Ramadhan to me, is a time for prayer, fasting and spiritual growth. It is during this holy month that we make time to sit down quietly and reflect upon ourselves. It is during such moments that I always find myself filled with pride to be Malaysian.
Ramadhan provides us an opportunity to display the true spirit of Islam and 1Malaysia.
At the sound of Azan, we see our brothers and sisters sharing food and drinks in traffic or on public transportations. We hear many touching stories of non-Muslims giving thoughtful courtesies for Muslims to break their fasts first.
We see our neighbours as we walk together towards the mosque for tarawih and we spend more time with our families as we dine together for sahur and buka puasa.
It is in this month that we observe the greatest display of the Malaysian spirit in the form of the Ramadhan bazaars where we see endless diversity in food and the people. The camaraderie of the fasting month serves as a reminder to us of the best version of ourselves that we aspire to be.
The month of Ramadhan is also about resilience. In our hunger, we learn not to succumb to gluttony. In our thirst, we learn to hold back our anger. In our tiredness, we learn to push through the day for the greater reward of accomplishing one of the rukun Islam.
To many Muslim children, the fasting month would be their first encounter with the concept of resilience. It is from here that our characters are built. It is this spirit of resilience and determination that will push us all to greater heights.
In our joyous and festive mood, we must always remember the ones who are in need. As Muslims, we are always encouraged to give generously to the needy if you are in the position to do so.
I call on my brothers and sisters to give generously in this holy month. Together, we bear the responsibility to try as best as we can to ensure that no individual will be left hungry in this country that is known for its diverse array of food and kind, charitable souls.
I am deeply sorry that some of our brothers and sisters had to welcome Ramadhan while recovering from tragedies. The tragedy of the Sabah earthquake and the floods have left the country in sadness. Their bravery and perseverance continue to inspire us and it serves as a reminder for us to not take anything for granted.
I hope the blessings and the grace of Allah will ease our journey for the rest of the year.