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Muslims call for peace as they mark Idd-al-Adha

National
Muslim faithful at Kakamega Jamia mosque during prayers to mark Idd-al-Adha. [Benjamin Sakwa, Standard]

Hundreds of Muslim faithful flocked various mosques in many parts of the country yesterday to mark Idd-al-Adha.

Goat meat was shared among faithful whose financial status could not allow them to slaughter a goat or buy meat for their families.

A section of the Muslims invited their friends from other religions to partake of the meat and celebrate with them.

“It is a very special day for us, the day Ibraham almost offered his son as a sacrifice before God intervened and provided a sheep," said Hassan Oliacha, a Muslim faithful from Kakamega town.

Kakamega Council of Imans and Preachers of Kenya (CIPK) chairman Sheikh Idris Mohammed urged Muslims to lead a righteous life and pray for one another.

“Let us pray for the orphans and widows and also take care of them,” Sheikh Idris told faithful who congregated at the Jamia Mosgue in Kakamega town yesterday.

Muslims also gathered in mosques in Mumias town and Vihiga where they embraced the poor and shared meals with them.

A section of faithful could be seen taking a walk with their families in various towns after the prayers. 

In Nyanza, most of the faithful were excited and ready to share whatever little they had with the poor and people from other faiths.

They also took the opportunity to pray for a peaceful country, urging Kenyans to live in peace and leaders to preach unity.

In Mombasa, hundreds of Muslims gathered at Ummy Kulthum Mosque for special prayers and celebrations.

The prayers were led by Dr Islam Mohamed Salim. Also present was former Mombasa governor Ali Hassan Joho among other leaders.

Dr Salim called on Muslims to remain united and put aside their differences including during the marking of the Eid celebrations.

"We should not be divided because of small differences. We should stand united at this time," stressed Dr Salim.

Muslim leaders underscored the need for faithful to go out of their way and assist the poor, orphans and widows as commanded by the holy teachings.

The leaders took the opportunity to weigh into the Finance Bill debate and urged Members of Parliament to forget their political differences and focus on making the right decision when Bill is presented before them.

Migori Muslim Development Community chairman Omar Ibrahim Zam Zam urged MPs to consider the suffering of Kenyans when sitting to discuss the Bill.

Omar said the budget would hurt Kenyans and hence should not be passed as it is.  “It will take a toll on the lives of Kenyans. We are watching the MPs, they should not pass the bill,” Omar stated.

Ali Hassan, a member of the Muslim community in the county said Kenyans are suffering and the economy is ailing.

“I have decided to come back home because living in Nairobi has become so expensive,” Hassan said.

They further urged Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua to speak words that will unite the country. “He should know his role as the second in command and is not supposed to be tribal. His remarks can bring division in this country,” Omar said.

In Homa Bay County, Muslims celebrated the Idd-ul-Adha with a call on the government to avoid burdening Kenyans with high taxation.

At Oyugis Jamia Mosque, the Secretary of the Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims (SUPKEM), Abdul Masud told the government to review the Finance Bill in a manner that can cushion Kenyans from high taxation.

"We are urging our MPs and the executive arm of the government to review the Bill to avoid burdening Kenyans with takes," Masud said.

He said many Kenyans had not recovered from the economic adversity caused by Coronavirus since 2020.

"Covid-19 destroyed many businesses whose owners have not recovered from the losses incurred. Paying taxes is not bad but let the government consider the economic difficulties Kenyans are undergoing before burdening them with taxes," Masud said.

Joho who joined other muslims for Eid Adha prayers at Ummy Kulthum Mosque in Kizingo, Mombasa County said failure by the legislators to shoot down the Bill would amount to economic sabotage. 

According to Joho, the economic model being applied by the Kenya Kwanza government has never worked in any part of the world and should be rejected.

[Anne Atieno, Mary Imenza, James Omoro, Patrick Beja]

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