Message from Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley, QC, MP, to mark the start of Ramadan 2019 in Barbados.
Today, as members of the Barbadian Muslim community join with more than a billion of their colleagues around the world to mark the start of the holy month of Ramadan, I cannot help but note that they are doing so in what is clearly an increasingly intolerant and chaotic world.
And while it may be coincidental that Muslims are starting these holy celebrations just one week after the very tragic loss of more than 200 lives in a series of bombings in Sri Lanka on Easter, a similarly holy occasion on the Christian calendar, the world ought not to lose this opportunity to promote love — love for self, and love for others.
Throughout this month, Muslims will engage in intense prayer and dusk-to-dawn fasting, all part of a regime whose aim is to stimulate physical and spiritual purity. They do this by refraining from the bad habits that have helped to push the world in a direction that many of us so abhor. We certainly would all live in a better world if more of us practised in our everyday lives the personal restraint that members of the Muslim community emphasize during Ramadan.
How much more caring our world would be if we all placed less emphasis on self-indulgent habits and more on empathy for the less fortunate, patience and the observance of strong, positive family values — all of which will no doubt feature prominently in mosques and wherever else Muslims gather this month.
I therefore take this opportunity to wish all members of the Barbadian Muslim community, and Muslims all over the world, a happy Ramadan and trust that as you reach the holiday of Eid al-Fitr you would all be able to declare that the month has indeed brought you all closer to God.