Just as it was a Ramadan like none other, the Eid-il-fitr celebrations marking the end of the fasting this year too would be epochal.
I am sure there would be very few Muslims alive today – if any – who had witnessed a Ramadan fasting like the one we just had, and Eid celebration such as we would have this year without the mandatory congressional prayers.
We fasted this year without spiritual acts of worship that accompany the Holy month of Ramadan like attending tafsir (evening sermons before breaking of fast), sharing of iftar with family, friends and the needy, and even the voluntary seclusion during the last ten days of the blessed Ramadan.
But all these strictures could not have made our fasting less valid because, as Muslims, we believe that everything that happens is with the command of Almighty Allah. We are taught in the scripture and the Sunnah of Noble Prophet Muhammad (SAW) that God would test our faith individually and as an Ummah.
The current situation of the Covid-19 pandemic is a test from Allah and, having fasted as we are enjoined as Muslims, let us continue to remember that it is part of our faith to protect all lives and to abide by regulations from those in authority, especially during a time of great uncertainty like this.
Those protocols about avoidance of crowded places, social distancing and regular washing of hands are for our own benefits and the benefits of humankind in general.
As Muslims, it is incumbent upon us to do our best both in action and in prayers to ensure that the world is healed of this deadly virus in the earliest possible time.
It is also incumbent on governments at all levels, that in planning for the post Covid-19 era, the welfare of the people should be of paramount priority.
People in leadership positions all over the world should learn from countless examples of how Prophet Muhammed (SAW) and his immediate disciples took the welfare of the people as priority in administration of a state.
This time calls for sacrifice in leadership. This is no time for extravagance and living in luxury.
This year’s Eid-il-fitr celebration is already a special one. But I wish all Nigerian Muslims and their counterparts across the world a more special celebration, filled with pleasant moments as we pray together and enjoy the day with our families.
Vice President of Nigeria, 1999-2007