|PM Kamla Persad-Bissessar|
"We must continually strive to always do what is right for ourselves, our neighbour,
and our community on our onward journey to enhanced spirituality."
Fellow citizens, as enshrined in our republican constitution, freedom of religion is something we cherish and defend in our beloved nation. It is something that we must never take for granted as there are many other citizens of the world who do not enjoy this privilege.
As in other parts of the world, Eid ul-fitr in Trindad and Tobago is marked with great jubilation – great happiness that the fast has been completed and Inshallah (God willing) the fast would have been accepted.
Muslims celebrate not only the end of fasting, but also thank Allah for the help and strength that they believe He gave them throughout the month of Ramadan to help them practice self-control and open themselves to receiving graces and blessings. Indeed, in all its physical and spiritual dimensions, the obligations of Ramadan, when sincerely undertaken, bring about a renewal of body, mind, and soul; a blessed achievement that positively impacts not only the individual, but others as well.
I sincerely congratulate all those who were able to keep the fast and who observed extra acts of worship during the days and nights of the blessed month of Ramadan. May Allah accept all that was done for His sake during this holy month.
Dear brothers and sisters, Ramadan is meant to enhance and purify the bodies and the souls of all those who honoured the fast. This devotion has wiped out all past stains that had been on our hearts. We are now all cleansed and renewed by your sacrifice.
Today as you have decorated your outward personalities with beautiful garments; in accordance with the Qur’an know that your soul is now also decorated because you aspired to observe righteousness during the days and nights of Ramadan.
Through sacrifice, discipline, and devotion, the celebration of Eid-ul-Fitr has become all the more meaningful as its message of unity, brotherhood, peace, and forgiveness becomes a lived reality.
These are the values and ideals to which we must all re-commit as we seek to shape an authentic future for ourselves and continue the task of nation building to benefit all citizens who share our dream of well-being and prosperity.
As we grow older we begin to realize that all material achievements and matters are just for a time, as they are separable, and are limited.Our Muslim brothers and sisters look to the Holy Qur’an for spiritual guidance. So too, all of us, may benefit from the wisdom of this holy text as we reflect on the words of Allah:
“What is with you must vanish: what is with Allah will and We will certainly bestow, on those who patiently persevere, their reward to the best of their actions.” (16:96)
We are all called to build a big account with our Lord by giving charity and helping the poor and downtrodden in our society. He calls such charitable acts as “goodly loans” which He will have to repay. We must therefore strive continuously to be our best selves.Innate in all of humanity is the incredible gift of freedom to choose between good and evil. The adherence to the tenets of Holy Ramadan has assisted us in making the correct choice. We must continually strive to always do what is right for ourselves, our neighbour, and our community on our onward journey to enhanced spirituality.
Now is the time to pause, reflect, and listen and take positive action for ourselves and our fellow citizens.
As citizens of a cosmopolitan twin-island republic, one of the most remarkable and enduring traits that we possess is the fact that we wholeheartedly participate in and celebrate each other’s national days and religious festivals. Through these celebrations we are ever more united as a people. Our on-going strength lies in our inimitable diversity.
This is something we must always be thankful for and cherish as it is that which sets us apart from many other countries in our troubled world today.
As we celebrate this great religious festival of Eid-ul-Fitr, may Allah guide and protect us all so that we will be pleased to meet Him on that day and He will be well pleased to entertain us.
As He waters his creation, may He also sprinkle his wondrous blessings over our beloved nation.Let us all together, as citizens of Trinidad and Tobago, resolve to make this land of ours a better place on the challenging journey to peace and prosperity.
Kamla Persad-Bissessar SC, MP |Prime Minister of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago