ACCRA, Ghana – To the Muslims of Ghana, I want to wish you a blessed Ramadan. We are living in unprecedented times, and it is important that we all take the necessary precautions for the collective good. This means adjusting to new ways, even as we practice deep-rooted traditions in keeping with our religious faiths. And so I encourage all Muslims in Ghana to earnestly seek spiritual fulfillment as you mark the holiest period in the Islamic calendar.
It may be difficult not to be able to go to mosque for prayer or to gather with the wider community to break fast. But it is my hope that you nevertheless feel the spirit of the holiday, conducting ablution and prayer in your homes and sharing a meal each evening with the loved ones nearest to you.
In keeping with the pillar of zakat, or charitable giving, the U.S. Embassy provided twenty households in need with a one-week food supply. With that donation, we are helping some of the more vulnerable members of the community break fast.
Thank you to the Islamic Education Unit and its volunteers who made the food distribution possible. I truly wish that members of my Embassy team and I had been able to do this ourselves in person, but I hope you will understand the need to remain socially distanced during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Ramadan is a period of reflection, and as I look back on my time in Ghana, I want to recognize the religious leaders who have established, maintained, and bolstered interfaith engagement, cooperation, and partnership. Beyond establishing schools, feeding the hungry, and providing a range of social services, Christian and Muslim faith leaders have repeatedly used their platforms to convey messages of harmony and tolerance. This has been critical to Ghana’s stability and democratic success, and it will surely help the country weather the current challenges related to the coronavirus.
Among the most respected of leaders in Ghana is His Eminence the National Chief Imam, Sheikh Osman Nuhu Sharubutu, who has been a tireless and inspirational advocate of religious tolerance. He has also provided crucial guidance to communities and policymakers throughout Ghana about the measures we need to implement if we are to overcome the current challenges and emerge stronger. So let me take this opportunity to wish this champion of peace a very happy 101st birthday.
And to all Muslims in Ghana, on behalf of the Embassy community and the United States Government, I wish you good health, safety, and blessings. Ramadan Mubarak.