I extend fraternal greetings to all Muslims in Ghana and across the world as they prepare to start the fast of Ramadan.
Ramadan is a period of intense devotion and reflection- a time when Muslims fast during the day and perform prayers at night, reciting and listening to the entire Qur’an over the course of the month. The rigours undertaken by devout Muslims inspire respect for Islam among people of all faiths and this can bring hope of greater understanding for good will.
“Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, so that you may ward off evil” so states the Qur’an. It is therefore my prayer that Muslims will use this holy month of Ramadan to pray for Allah to ward off the evils that plague our society and draw us back – corruption, nepotism, ethnicity, hate politics, poverty, ignorance and disease. Ramadan should unite us and instil in us fellow-feeling, so that we can create a society where Allah is truly our anchor against the storms of life.
Fasting is also a celebration of commitment and obedience to God and also of God’s mercy and provision for all of us. It is a time of family, community and charity. I therefore believe in the possibility of the overflow of old boundaries when wholehearted devotion to one’s own faith is matched with a devout respect for the faith of others and I call on all our Muslim brothers and sisters to demonstrate continually this sense of unity and oneness in the years ahead.
Once again, I wish you Allah’s guidance and peace as you observe this truly unique month of blessing. Salamu Alaikum!
Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo