"The holy month of Ramadan is upon us.
weeks ago we commemorated Emancipation Day. A few months from now,
Hindus would begin their holy fast for Divali. And in a few months time
again, our Catholic family would once more come together in the
Christmas spirit in remembrance of Lord Jesus Christ.
observance of Ramadan in Trinidad and Tobago, fast on the heels of
Emancipation celebrations and before Divali is a reminder that we thrive
on our diversity.
It is this very cosmopolitan and multi-ethnic
and multi-religious background that makes our nation so dynamic; one
that forever reminds us that God ...... is
the one who is omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient.
The Holy period of Ramadan unites all Muslims
in fasting, worship and prayer. It is a time for reflection,
spirituality, brotherhood and unity. During this time Muslims recite the
two-fold Creed (Shahada, profession of faith) ; there is no God but
Allah' and 'Muhammad is his Prophet'.
They engage in Salat or
prayer; at least five set-times a day while facing towards the city of
Mecca. Muslims are expected to give "zakat"; 'purification', an act of
worship. This is a voluntary giving to the poor.
It is a time of unpolluted reflection on creating a better and purer
life for all. It is a time to contemplate on the struggles of the past
and to ponder the victories of the future.
Our Islamic family
has exhibited acts of kindness, fellowship, brotherhood, charity and
service to God which are very much admirable and should be emulated by
the wider community. Muslims have also contributed to all aspects of societal development; in politics, law, business and sport.
is now important for all of humanity to remember the significance of
the principles such as faith, repentance, truthfulness, simplicity,
equality for all and concern for the dispossessed and the poor.
this time of prayer, it is unfortunate that many have had to go undergo
the hardship of dealing with unprecedented rains and floods, but they
are assured that their Government is working assiduously to rectify
The response from the national community in
giving and caring for the affected is the very essence of Ramadan.
Collectively in prayer our woes can be turned into our victories.
my capacity as Chairman of the United National Congress and on my own
personal behalf as MP for Chaguanas West, I do extend sincerest
greetings to our Muslim family and all of Trinidad and Tobago on this
very auspicious occasion of Ramadan.
May we all be blessed.