As Nigerian Muslims join their counterparts all over the globe to commence this year’s Ramadan fasting, it behoves the Islamic faithful to pray fervently for enduring peace, security, political instability and economic recovery of the nation.
Since Islam is a religion that promotes peace and tranquility, its adherents have no choice but to be peaceful and peace-loving in their conducts during and even beyond Ramadan.
Fasting in Ramadan, which is one of the five pillars of Islam, is total abstinence from eating, drinking and sexual intercourse from dawn to dusk for 29 or 30 days.
Nigerian Muslims were directed to commence this year’s fasting on Thursday, May 17 2018 which is equivalent to the Ramadan 1, 1436 AH, by the Sultan of Sokoto Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, after the announcement of the sighting of the new month.
The need to fast in the month of Ramadan is contained in the Holy Quran Chapter 2 verse 183, which says: “O you who believe, fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you so that you may take heed or guide against evil”.
Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar, is also the month of blessings, the month the Holy Qur’an was revealed, the best and the most precious month in a year.
Those exempted from fasting during the period are contained in Qur’an Chapter 2 verse 184- “….but whoever among you is sick or on a journey, then (he shall fast) a (like) number of other days and those who are not able to do it may effect a redemption by feeding a poor man, so whoever does good spontaneously it is better for him, and that your fast is better for you if you know”.
Also exempted from fasting are the pregnant women, the aged, those on drugs and the nursing mother. The menstruating women are also exempted from fasting in the month but can repay the fasting for the same number of days they missed it.
Apart from fasting for 29 or 30 days, Muslims are expected to dedicate themselves to other religious duties like supplications, public lectures and tafsir (exegesis of the Glorious Qur’an).
Among the lessons fasting teaches mankind are self restraint, compassion for others, equality, patience, endurance, tolerance and enjoying good health by avoiding excess foods.
It must be borne in mind that since the current political, economic and security situations in the country demand perseverance, Muslims and other Nigerians should know that only prayers especially in this holy month of Ramadan could address the challenges.
While felicitating with the Nigerian Muslims on this auspicious occasion, we call on them to use the Holy month of Ramadan to rededicate themselves to the teachings of Islam and continue to live peacefully with one another irrespective of religious and tribal differences.
We also implore the Muslim Ummah to devote themselves to worship and offer fervent prayers to God not only for solution to the various socio-economic and political problems bedeviling the country but also for the leaders in Nigeria to succeed in steering the affairs of the nation.
Governments at all levels should know that the workers in the country are facing pangs of hunger at this period and the same workers are ironically suffering from starvation and being required to fast in the month of Ramadan according to the dictates of Islam.
The political gladiators re urged not to do anything that will overheat the polity as 2019 the preparations for the 2019 elections are gathering momentum. Also, the governorship elections that will be held two states in the country this year should be devoid of rancor and the politicians should let the spirit of the holy month guide them not to let their utterances and actions mar the polls
We also urge Boko Haram and other perpetrators of other crimes like kidnapping, to imbibe the lessons of Ramadan by sheathing their swords and let peace prevail in the spirit of the holy month. The dreaded sect should know that wanton killings and destruction of lives and property are not part of tenets of Islam and in fact, the act is against Islam and other religious injunctions.
Already, since the commencement of Ramadan, the market survey had revealed that prices of prices of goods and other consumables have skyrocketed in the major cities across the country. The survey specifically showed that there has been a significant increase in the prices of tomatoes, pepper and some other foodstuffs.
We implore the traders not to use the opportunity of the holy month to unnecessarily increase the prices of goods and other commodities with the aim of cheating customers as Almighty Allah frowns at such attitude.
For a better society