July 5 (Kaduna) Ramadan, the ninth month of the Hijra (Islāmic) Calendar, is the most sacred month of the year for Muslims. Muslims fast in the month because fasting is one of the five pillars of Islam, along with Shahada (Declaration of Faith), daily prayer, Zakat (charity), and pilgrimage for Muslims to Makkah Saudi Arabia for those who are financially and physically able to embark on the journey.
It was during the holy month that Allah (God) revealed the first verses of the Qur’an to Prophet Mohammed and that peace be upon him.
Muslims are expected during the month to worship by observing fast from sunrise to sunset, they are also required to abstain themselves from worldly pleasures and to think of the needy.
Ramadan is a special month for deep spiritual reflection and increased devotion. Hence why many Muslims spent their free time attending prayers at mosques, reciting Qur’an (the Muslim holy book) and doing charitable work.
In Nigeria about 50 percent of its 170 million person population are Muslims and they observe the 30 days of fasting depending on the sighting of the moon which is announced by the Sultan of Sokoto Sa-ad Abubakar lll, Nigeria’s spiritual leader.
At the end of the holy month, which will be (tomorrow) Wednesday July 6 Muslims will celebrate with Eid al-Fitr – one of the two major holidays of the Islāmic calendar.
On that day Muslims, males, females, girls, and boys, will gather at a mosque for a prayer, before spending the day with family or friends and wishing one another “Eid Mubarak”, or “Blessed Eid”.
On what the month means to Muslims not only in Nigeria but globally the country’s largest religious group Jama’atul Nasril Islam (JNI) in a statement signed by its Secretary General Dr. Khalid Abubakar Aliyu said increased faith, sincerity, sacrifice, humility, compassion, giving, piety, commitment, etc are the inherent lessons embedded in the month of Ramadan.
Muslims are always urged to cast back their minds to the good virtues of the month of Ramadan and keep to its teachings all through, as the Lord of Ramadan, is and shall remain forever the Lord of other months, above all, and watches and keeps the records of their actions and in actions.
Mustapha Bulama a practicing Muslim said, to him, the end of Ramadan reminds him of self-discipline and that the month teaches him to be much closer to his creator.
“Ramadan increased my faith, makes me experience what the poor go through in terms of hunger. Above all it make me more closer to my creator and family because during the fasting period I make sure we break fast together and that brought us more closer to each other,” he said.
On Eid day, he explained that ” we go out together with my kids and wife to visit family members just to wish them Eid Mubarak.”
It was also cleared that Muslim and Christian clerics across the 36 states of Nigeria this year used Iftar (break of fast) time as a period of promoting inter-religious tolerance and better understanding among different faith organizations in order to help end all forms of ethno-religious and political crisis disturbing peace and stability in the country.
Serving as a northern coordinator for the Global Interfaith Foundation in Nigeria; Shaikh Haliru Maraya said the month of Ramadan is a period to encourage religion and to promote peaceful coexistence and unity.
He added that Ramadan teaches Muslims to accommodate others.
General Overseer of Christ Evangelical Intercessory Fellowship Kaduna who led a delegation of 20 Christian preachers to Muslims scholars in Kaduna State, rejoiced with Muslims around the world over the successful completion of the holy month and urged them to use lessons learned in relating well with people of other faiths.