Muslims around the world will tomorrow bid farewell to Ramadan, the Muslims’ fasting month and celebrate the festival of Eid ul Fitr.
Eid ul Fitr means festival of breaking fast and marks the end of Ramadan.
During the festival celebrations, Muslims partake in communal post-dawn prayers, a short sermon which takes place in mosques or large halls or better still in the open to accommodate large numbers of the faithfuls.
This year, however, the occasion will be affected as nations around the world take measures to contain the coronavirus pandemic, including the suspension of open prayers, outdoor festivals and other events.
In Ghana, the festival is expected to be celebrated on a low key because the country is still observing restrictions and Muslims may have to pray at home instead of going to the mosque in order to comply with the social distancing directive.
For the majority of Muslims in the country, and much of the world, it is the first time that they have gone through a period of fasting and ended without celebrating the Eid in the normal way.
Although it is no one’s fault that the celebration is being held on a low key, it is important for us to note the dramatic change since the last festival.
It is against this backdrop that we commend all Muslims for supporting the government’s efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19.
We applaud the Muslim community for adhering strictly to the COVID-19 protocol directives by the President Nana Akufo-Addo in these difficult times.
We hope that they will continue to exhibit the positive attitude they adopted during the fast which ensured its successful completion as we strive to battle against this unknown enemy.
We urge them to continue to show gratitude to Allah for the help and strength He gave them throughout the month of Ramadan that helped them to practise self-control.
As a nation, we may be going through difficult times but we think that moments like this call for togetherness as we appeal to God for his mercy and forgiveness as well as peace for our country.
We also call on Muslims, Christians and other religious faiths to continue to observe the announced COVID-19 measures to aid our quest to combat the disease.
This involves washing our hands under running water with soap, use of sanitisers, wearing of nose or face masks and practice of social distancing.
When we strictly do these, we can successfully combat COVID-19 and return to normal life by Allah’s grace and celebrate Eid ul Fitr next year.
We wish all Muslims Eid Mubarak