Monday, October 15, 2007
MUSLIMS MARK EID-UL-FITR IN THE REGIONS
The Eid-ul-Fitr was on Saturday marked by thousands of Muslims across the country.
From Kumasi, Kwame Asare Buadu reports that the T.I. Ahmadiyya Senior High School Park, the forecourt of the Central Mosque in Kumasi and the Pankromo School park were filled with a large number of Muslims who congregated to offer prayers to mark Eid-ul-Fitr.
Special prayers were offered for the President and his government, and for the entire nation.
Alhaji Hafeez Ahmed Jibril Saeed, the third deputy head of the Ahmadiyya Mission in Ghana, who led the prayers at the T.I. Ahmadiyya School, centred his sermon on Qu’ran sura, which touched on the importance of fasting in Islam.
He said Muslims should be thankful to Allah for offering them strength to fulfill one of the five pillars of Islam-fasting, explaining that the purpose of fasting was to draw man closer to his Maker.
He also pointed out that fasting helped people to get their sins washed away so that they could become pure before Allah.
Alhaji Saeed challenged Muslims to be charitable and shun vices that could tarnish the image of the religion.
He spoke against the temptation to get rich quick, and said this could land many people in trouble with the law.
At the Pankromo “A” School Park, the Minister of State at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, Dr Anthony Akoto-Osei, who worshipped with the orthodox congregation, entreated the Muslim community to close their ranks and work to promote peace and security in the Kumasi metropolis.
He said the spiritual uplift of the Muslims during the Ramadam should be used to ensure discipline and peaceful co-existence.
The Minister donated GH¢100 towards the celebration.
From Ho, Tim Dzamboe reports that hundreds of Muslims in the Ho municipality and its environs gathered at the Ho Police Training School Park last Saturday to offer prayers to Allah to mark the end of the 30-day fasting known as Eid-ul-Fitr in Islam.
Led by the Regional Chief Imam, Alhaji Hamza Umar, the Muslims prayed for the state, the President and his ministers, Members of Parliament and the nationa as a whole, wishing them prosperity and stability.
The Imam said things that divide fewer than the things that united them, adding, “Let us decide today to reassure ourselves to do things that unite us more”.
He stressed the need for education since it was the key to a secure future.
The Member of Parliament, Captain George Nfojo (retd), who graced the occasion, urged Muslims to spread the grace of fasting for the benefit of society.
He urged them to champion the development of Zongo communities and that they should invest in the setting up of senior high schools in the Zongos.
In Sunyani, the Brong Ahafo Regional capital, hundreds of Muslims converged on the Sunyani Coronation Park to offer prayers for the peace, stability and prosperity of the nation to mark this year’s Eid-ul-Fitr celebration, reports Samuel Duodu.
The Regional Chief Imam, Alhaji Umar Abdul Kadir, who led the congregation, also prayed for a violence free election next year.
In his sermon, Alhaji Kadir urged Muslims, especially the youth, to desist from all antisocial vices that tended to cast a slur on the Muslim communities.
However, conspicuously missing were the Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, Mr Ignatius Baffour-Awuah, his deputy, Nana Abraham Kwadwo Kwakye and the Sunyani Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), Mr Kwame Twumasi-Awuah, who had always represented the government on such occasions every year.
An emissary, who was also there to pray, told the congregation that the Regional Minister had received a delegation from abroad while the MCE was in Accra for an equally important function and therefore apologized on their behalf.
On behalf of the Regional Minister, the emissary presented GH¢200 (¢2 million) towards the celebration.
In a message to mark the day, which was read on his behalf by hid secretary, Baba Guasu, the Regional Chief Imam appealed to Muslims to live as a people with one purpose and not allow their political differences to let them be at each other’s throat, especially when the country would enter its political season next year.
He further advised Muslims not to aloe themselves to be used by selfish politicians who would want to cause confusion and chaos to throw the nation into political turmoil during the electioneering next year. He advised them to rather take advantage of Capitation Grant and send their children, both boys and girls, to school.
From Tamale, Vincent Adedze reports that the Northern Regional Minister, Aihaji Mustapha Ali Iddris, joined thousands of Muslims to mark the Eid-ul-Fitr with open air prayers at the Jubilee Park in Tamale, otherwise known as the Police Park.
Alhaji Iddris used the occasion to call on the people in the region to be law-abiding and to “use dialogue and mutual compromises and sacrifices to resolve differences and misunderstandings in your respective communities”.
“Today, as we celebrate our peace with Allah, let those of us who have imprisoned others in our hearts declare general amnesty to those prisoners”, the minister further said.
The Chief Imam at the Tamale Central Mosque, Alhaji Abdul Salam Ahmed, who led the prayers, urged Muslims to unite since Islam enjoined them to do so for the accelerated development of their respective communities.
The Northern Regional Missionary of the Ahmadiyya Muslims Maulvi Faheem Ahmad Khadim, who led prayers for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Mission branch in Tamale, equally urged followers of Allah to continue doing good, adding that “happiness lies in obedience to Allah”.
George Folley Quaye reports from Wa that hundreds of Muslims in Wa, the Upper West Regional capital, held prayers at the Naa Sidiki Semi II Park to mark the end of Ramadan.
They later converged on the forecourt of the Regional Co-ordinating Council (RCC) where they were addressed by the Upper West Regional Minister, Mr George Hickah Bendon.
The regional minister urged them not to abandon the good habits they acquired during the period of fasting.
He asked them to also pray to God for long life, urging them to continually uphold the virtues of peace and unity to sustain the prevailing peace in the country.
From Bolgatanga Samuel Abaane reports that thousands of Muslims in the Bolgatanga municipality thronged the Abilba Number One School to say special prayers to celebrate this year’s Eid-ul-Fitr to mark the end of their 30-day Ramadan fast in obedience to the command of Allah.
Others, dressed in flowing robes, also converged on various points in the municipality where they said prayers for unity, peace, progress and prosperity of the nation and the Upper East Region.
The Upper East Regional Chief Imam, Alhaji Adam Yussif, who led the prayers, thanked Allah for guiding the region during its difficult period of drought and flood and asked Him to spare the region such natural disasters.
He urged Muslims not to resume their sinful ways but maintain their piety so that Allah would continue to bless them.
He cautioned the youth, especially Muslims, to be law-abiding and desist from indulging in activities that would not help their progress and that of the nation.
Daily Graphic Monday, October 15, 2007 Page: 43