The celebration is clearest indication of historic tolerance

Muslims across the nation have peacefully celebrated the 1445th Eid Al Fitr, which is the end of the annual fasting season during the holy month Ramadan. While Muslims spent the holy month with utmost faith, prayer and fasting the happiness and the blessings are the shared values for all Ethiopians who have held tolerance as their ages old culture.

Ethiopians have been celebrating the day for centuries since the coming of Islam to the country. Throughout the times Muslims have celebrated Eid with peace, love and respect to friends and neighbors as ordered by the religion. This practice is one of the precious values of the entire people of the nation and is likely to service in the coming centuries regardless of any internal or external problems.

The month of Ramadan is the most eagerly awaited season among Muslims across the world. IT is among deep and utmost prayer for God. It is also a time to pray for spiritual refreshment, peace, stability, success and blessings among others.

Though the month is a time of fasting and prayer for Muslims it brings people of other religious closer. Especially in Ethiopia it has been a long ingrained culture among followers of different religious to exchange collaborations during such solemn ceremonies.

As a matter of coincidence this year the fasting seasons Ramadan of Muslims and Lent of Ethiopian Orthodox Christians have started on the same day. Even throughout the year’s followers of the two mainstream religions in the country have support each other during celebrations of their respective holidays.

For instance, on the ever of Eid Al Fitr members of the Community, young Christians and various members of neighborhoods grouped themselves to clean the road and public places that are designated for the celebration of Eid Solat by the large number of Muslims that gather from various corners. The community members from each neighborhood can easily consider the fact that Muslims are busy fasting and praying that day and may not be suitable for them to go out to the streets and do the cleanings.

Muslims rather reciprocate the good deeds of the Christians and other brethren during the other holidays. For instance, Christians in Ethiopia celebrate Timket or Epiphany, uniquely on the month of January. They take to the streets enmasse to accompany the arks or tabots of each Church to the places they stay overnight. On such occasion Muslims lend a hand in cleaning the roads that the tabots pass through.

By doing so Muslims and Christians share both the celebration and blessings of their prayers. Such tolerance and collaboration is among the ages old traditions of the country that need to be recognized as the cultural wonders of the nation. As the country passed through various twists and turns throughout the centuries such rich culture of tolerance and unity are the factors that kept the diverse people of the country closer and united together.

These spiritual values and disciplines have contributed not only in the tolerance between the followers of the religions but also in addressing harmful outcomes of political and economic crisis. Heeding to their respective religious orders people have been contributing to support victims of conflict, drought, and other sudden disasters that left people helpless.

It is high time the government, religious leaders and scholars, among others, come together to maintain these worthwhile cultural asset of the people to further advance vital national agenda like peace, national consensus and economic development.


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