his message to end the month of Ramadan, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, on Tuesday, called for a unified effort from all Nigerians, especially the Muslim Ummah, towards building the nation.

“We are the sculptor and Nigeria is the clay; we build it the way we desire,” Tinubu said in his maiden Eid-el-Fitr released his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale.

Ngelale noted that the President “felicitates the Muslim Ummah at Eid-el-Fitr, an auspicious occasion that signified the end of Ramadan; a hallowed season which reflects total submission to God Almighty and to His command of sacrifice and service to humankind.

“The President greets the Muslim faithful in Nigeria and all around the world, praying that their supplications and sacrifices this season and even after will receive the fitting rewards from Almighty Allah “The President prays that the lessons, blessings, and the joys of this season abide with us always while wishing Nigerians, Happy Eid-el-Fitr celebrations,” the statement concluded.

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, more so that this year’s Ramadan is coming on the heels of the Lent observed by the Christian faithful.

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 in the face of challenges like terrorism, armed banditry, kidnapping and allied crimes.

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.

As we celebrate Eid Mubarak, we ask that the entire world should join the Muslims to condemn and seek solution to global terrorism. We also urge the world to differentiate between criminality/terrorist acts and Islam, and not lump them together. Though they (insurgents and terrorists who claim to be Muslims) may profess Islam, the two are mutually exclusive. The world should see Islam from this prism and engage genuine Muslims to find answers to terrorism perpetrated in the name of Islam.

We wish all our readers happy Eid Mubarak.