Message from Dr the Honourable Keith Rowley Prime Minister of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago on the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr 2018

On behalf of the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, and my family, I am pleased to extend greetings to the Islamic Community on the celebration of Eid-ul-Fitr 2018.

Eid is the celebration of the breaking of the month-long fast undertaken by Muslims during Ramadan, the season in which the Holy Qur’an was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad. During this period, Muslims in Trinidad and Tobago, and around the world dedicated themselves to a period of intense fasting, prayer and self-discipline. This self-restraint encompassed both a physical restriction from food and drink, as well as the cleansing of the mind from undesirable thoughts and habits.

Having therefore experienced this period of sacrifice, Eid is a joyful thanksgiving to God for providing strength and encouragement to sustain the fast during Ramadan. It is a celebration of forgiveness, love, compassion and brotherhood. It is hoped that the experience of Ramadan will provide renewed strength, greater commitment and increased blessings for the year ahead.

Importantly, this occasion comes at the end of a period of time in which families meet, pray and eat together more frequently, and participation in communal prayers and gatherings increases. On the day of Eid, many families will exchange gifts, attend a khutba at the local mosque and visit with other relatives and friends in the wider community. The forgiveness and remission of debts is greatly encouraged and there is a strong emphasis on the giving of charity to those in need. I encourage all citizens to take note of these aspects of Eid, and indeed of Islam in general.

Let us therefore practice self-discipline to better navigate our challenging circumstances, and charity, in order to improve the daily lives of our neighbours and fellow citizens. Let us also adopt the sense of community and brotherhood that characterised the season of Ramadan and the celebration of Eid. This unity of hearts undoubtedly provided invaluable support and encouragement to all those who undertook the month-long fast.

Let us also therefore remember that it is through unity that we will be able to successfully tackle the issues that ultimately shape our nation. The celebration of the common bonds that tie us together enables the resolution of disputes and the building of strong and healthy relationships which form the basis of a functional society.

With these things in mind, I once again take the opportunity to wish the Muslim community of Trinidad and Tobago a safe and happy Eid.

Eid Mubarak!

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