Ramadan has begun, and I want to wish all Muslims in Fiji a blessed month of faith, fellowship and self-reflection. Ramadan is always a time that brings us closer to God through acts of fasting, charity and prayer. This year’s Ramadan celebration is especially precious because we are free once again to celebrate fully with others.

Once again, we can pray with our community at our mosque. Once again, we can break the fast each day with family, friends and neighbours. Once again, we can greet and embrace each other in faith and love. God meant for human beings to live and pray together, in community. We have endured the adversity of the pandemic, and we have come through it with discipline, resolve and concern for our fellow Fijians. Our prayers were answered, and we are back to our normal way of life. Now we deserve to enjoy these days of faith, joy and gratitude to God.

I would like to urge all Fijians to join in celebrating Ramadan this year in whatever way you can. Wish your Muslim friends and neighbours a joyous Ramadan. Join them in acts of charity. Break the daily fast with them at iftar. We Fijians are bound together by love for our country, concern for each other, and deep respect for each other’s faiths. Ramadan gives us a chance to show that.

I pray that all those observing Ramadan will receive the rewards of inner peace and happiness that come from putting God first and serving others, particularly those who are less fortunate than we are. May your acts of piety, charity, compassion and sacrifice bring you closer to God and closer to your fellow human beings, and may you enjoy health and happiness throughout the year.
Ramadan kareem!

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