By Yinka Kolawole
Governor Adegboyega Oyetola of Osun State yesterday felicitated with Muslim faithful in the state and around the world on the commencement of the 1441 AH (2020) Ramadan fasting, saying the observance of fasting amidst the battle against Coronavirus is not a mere coincidence.
He noted that the COVID-19 pandemic ravaging the world challenged humanity and its faith in Allah, urging the Muslim Ummah to hold fast to their faith in their creator in both times of prosperity and hardship in order to validate the sincerity of our faith.
Oyetola was however quick to add that, considering the huge blessings that come with the holy month, Nigerians and indeed the world would come out of the COVID-19 war stronger and better.
In a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Ismail Omipidan, yesterday Oyetola, who drew inspiration from Q29: 2, where Allah says “Do people think they will be left alone after saying ‘we believe’ without being put to test,” urged the Muslim faithful to seek maximum benefits of Ramadan by engaging in more acts of worship that would draw them closer to Allah. This, he said, was the true essence of the holy month.
“Allah allows challenges to make us better and stronger Muslims. Once we overcome this challenge of COVID-19 successfully, we will never remain the same, as we will be better prepared for further challenges. We will have stronger belief in Allah and be more hopeful of success.
“Ramadan is a period for spiritual rejuvenation. We must, therefore, take advantage of this month to renew our commitment to the service of God and humanity by upholding the teachings and virtues of Prophet Muhammad (SAW).
“We must engage in additional acts of worship that will draw us closer to God. I pray Allah accepts all our acts of worship in this glorious month and reward us all abundantly.
“Certainly, with measures taken so far and with our acts of worship in this holy month, we will come out of COVID-19 war stronger and better,” he added.
The governor, who noted that Ramadan was a month of reflection, forgiveness, and generosity, encouraged the more privileged and well-meaning members of the society to remember and extend hands of support to the less privileged.
He added that the current situation in the country made it more imperative for people to reach out and show love to the vulnerable and the poor.
Oyetola further noted that the lockdown directive imposed to check the spread of Coronavirus was still in force and warned against violation of the order, stressing that violators would not be spared by the State government.
“To this end, some regular activities during Ramadan such as congregational prayers including Taraweeh, Tafseer, public lectures, and other religious gatherings are suspended during this period.
“This is necessary to flatten the curve and prevent community transmission of the Coronavirus. We, therefore, urge Muslim leaders and followers and other residents of our State to continue to adhere strictly to the sit-at-home order, maintain social distancing and observe other precautionary measures to halt further spread of the virus,” Oyetola added.
The governor also appealed to Nigerians and the Muslim faithful in particular to intensify prayers during this holy month of Ramadan for God’s intervention in the fight against Covid-19.