The importance of Ramadan fasting

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Wife of Lagos State the Governor, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode (middle), flanked by member, Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon. Abiodun Tobun (left) and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs, Mrs. Toyin Awoseyi (right) during the Eid-il-Fitri celebration at one of the designated centres, Marina Waterfront, Epe, Lagos, on Sunday, June 25, 2017.

By Otii esse

TUE, JUNE 27 2017-The Eid-El- fitr is yet another celebration to mark the end of another  Ramadan fast by Muslim faithful. However, it’s questions what impact it has had on them and how long will it last? Is it for them as a periodic observation of a religious obligation or a character building engagement? How does the society benefit from this religious obligation? This ultimately should be the yardstick for accessing the overall impact of such religious engagement.

During my interaction with some Muslim families who are celebrating the season they expressed the impact it has had on their lives…

Mr. Omokolade Abdulqayyum Ositade said the Ramadan season has helped improve his life as a person and It also increased his level of spirituality, focus and closeness to God Almighty, acknowledging that he now see the world anew, and has increase empathy to help those in need, he also added that it has opened his eyes for the need to be true and honest, he also encourage the rest of the society as well.

According to him speaking on the need for empathy he stressed the need for every man to look after his neighbours like his blood.  “then we can truly be more helpful to the poor and the needy in the society”.

Talking on the impact of the fast on Nigeria economy, he also noted that the fast add its own quota in building the Nigeria economy. As Muslim faithful buy a little extra from the beginning of the season to the end as part of the fast and celebration.

He added that the season will helps boost the Nigeria economy with increase sales of commodities as Muslim faithful have to purchase items from trader from a wide stock of food items to clothing to fill their homes and give to their neighbours.

Above all he stated that the society will benefit from the peace, tranquillity and moral engagement this season brings along.

Speaking to another Muslim faithful Mr. Olorunibe Abiodun, he said the season has created a stronger bond between him and his family, especially as they pray and eat together breaking their fast. He hopes such bonds continue to wax stronger

According to him, some practicing Muslims are exempted from the fasting for the following reasons:

1- If you are sick you don’t have to fast.

2- If you are not able to keep fasting whenever it’s physically intolerable.

3- Old people and teenagers that are weak cannot participate

4- When you are travelling, you are also exempted

5- Pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers.

However, vast majority of Muslims claim to observe the fast, but in reality they do not take part on the fast at some point. A Pew survey showed that 93% of Muslims worldwide claim to observe the fast on Ramadan. But in a separate, anonymous survey, the majority admitted not keeping the fast consistently even when not ill, pregnant, or travelling. About 80% say they have drunk water during the day.

However, it is important to point out that the virtue of such religious engagement is what Nigeria needs especially at a time of divisive comment from various part of the country. It’s expected that the major religious preach peace, love and sacrifice; how the faithful imbibe virtue will go a long way in defining the society.

Religious leaders are also urged to do more in preaching words of peace, love and sacrifice, in order to imbibe needed virtue to help sustain the nation.

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