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.