As Muslims celebrate the end of a successful month-long period of fasting, we salute and associate ourselves with the spiritual feat they have accomplished.
We are not clerics and cannot therefore pontificate about the merits of this important period in the Islamic calendar; suffice it to say though that the exercise was about getting closer to God through a disciplined way of life. The month-long fasting period instructively is one of the five pillars of the religion.
It would certainly be out of place to return to the bad old ways after so much sacrifice by members of the faith.
Fasting especially during Ramadan enables us to appreciate what it feels to feel hungry and to therefore exhibit charity to those who have to go without food. If there is any religious exercise which humbles the Muslim faithful it is the period of fasting and God has a purpose for prescribing it upon members of the faith.
The spiritual upliftment which comes with the accomplishment of the month-long period fasting is invaluable.
The lessons from the exercise are enough to change our attitude towards one another and to impact positively on the health of the nation.
Clerics during the climax of the celebration today would, during their sermon, talk about how Muslims must maintain the sense of discipline which the period of fasting entailed. After all, acts of indiscipline are not to be practised even outside the month of Ramadan.
Unfortunately, however, the Eid El Fitr celebration is characterized by acts of indiscipline by a section of Muslim youth especially in Accra – something the clerics have advised against. It is regrettable that after going through the abstinence from food, water and bodily pleasures from dawn to dust and engaging in long periods of prayers to God, we return to lives of iniquities. Fortunately, however, the ban on drumming is still in place, and so we would not see much of the unruly conduct on the streets of Accra Central.
Were Muslims, especially the youth, to continue on the path of discipline as they did during Ramadan, we would overcome a lot of challenges as a nation. We would demonstrate commitment to the country and humanity as a whole.
Respecting constituted authority is something all Muslims are enjoined to abide by, yet instances of breaches of this requirement abound in our everyday lives. So bad is the situation that the stereotyping of youth from this segment of our social setting has become a feature of the country.
There are very good youth from the Islamic community equally contributing towards national development but the few bad nuts associated with such bad enterprises such as land guarding and vigilantism have earned the religion a certain negative image. That was the issue raised during the Ahlunsuna Wal Jamaat Muslim sect prayer yesterday.
We ask that Muslim youth in particular continue to allow the light of Islam guide them in their relationship with their neighbours.
Islam is a faith of peace but unfortunately some bad nuts within its fold have not been good envoys of the religion.
To Muslims, we say congratulations on their spiritual accomplishment – Eid Ul Mubarak.