By Dr. Mozammel Haque
8 September 2008
“RAMADAN teaches patience and humility, and reminds us of our shared moral universe; our obligation to others,” said British Prime Minister Gordon Brown in his Ramadan Message in September 2008 on this auspicious occasion of the Blessed month of Ramadan.
While saying “Ramadan Mubarak” to the two million Muslims living in the United Kingdom, the British Prime Minister said, “I would like to give you, your family, and all Muslim communities, my sincerest best wishes for the holy month of Ramadan.”
“The message of empathy for the less fortunate is reflected in Ramadan by the daily fast. And Ramadan’s message of compassion and social justice spreads beyond Muslim communities; it speaks of shared values that unite us all,” Brown said and quoted one of the sayings of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
“The hadith of the Prophet Muhammad emphasize(s) the duty of care we owe one another. So during this special month, let us also celebrate the diversity that contributes to Britain’s strength,” said Gordon Brown.
Acknowledging the huge contribution of the British Muslim community, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom said, “Muslims make a huge contribution to Britain’s success – to our prosperity, our society and our culture. And of course, Ramadan is an opportune time to consider the contribution of Islam not just to Britain, but to the world: Islamic art, science, and philosophy have enriched our lives over many centuries.”
Concluding his Ramadan Message, the British Prime Minister said, “Finally, Ramadan is also a time to recall the Prophet’s message that “the best richness is the richness of the soul.” This speaks to me, as it speaks to so many others. I look forward to continuing positive engagement with British Muslim communities across the UK.”
British Foreign Secretary, David Miliband also issued his Ramadan message. “This is the first week of Ramadan and I am delighted to be able to send my very good wishes to the two million Muslims in Britain who will be celebrating this important festival and of course to Muslims around the world as well,” Miliband said.
“Ramadan is a month of contemplation, prayer and spirituality. A chance for Muslims to look at their own lives and judge them against the high standards that they set for themselves. Ramadan is also a chance to look outwards as well as inwards. To look at compassion, charity, responsibility. Not just within the Muslim community but across all of our communities.”