Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Governments and Leaders World Over Welcome Ramadan 1435AH


Governments and Leaders World over 
Welcome the month of Ramadan 1435AH 

Dr. Mozammel Haque

Ramadan Mubarak and Ramadan Greetings to all of you: May this holy month bring barakah, and Allah's boundless mercy upon the believers and harmony and tolerance for the world.

Muslims almost everywhere welcome the coming of the month of Ramadan on the same day, on Sunday, the 29th of June, 2014 this year. Saudi Arabia, the heartland of Islam, the country of the Two Holy Mosques, the birthplace of Prophet Peace be upon him, is performing Ramadan on Sunday. The Supreme Judicial Council of Saudi Arabia called on all Muslims in the Kingdom to look for the Ramadan crescent on Friday evening. But the lunar moon was not sighted at sunset Friday evening. So the holy month of Ramadan begins Sunday, 29th of June, 2014. The UAE, Kuwait, Oman, Egypt, Malaysia, Australia and Singapore also announced that Ramadan will begin on Sunday.

Ramadan in Canada also started on Sunday, 29th of June, 2014. My friend Tariq Ghazi from Canada informed me that “In Ontario province of Canada, especially in Toronto, Ottawa, Cornwall, Montreal and cities in between, Ramadan will start on Sunday 29 June 2014 on completion of 30 days of shaaban since the crescent was not visible anywhere in the world, except in a few southern-most regions of continents with the help of binoculars. In Toronto the Hilal Committee having 90 masajid as members made the announcement before the Isha Salat. A similar statement was made by Imams of masajid in Ottawa. However, even before the new moon was  born and before it was on the horizon, the Fiqh Council of N America (sic) and ISNA declared Saturday to be the first day of Ramadan.”

British Muslims welcome Ramadan: the month of discipline, compassion and solidarity on Sunday, 29th of June 2014. British Muslims join over a billion Muslims all over the world in a month of fasting, charity and solidarity.

The governments of many countries issued Ramadan Message to Muslims in their countries and around the world (see below).

Ramadan Mubarak to you All
I welcome Ramadan, the month of Mercy and Repentance, the month of the Qur’an, of Laylatul Qadr (the Night of Power) and of repentance and forgiveness. Fasting in the month of Ramadan is one of the Pillars of the Islamic faith. It was declared an obligatory duty (Fard) in the second year of the Hijrah upon each and every mukallaf (one capable of carrying out religious duties, i.e. a sane adult).

RAMADAN MESSAGES FROM GOVERNMENTS
Islam is a universal global religion. There is 1.6 billion Muslims the world over. Leaders of the Asian, African, European and American continents welcome the advent of the month of Ramadan and sent messages to the Muslims. The 57-member Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) welcomed the beginning of Ramadan. On this auspicious occasion, the Secretary General of the OIC issued a welcoming message.

OIC Secretary General’s Message
The OIC Secretary General Iyad bin Ameen Madani, Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC), has congratulated the Islamic Nation on the advent of the holy month of Ramadan. In a press statement, the OIC Secretary General wished Muslims worldwide happiness, prosperity, well-being and peace.

From Asian Continent
King Abdullah’s Ramadan Message
The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques of Saudi Arabia King Abdullah emphasized Saturday (28 June, 2014) in Jeddah that Saudi Arabia is determined to root out terrorism, adding that Riyadh would adopt all measures to protect citizens and residents from the menace.

In a message to the nation on the advent of Ramadan, King Abdullah expressed hope that militants who instigate terror in different parts of the world would return to their senses after realizing that such activity goes against the teachings of Islam.

The message, which was read out on Saudi Television by Culture and Information Minister Abdul Aziz Khoja, urged Muslims all over the world to stand united.

The king and crown prince congratulated Saudis and other Muslims across the world on the advent of the blessed month. He said fasting in Ramadan fosters feelings of mercifulness and compassion in the minds of the faithful, as they compete to fulfill acts of charity to win divine reward.

“During Ramadan, we celebrate the revelation of the Holy Qur’an as a form of guidance to mankind,” the message said, urging Muslims to spread its message. “Islam is a religion of unity and brotherhood and it calls on people to engage in righteousness,” it added.

