SINGAPORE - President Halimah Yacob wished all Muslims a blessed Ramadan in a post on Facebook on Sunday night (May 5), in which she noted that Ramadan is a special month for Muslims, who begin fasting on Monday.
"We don't only fast from dawn to dusk and enhance our piety through increased prayers, but it is also a time for us to enhance our acts of compassion and kindness and show greater humility, moderation and restraint," she said.
Madam Halimah noted that Ramadan is a time for reflection and correction, when people leave negative habits behind. "This is in fact the true meaning of Islam. It is not just about rituals and how we eat, dress or pray but of equal importance is how our words, acts and deeds benefit and not harm others," she said.
"It is about how on a daily basis, we bring good to others so that our existence is seen as a blessing and not a bane,"she added. "Regardless of who you are and what is your status in society, each one of us is capable of doing good."
Madam Halimah also took the time to correct certain misconceptions about the season - for instance, whether Muslims can swallow their saliva while fasting.
"Of course we can because Islam is a practical religion," she said, noting the flexibility during Ramadan for expectant and nursing mothers and travellers.
Several ministers joined President Halimah in extending Ramadan wishes.
Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat wrote on Facebook: "I wish that your Ramadan will be filled with joy and health, and we continue to share the spirit of togetherness, compassion, and care for everyone."
Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing noted that many breaking fast sessions will be held across Singapore, saying: "Non-Muslims will join in too - giving us opportunities to foster greater inter-faith understanding, and bond stronger as a community."