Today marks the start of Ramadhan fasting month for Muslims around the world. Fasting is one of the five pillars of Islamic faith, but it means more than not consuming food and drinks during the day. The purpose of the fast is to cleanse the mind from sensual desires and worldly cravings; it is a time of spiritual reflection for the purpose of purifying oneself.
It is a coincidence that as Muslims celebrate the beginning of Ramadhan, Buddhists are also welcoming the holy month of Vesakhā. Therefore, let us make this a fruitful period of piety, contemplation, meditation, and realisation. Followers of different religions can practise their faiths side-by-side harmoniously if we cultivate genuine goodwill and loving-kindness.
On this occasion, we wish our Muslim friends “selamat berpuasa”, and our Buddhist brethren “joyful Vesakhā”. May humanity live in peace and harmony, and be free from harm and anxiety.