The message said the militants are confused, as they are unable to differentiate between reform and terrorism. The king stressed that Islamic teachings urge Muslims to uphold tolerance. “Our faith rejects all forms of terrorism and we will not allow a bunch of terrorists to frighten others.”

From European Continent
British Prime Minister David Cameron’s
Message for Ramadan
British Prime Minister David Cameron, MP, sent his “very best wishes to everyone observing the holy month of Ramadan.” He said, “This is an incredibly special time of year for Muslims at home and abroad: a time for charity, for contemplation and community. Charity is one of the things that Islam is all about.”

British Prime Minister also said, “Here in Britain, Muslims are our biggest donors – they give more to charity than any other faith group. We see this spirit of giving all year round, from the mosques running sports clubs for local children to the Muslim groups selling poppies for Remembrance Day, to those people from around the country who put their wellies on, rolled their sleeves up, and went to help the families hit hardest by this winter’s storms.”

“Ramadan is a time when that spirit comes to the fore and I am so proud when I hear, every year, about the millions of pounds raised for good causes for those less fortunate than us here in Britain, and those who are suffering in wars and in famines overseas,” said Prime Minister Cameron and added, “Ramadan is a time for contemplation to fast, and to pray, and to think deeply about others.”

British Prime Minister also mentioned about the shared history of bravery. He said, “Just days after Eid, we will be marking 100 years since the First World War. More than a million men and boys from India fought with our troops during that conflict and many thousands of them were Muslims. They travelled across the world to fight to defend our freedom, guided and sustained by their bravery, comradeship and, above all, by their faith.”

“Their selflessness and their courage helped to secure the liberties we all enjoy today, so this Ramadan – and this centenary – we will remember them and reflect upon their sacrifice,” he mentioned.

British Prime Minister also said, “Ramadan is a time for community. And there is nothing that exemplifies this more than those nightly iftars when the fast is broken, the dates are opened, and all that great food is served. Last year I was delighted to see how many community iftars were taking place across the country in mosques and in community centres, in parks and even in tents.”

“Again this year government is supporting the Big Iftar programme with hundreds more communities, from Leeds to Luton, Woking to Manchester, throwing open their doors so that people of all faiths and none can break bread and get to know their neighbours,” Prime Minister Cameron said.

Prime Minister concluded, “So wherever you are this holy month, I wish you Ramadan Mubarak.”

British deputy Prime Minister Nick
Clegg’s Ramadan Message
The Deputy Prime Minister has recorded a video message on 27 June 2014 to wish everyone celebrating the festival "Ramadan Mubarak".

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, M.P., said, “We’re now in the holiest month of the Islamic calendar, as people here in Britain and around the world celebrate Ramadan. If you’re one of the many families fasting from sunrise until sunset, I certainly don’t need to tell you how challenging it is this year with Ramadan falling during our longest days.”

“I know that for many of you, fasting – as one of the essential pillars of Islam – is a chance to remember the daily struggles of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people. For me, it’s that spirit that goes to the heart of what Islam is all about. It’s that profound desire to look after other people. And it’s that sense of doing all you can, collectively and individually, to make the world around you a more prosperous and peaceful place,” said Deputy Prime Minister.
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Mr. Clegg, MP, said, “So I want to thank you all for the valuable contribution you make, across British society and beyond, both at Ramadan and throughout the whole year.”

From American Continent
U.S. President Obama’s Ramadan
Message to Muslims
U.S. President Barack Obama has issued a message to American Muslims and Muslims around the world congratulating them on the start of the holy fasting month of Ramadan as a time to remember the poor and the needy and to share responsibilities.

"On behalf of the American people, Michelle and I extend our best wishes to Muslim communities here in the United States and around the world on the beginning of the blessed month of Ramadan," Obama said in a message published by the White House Office of the Press Secretary on Friday, 27 June, 2014.

"A time for self-reflection and devotion through prayer and fasting, Ramadan is also an occasion when Muslims around the world reaffirm their commitment to helping the less fortunate, including those struggling because of economic hardship and inequality,” he added.

