Assalamu’alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh and Salam 1Malaysia,
Firstly, we raise our gratitude to Allah s.w.t. for with His guidance and solicitude, we are able to celebrate the month of Ramadhan this year in harmony and blessedness.
Indeed, Ramadhan is the holiest month in the Islamic calendar. This month, Muslims are obligated to fast, as enshrined in the Holy Quran, Surah Al-Baqarah verse 185, which means: – “In the month of Ramadhan, the Holy Quran was revealed; a book of guidance for mankind with clear proofs of guidance and distinction (of right from wrong). Therefore whoever of you is present in that month let him fast.”
Ramadhan is the principal month, and it is a blessed month, and a month for Muslims to fast in a display of loyalty and obedience to Allah s.w.t..
Several key events and milestones were recorded by Muslims in the month of Ramadhan indicating the blessedness and greatness of the month capable of creating an impact and self-reflection for every Muslim.
Among these events were the battles of Badr, Khandaq, and Tabuk, the opening of the city of Mecca, and as its culmination, the revelation of the Holy Quran as the source of guidance and direction for Muslims for all time.
In fact, the battles of Badr and Khandaq that were fought during Ramadhan were a manifestation of the victory achieved by Islamic forces against the Quraisy using strategic planning, creativity and innovation inspired by the Prophet and his companions.
It is certain that Allah had given the signal and clearly revealed the value of creativity and strategic planning in ensuring success.
Hence, recognising the importance of this, we have laid some strategic plans and major missions for the development and prosperity of our country.
Alongside the 1Malaysia concept coupled with ‘People First, Performance Now’, the transformation and nationbuilding effort is generated through the Government Transformation Programme (GTP) innovated by the New Economic Model (NEM) and charted towards the 10th Malaysia Plan (10MP) and Vision 2020.
These plans will ensure the nation’s aim of harmonious national unity and an stable economic leap to achieve a competitive and high-income nation status.
Ramadhan also bears witness to several exalted events such as the night of Lailatulqadar, which, to some religious scholars means to glorify. Lailatulqadar means a night of glory because it was night the Holy Quran was revealed, the angels descend upon Earth, Allah s.w.t. bestows His blessings and forgiveness, and all those who worship that night will be bestowed glory and honour.
Hence, we should redouble our acts of worship, participate in more charitable efforts, be more generous to others and give zakat this Ramadhan.
Traders are forbidden to profiteer in consideration of the fasting Muslims.
At the same time, I wish to remind everyone not to be wasteful and to spend prudently this month, particularly before Syawal. This is so we do not find ourselves and our family burdened by debt and hardships when Aidilfitri dawns.
Indeed, the month of Ramadhan is a time for Muslims to perform self-reflection, solat, charity and to spend quality time with family and friends. Through the act of fasting from dawn to dusk, Muslims are taught to improve their discipline and be more patient, generous, compassionate and empathise more with the misfortunes of others. Of course, the act of fasting during the day is incomplete without munajat and zikir at night.
In Malaysia we are fortunate to be able to perform the act of fasting in peace and comfort. Our situation here is in stark contrast with Muslims in other countries that are suffering from natural disasters, struggling through humanitarian crises or besieged in war that it is tough to get food to break fast, let alone for sahur.
The act of fasting is an obligation for all individuals who meet the criteria. Other than soul-cleansing, fasting is an effective therapy to restore one’s health. Therefore, the opportunity to renew oneself and one’s soul should be seized by all Muslims.
Ramadhan provides the best opportunity for us to reconcile 1Ummah with its unique ethnic and religious diversity for the sake of a strong and unified nation of 1Malaysia.
Lastly, my family and I wish all Malaysian Muslims a happy Ramadhan Al-Mubarak and a smooth fasting month, wherever you are. Let us celebrate and enliven Ramadhan together with our friends of various ethnicity through the principle of goodwill rooted in a united 1Ummah 1Malaysia. Insya-Allah.
Wabillahi Taufik Walhidayah Wassalamualaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh.