President praises T&T multi-religious heritage

Pres­i­dent Paula--Mae Weekes be­lieves that this coun­try’s na­tion­al iden­ti­ty and ethos have been for­ti­fied by the en­dur­ing Is­lam­ic tenets of peace, for­give­ness and tol­er­ance.

The Pres­i­dent spoke to this coun­try’s mul­ti-re­li­gious and mul­ti- cul­tura; iden­ti­ty in her mes­sage to the coun­try on the ob­ser­vance of Eid-ul-Fitr.

Her mes­sage reads:

On the sight­ing of the new cres­cent moon, I bring greet­ings to the mem­bers of the Mus­lim com­mu­ni­ty as they cel­e­brate Eid-ul-Fitr and the end of the holy month of Ra­madan.

Eid has been ob­served in Trinidad and To­ba­go since the ar­rival of the Fa­tel Raza­ck in 1845 and is tes­ta­ment to our mul­tire­li­gious and mul­ti­cul­tur­al her­itage. Through pe­ri­ods of sta­bil­i­ty and un­cer­tain­ty, growth and stag­na­tion, peace and tur­moil, the en­dur­ing Is­lam­ic tenets of peace, for­give­ness and tol­er­ance have for­ti­fied our na­tion­al iden­ti­ty and ethos.

To­day, Mus­lims across the na­tion and the world will of­fer prayers of thanks­giv­ing to Al­lah for strength­en­ing and sus­tain­ing them as they prac­ticed aus­ter­i­ty, self-re­straint and solem­ni­ty through­out Ra­madan. The shun­ning of world­ly val­ues and the month-long com­mit­ment to fast­ing and prayer bring about a re­new­al of faith, al­low­ing the be­liev­er to draw near­er to God.

The end of Ra­madan is there­fore a pe­ri­od of mixed emo­tions—pen­sive­ness that this pe­ri­od of piety and in­tro­spec­tion has end­ed, and joy at hav­ing ful­filled one of the most sig­nif­i­cant re­quire­ments of Is­lam.

Eid brings to­geth­er fam­i­lies, com­mu­ni­ties, and peo­ple of vary­ing back­grounds and re­minds us of the com­mon bonds which unite us and re­in­force the val­ues of our na­tion­hood. On this day, gifts are ex­changed, new clothes donned, food shared, and alms giv­en to the needy. These salu­tary prac­tices re­in­force sta­ble and re­silient fam­i­lies and com­mu­ni­ties and form the bedrock of a pros­per­ous so­ci­ety.

I am there­fore ho­n­oured to join with the Mus­lim com­mu­ni­ty as they cel­e­brate this most aus­pi­cious oc­ca­sion. May Al­lah ac­cept and re­ward your ef­forts.