Home OPINION COLUMNISTS As Jonathan Observed 29-Day Muslim Fasting By Yusuf Ozi-Usman

As Jonathan Observed 29-Day Muslim Fasting By Yusuf Ozi-Usman

It is interesting for one to know that President Goodluck Jonathan, a Christian through and through, joined Muslims in observing the month of Ramadan fasting which ended on Wednesday, August 7. More interesting is the fact that he observed all the 29 days of the fasting with clear genuine commitment and seriousness.
This point became pungent when the President confessed, as Vice President Mohammed Namadi Sambo and FCT Minister Bala Mohammed paid him Sallah homage on Eid-el Fitr day, Thursday, August 8, that it was not an easy task for one to go on self-denial and pleasure for such a long period.
President Jonathan acknowledged, as a participant, that the Muslim fasting may appear easy and simple for those who were not involved but that, having himself gone through it all, his pair of trousers no longer sized him.
“My trousers are just pulling out from my waist. So you should know that it is not easy to forego food (and other worldly pleasures) for a reasonable period of time within 24 hours of the day. For you (Muslims and, of course, him) to have gone through this spiritual exercise is worth congratulations, so I congratulate you.”
Yes, former President Olusegun Obasanjo was believed to also be participating in the Ramadan fasting annually in solidarity with Muslims, but the one President Jonathan has been doing looked more business-like.
The point here is not the manner in which Presidents Obasanjo and now Jonathan, staunch Christians, have been solidarising with Muslims, in the matter of one of their religious obligations, but the purpose for the act.
Of course, like Islam teaches, other Prophets of God who appeared before the coming of Prophet Muhammad (May the Peace and Blessing of Allah be Upon him) brought their own individual modes of fasting to their adherents, which are well documented and known.
Each of the modes of fasting has its set of rules, and the reward system is outlined by God.
However, certain things are central in all the systems. One of such things is the spiritual exercise and fulfillment. And another one is, even as medical experts confirmed, the cleansing of human body system.
But, the reward systems are quite different, though each group claims that the central thing is the admittance of the faithful ones into God’s paradise.
Fundamentally, to qualify for the Muslim Ramadan fasting and enjoy God’s rewards for it, the first condition is that the participant must believe in the oneness of God: that He neither begotten a son nor was he begotten and must believe that Prophet Muhammad is His rightful messenger.
At any rate, a genuine muslim must, as part of his completeness, believe in Jesus as not only the Prophet of Allah, but also, Spirit of Allah (RuhuLah).
In other words, participants in the Ramadan fasting must be Muslims, as an average African would say “back and front.”
And, when the reality dawned on us that President Jonathan has never pretended to be anywhere near being Muslim, the question that naturally crops up is, under which platform did he join Muslims for the Ramadan fasting?
Of course, the religious aspect of it is ruled out, and we are left with issues such as spiritual exercise, body system cleansing and, to a very large extent, politics and political calculation, and therefore, a mind to reap its fruit at the polls.
So, one may be right to say that President Jonathan, like ex President Obasanjo, has been into “political fasting.”

Leave a Reply