- 22 APR 2023
Prime Minister’s Eid-ul-Fitr Message – 2023
Message to the nation from Dr the Honourable Keith Rowley Prime Minister of The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago on the occasion of Eid-Ul-Fitr 2023
Fellow citizens, in joining members of the Muslim community, we must all recognise that in spite of the various challenges we face at this moment, there must be that continued appreciation of our diversity, our cultural variety and religions that occupy our home space.
The religious tolerance and respect for each other, displayed within our diversity, must be recognised as part of the greatness of ourselves as a people and our land.
On behalf of the Government of this great Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, members of my own family and myself as Prime Minister, I extend warm, celebratory greetings to all members of the Muslim community.
In Mecca in 610, the Holy Prophet Muhammad first received his revelations of the Quran. Two years later he began preaching, establishing a small grouping, which flourished to become the fastest growing religion today, with its objective to create and cultivate, within man, the qualities and attitudes of peace, Islam.
The believers are those who, in their daily lives, recognise and accept the Creator, and His all-powerful laws of the universe, which govern everything in nature, and who devote their lives, honestly and faithfully, in obedience to Allah.
It says that individuals, who follow the path of disobedience to Allah will find, eventually, that their lives lead to only disgrace and ruin. Without Allah, their lives will be led astray, always; in the end, such persons fail to understand life’s genuine knowledge, purposes and its genuine concepts.
They understand neither the nature of themselves, nor the unmatched power of the majestic universe in which they reside.
Islam says that to be successful in your life’s trial, use your free will, knowledge and intelligence to recognise and submit to Allah.
It also says that a man, who knows right from wrong and choses the path of Allah, recognising His all-powerful attributes, knows then that he is on the right path.
Today, some may see Islam as exotic; others might question its relevance in the modern world. Perhaps, it is because, the relevance of religion continues to be questioned.
Fellow, citizens here one can recognise the commonality of Islam with other faiths, their roots date way back; they share the same ancestry, the same principles of peace, respect, compassion, love and the hope we hold in our hearts — cherished values that one finds in all faiths.
I urge all citizens to join with our Muslim brothers and sisters today in celebration, recognising that in essence Islam, means peace. Let us spread that peace across our sacred land, called Trinidad and Tobago.
Today, more than ever this land faces the challenges of a rising murder rate, which appears to be reflecting the mental state of our youths.
Earlier this week, CARICOM leaders met here in Port of Spain to share their experiences of crime and violence in their countries, pointing to youth crime and violence as becoming a frightening problem in the Caribbean and worldwide.
Today, the foundations of Islam warn that those who see only crime and violence, but not the face of God in their actions, that they will face the consequences — even if they escape the hands of the law today.
May we all be mindful of God’s wrath, and continue to recognise the alternative beauties He offers in our own lives.
Happy, Holy, Eid-ul-Fitr.