Religion of 2014-07-05

‘Use Ramadan to pray for nation’

Two Ghanaian Muslim leaders have advised Muslims in the country to use the Ramadan fast to pray for the good of the nation.

The Chairman of the National Hilal Committee, Sheikh Mahmoud Gedel and the General Secretary of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Mission, Ghana, Ahmad Anderson, said in separate interviews last Thursday that this was the time for Muslims to pray for the nation.

“This is the time for Muslims to pray for the nation and to pray to Allah to guide our leaders to do the right things,” Sheikh Gedel said.

“Prayer for the nation is key and central to all that we do in order to ensure peace, unity, development and progress in the country,” Mr Anderson remarked.

Significance of fasting

During the period of fasting, Muslims are required to abstain from food and water from sunrise to dusk.

The fasting is a spiritual exercise that helps Muslims to get rid of undesirable habits, while imbibing or increasing their fortitude and patience.

The month-long fast also enables Muslims to empathise with the less fortunate members of society who suffer from hunger due to poverty and keep Satan and his promptings away.

To this end, Muslims are required, during the period, to show kindness and generosity to their brothers by way of giving out food and alms.

They are also expected to restrain their anger, exhibit tolerance and promote peace among Muslims and between Muslims and adherents of other religious faiths.

Deepening democracy

Sheikh Gedel urged Muslims to pray for the deepening of the country’s democratic process because “we need a safe environment to pray”.

He said democratisation did not mean westernisation, adding that political parties should use democracy for the betterment of the nation.

“We can’t think like the West because that will open the gate for evil things; we cannot allow homosexuality, we cannot allow lesbianism,” he remarked.

Sheikh Gedel stressed the need for Ghanaians to consider the real causes of the country’s problems and refrain from doing anything that would undermine democracy.

He urged Ghanaians to respect each other’s religious belief and live in peace and harmony.

Introspection

Mr Anderson said Ramadan was a period when Muslims were required to do an introspection to know what went wrong in their lives in the past and endeavour to make amends.

He said Ramadan was also a period when Muslims must guard against evil, adding, “It’s a workshop of a kind for Muslims to remember what is expected of them.

“It’s not only the stomach that should fast; all the limbs of your body should fast. You must restrain your lips and your eyes; it’s not everything that your eyes must see.

Mr Anderson said such spiritual discipline would help shape the lives of Muslims even after Ramadan.