In his Ramadan message, Obama stressed U.S. Muslims' efforts to help the less fortunate all through the year and especially on Ramadan. “At a moment when too many people around the world continue to suffer from senseless conflict and violence, this sacred time reminds us of our common obligations to pursue justice and peace and to uphold the dignity of every human being.”

He also repeated his annual invitation to American Muslims to share Iftar at the White House, a tradition going over the past years. “As I've done every year as President, I look forward to welcoming Muslim Americans from across the United States to the White House for an iftar dinner,” Obama noted.

President Obama concluded, “It will be another opportunity for me to convey America's appreciation for the contributions of Muslim Americans to our country and to wish Muslims around the world a month blessed with the joys of family, community, peace and understanding. Ramadan Kareem.”

From African Continent
Ramadan Messages from
The Prime Minister of Somalia
The Office of the Prime Minister of Somalia sent me a Ramadan message wherein the Prime Minister of Somalia expressed his salutations to the people of Somalia and to the brothers and sisters within the Muslim Ummah on the beginning of the blessed month of Ramadan. Mr.  Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed fervently hopes this Ramadhan brings happiness, success and peace to the Somali people and the entire Ummah.

The message said, “A time for self-reflection and devotion through prayer and fasting, Ramadhan is also an occasion when Muslims around the world reaffirm their commitment to their families and communities. Furthermore, Ramadhan offers Muslims a chance to practice self-cleansing and increase their good deeds. Here in Somalia, we must remain united and build strong bonds during this blessed month and focus on the good we can create.”

Dr. Abdullah Omar Nasseef
Dr. Abdullah Omar Nasseef, President of the Karachi-based World Muslim Congress (WMC) and Secretary General of the Cairo-based International Islamic Council for Dawah and Relief (IICDR) was passing through the United Kingdom. I met him at the Double Three Hilton Hotel, near Heathrow Airport on Wednesday, 25th of June, 2014 where he was staying overnight before flying back to Saudi Arabia. I was very much privileged to see him and find an opportune moment to request him his message to the Muslim community as well as to the Muslim Ummah about the importance and significance of the month of Ramadan, the month of fasting ordained by Allah the Almighty.

Dr. Nasseef, the former Secretary General of the Makkah-based Muslim World League, said, “We take the opportunity of this month of Ramadan like every year. This is the month which Allah the Almighty prescribed for us: fast; Taqwa is the safeguard of the society from going us astray from this way or other. That’s why it is important for us to remind our brothers and sisters around the world and globe that this occasion is not like other social gathering, social occasion. Socially you can achieve many things but spirituality it should change ourselves and our society and we should urge people to go back to Allah the Almighty and the Prophet (peace be upon him) in order to introduce the change.”

“Now we are witnessing this year a fitn all around the world; problems are happening everywhere; and no society is safe from this misery and problem. They have to realise that unless we go back to original Islam nothing will change. All kind of terrorists and radical people are telling to the societies that this is the way Islam should be the dominant but they are doing the wrong thing; they are causing Islam the problem and to Muslims all the confusion,” said Dr. Nasseef.

Dr. Nasseef, the former President of the Jeddah-based King Abdulaziz University, mentioned, “I always say in my message that we lack proper knowledge; and fail to deliver proper education and proper understanding of Islam to our young people. People think many things when they fast in the holy month of Ramadan; when they pray salah, Taraweeh and all the Ibadah; it is enough.”

But Dr. Nasseef said, “it is not enough. We have to ponder on what is our problem and seek the solution from the Qur’an and Hadiths and this can be done by the people who are already aware and have the knowledge. They should also be verified that their opinions can make people going astray; trains their minds and their thinking and preaching.”

“So I appeal to Allah Subhanahu wa Taala to guide our Muslim brothers and sisters to choose the right path and to get education to introduce the changes which will affect the society deeply and change our Ummah and that will help us to overcome our crisis and miseries which we are witnessing today,” said Dr. Nasseef.

Dr. Nasseef hopes and prays, “Insha Allah this Ramadan will be blessing month for the Muslims to be closer and closer to the teachings of Prophet (peace be upon him).”



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