After 30 days of fasting, prayer and self-renewal, Muslims across the country today bid fond farewell to the holy month of Ramadan and celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr, and all of us in the national community join with them.

The traditionally communal commemoration of Eid has been hampered by Covid-19 restrictions for a second consecutive year, preventing the festive iftars, public distributions of charity and large family gatherings synonymous with the Eid observance. Ever forbearing and undeterred, the Muslim faithful perform their Eid prayers and other customary practices within the confines of their homes, united by the understanding that the essence of Eid lies not in the traditions and rituals of the day but in the personal growth and spiritual enlightenment achieved while undertaking the solemn and holy obligation of sawm.

Having voluntarily refrained from food, drink, malice and ill-will, Muslims emerge from the Ramadan period reenergised and bursting with renewed faith, devotion and resolve. While believers are sorrowful that this period, in which one night is said to be better than a thousand months, is over, they are also jubilant at having completed the requirements of their fast.

The essential lessons of Ramadan and the Eid celebration are pertinent to every Trinbagonian, particularly as the nation ramps up its efforts to stem the spread of Covid-19. Muslims abstain from and deny themselves worldly comforts with the confidence and knowledge that their discipline and sacrifice will produce abundant spiritual rewards. In the same manner, every Trinbagonian must take measures and precautions that may appear inconvenient, weighty or burdensome in order to reap the benefit of flattening the coronavirus curve and ending the present crisis.

The intense personal adjustments and self-restraint required of Muslims during Ramadan should encourage us all to make the changes we have been asked to make in our daily lives. We would all do well to emulate the civic responsibility, temperance and faith so ably demonstrated by our Muslim brothers and sisters.

As members of the Muslim community offer prayers of thanksgiving for the successful completion of their sawm, may their undaunted faith, fervent prayer and effervescent hope infect and inspire us all.

I extend heartfelt wishes to the Muslim community for a safe and holy Eid and may Allah accept and reward your efforts.

Eid Mubarak!