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Preparation ahead of Islamic fete finalised

By | Feb 23rd 2011 | 2 min read


Lamu County

Muslim pilgrimages converge again at the Lamu Island for the annual Maulid festival, which kicks off from Monday to Friday, next week.

Riadha Mosque and Islamic Centre Co-ordinator Mohdar Khitamy, who is the main organiser, disclosed on Tuesday in Mombasa that this year’s 125th Lamu Maulid religious festivals would be attended by pilgrims from Comoros, Yemen, Oman, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Tanzania and the UK.

Mr Khitamy said more than 30 bulls donated by volunteers will be slaughtered at the Mosque to feed more than 25,000 Muslims expected to turn up for the festival.

"We have also set aside a free medical camp at the mosque’s compound with more than 100 medical volunteers from Kenya, Spain, UK and the Kenya Red Cross officials to attend to the needy during the festival," he said.

Khitamy said Muslim politicians were expected but warned them to keep off politics at the festivals, since it will be a purely religious affair.

Spiritual leader

He disclosed that Islamic scholars from UK, Tanzania and United Arab Emirates including Comoro’s spiritual leader Sheikh Said Twaher Jamal and Uganda’s Chief Kadhi were expeted.

"The scholars will hold an Islamic workshop for leaders from the continent," said the co-ordinator.

Khitamy disclosed Imams countrywide would have a conference on the management of Islamic roles in their counties. They will also discuss their role in combating terrorism.

"Since the Maulid ceremonies are spiritual and cultural, the Mosque will host the religious ceremonies, which includes overnight prayers and the cultural side will be staged at the open grounds outside the mosque in the afternoons," said the co-ordinator.

Last year, thousands of Muslims from all over the world have flocked Lamu Island for the festival.

Khitamy said the 121st celebrations attracted more than 50,000 visitors, both local and international.

He said more than 60 bulls donated by volunteers were slaughtered at the Mosque for the participants of the event.

"Maulid is the Arabic word for birth and is often referred to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). It is a holy celebration, usually held in the third Islamic lunar month of ‘Rabil awaal’," he said.

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