World Bulletin/News Desk
Zambia’s Muslims have joined hundreds of millions of coreligionists around the world in celebrating the end of the holy month of Ramadan and the advent of Eid al-Fitr holiday, but with a special view of reaching out to their non-Muslim countrymen.
“As part of Eid celebration, we will share food and drink with our neighbors and we shall give gifts to those who are in need, without considering the religion they belong to,” National Coordinator of the Zambia Islamic Council Judas Adam Phiri told Anadolu Agency.
By doing so, Phiri hopes, the spirit of the Eid would help boost the country’s sense of unity and harmonization, especially with the nation celebrating the 50th anniversary of independence from Britain next October.
"Unity is our strength. We have been united all along. We have to do all it takes to remain united as Zambians,” he said.
Reflecting on the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan, Phiri seemed quite satisfied at a tendency among the country’s Muslims to dedicate part of their prayers for the nation and for its well-being.
“Ramadan has been a period of deep reflection, love and sacrifice. It was also a moment when the Muslim faithful offered prayers to Allah, not just for themselves, but also for our communities and the nation as a whole,” he said. “May the prayers that have been offered to Almighty Allah receive favorable responses.”
Most of the prayers, he said, asked for peace to prevail in Zambia. “Peace is condition number one for any nation to develop,” he argued. “A God-fearing nation needs no more prisons [and] instead uses the money for building more schools. The necessity of the holy month of Ramadan therefore afforded us the opportunity to beg for forgiveness of our sins and get close to the almighty Allah.”
According to Phiri, Muslims around the world are encouraged to continue observing the Islamic teachings after Ramadan and pray for peace and reconciliation in the world.
”We have a duty to pray for peace and reconciliation because many times we have wronged each other and we need forgiveness from those people we have offended. It is through this forgiveness and reconciliation we shall achieve the much desired peace. In this way, our life will be more rewarding and beneficial.”
Muslims currently account for between 5 and 12 percent of the country's total population of roughly 14.2 million.
Now as Ramadan came to an end, Phiri said, it is time for Muslims to rejoice and celebrate after completing the long-month fasting.
“But most importantly, I want to invite our Muslim brothers and sisters in this country to pray for peace and reconciliation ahead of our jubilee celebration which will take place on October 24,” he said.
He went on to say it was crucial that Zambians continue to live in harmony, irrespective of their religious, political or social inclinations.
"We need each other more than ever now that as a country we are faced with the threats coming to our country in different forms,” he said.
“We believe the continuous prayers and fasting has contributed to the harmonious co-existence which has characterized Zambia and has become the bedrock for peace and tranquility, stability and development in the country.
“But we want this trend to continue for the next fifty years to come.”
Israeli army frequently carries out sweeping arrest campaigns across occupied West Bank
First National Security meeting for 2018 to discuss Afrin, emergency rule
Lee, a naturalized US citizen also known as Zhen Cheng Li, was arrested late Monday after he arrived at JFK International Airport in New York.
Israeli forces first detained al-Tamimi on Dec. 19 during an overnight raid
Finnish parliament's Second Deputy Speaker Arto Satonen visits Turkish parliament in capital Ankara
Officials and figures from 86 countries attending conference
With two months to go before Russians vote in polls that are all but guaranteed to hand Putin a historic fourth term, the 41-year-old opposition leader and anti-corruption campaigner spoke to AFP Tuesday in his campaign headquarters.
If France recognizes Palestine as a state, more countries will follow it, says Luxembourg FM
Terror group works closely with US forces in Syria, including for ordering tunnel digging machines, coordination of attacks
Army ‘reviewing possibility’ of assuming security responsibility over East Jerusalem district, Haaretz reports
Eurostat says inflation down 0.1 percentage point from November
Thailand's strict lese majeste law carries a maximum sentence of 15 years per charge.
Some 10.74 million vehicles from VW or its subsidiaries ranging from Porsche and Audi to Skoda and Seat rolled out of dealerships last year -- an increase of 4.3 percent over the previous year, the carmaker said.
Separatist parties won regional elections on December 21 called by Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy to try and put a stop to a crisis that shook the wealthy region of 7.5 million people, the rest of Spain and Europe.
Located in the bustling Adjame quarter of Ivory Coast's main city and commercial hub, the haven for fake medicine has been targeted time and again by authorities and stockpiles burnt.
Juncker's comment about possible re-accession comes a day after European Council President Donald Tusk said that the bloc's "hearts were still open" if Britain decided to change its mind about leaving the EU.