Assalamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!The observance of Ramadan brings together Muslims around the world through an act of collective surrender and sacrifice, guided by a shared faith in the grace and mercy of Allah. During the holy month, we revisit the wisdom of the Quran with our families and live out its truth through acts of charity and goodwill towards our communities.

The essence of our month-long fast is in our collective act of submission, where we find ourselves sustained by our faith in Allah. Our shared hunger is one that cannot simply be satisfied by a shared meal, and our thirst is one that cannot simply be quenched by a shared drink. Our fast extends overcoming the weaknesses of our body by strengthening our resolve as Muslims, with our hearts and minds trained towards restraint and obedience despite the temptations we face in the everyday.

As we break the fast in the same way our ancestors have broken the fast for hundreds of years, we also acknowledge the changes that come with the passing of time. We are currently experiencing the effects of an unprecedented global pandemic, as we stand at the crossroads of a political transition here in the Bangsamoro region. As we break the fast, may we also continue breaking the cycle of violence and oppression that disproportionately affects our people – especially our women and children.

While Ramadan affords us a month to collectively practice our faith, the days beyond the Holy Month present us with an infinite number of opportunities to become better Muslims. As we observe and break the fast together with the ummah, may we act with charity, patience, and generosity towards one another. May we embrace our shared responsibility in building a Bangsamoro where just and lasting peace is a reality, and in creating a future where we share equal rights and freedoms as Allah intends for us all.Ramadhan Mubarak!