Thousands of Liberian Muslims celebrating the end of the holy month of Ramadan at the Gurley Street Mosque have been called on to ensure that the Liberian government’s effort to reconcile the country is successful through unity.
Delivering the final message yesterday in Monrovia, Grand Mufti Sheik Abubakar Mory D. Sumaworo told his audience to let unity be their watchword in the building of the Liberian nation.
Sheik Sumaworo explained that reconciling the Liberian people demands the total involvement of all segments of the Liberian society. “Our country is moving on a new road of success,” Sheik Sumahoro said. “We must do our part as Muslims and Liberians to make it work.”
He noted, amid the declaration of the greatness of Allah, that Liberians cannot and should not prevent the cause of progress that President George Manneh Weah has set in motion to lead the country to another level that will give the country and the people, whether Muslims or Christians, a chance to be proud of their nation.
He also reminded Muslims and Christians that both have a shared responsibility to develop the country as brothers and sisters united for a common destiny.
Sheilk Sumahoro noted that the month of Ramadan is the most sacred month of the year in Islamic culture and the observation of the month is to mark Allah’s provision of the first chapters of the Quran to the Prophet Muhammad.
During Ramadan, Muslims fast, abstain from pleasures and pray to become closer to Allah and it is a time for families to gather and celebrate together. Ramadan is the ninth month in the Islamic calendar, which is a lunar calendar based on the cycles of the moon.
The observance begins the morning after the crescent moon is visibly sighted, marking the beginning of the new month. Traditionally, people search for the slight crescent using the naked eye, which has led to the declaration of different starting times for Ramadan, due to weather or geography. In order to have a more consistent start time for Muslims around the world, however, astronomical calculations are now sometimes used.
According to Islamic sources, the observance of Ramadan is very personal and individual and is a time for “sacrifice and renunciation as well as a period of reflection and spiritual growth. Ramadan is also a powerful symbol of unity, bringing family and friends together. During this period, Muslims around the world fast simultaneously.
Several Muslims interviewed yesterday said completing Ramadan brings them joy “because our families were stronger together in the presence of Allah, the creator of all things.”
Fasting during Ramadan is the fourth of the five pillars of Islam and they form the basis of how Muslims practice their religion. According to Islam Guide, the Pillars of Islam are: Shahada: faith in the Islam religion, Salat: pray five times per day facing the direction of Mecca, Zakat: give support to the needy, Sawm: fast during Ramadan, and Hajj: make the pilgrimage to Mecca at least once during one’s lifetime.
At the end of Ramadan, a three-day spiritual celebration known as Eid al-Fitr occurs. During this time, Muslims rejoice in the completion of the fast. Family members and friends gather to share in feasts and prayers. During Eid al-Fitr, it is customary to donate to the poor and disadvantaged.