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Muslims countrywide celebrate end of Ramadhan

Muslims pray during Eid-Ul-Fitri at Tononoka Grounds in Mombasa to mark the end of Ramadhan. [Robert Menza, Standard]

A section of Muslims defied the Chief Kadhi, Sharif Ahmed Muhdhar and yesterday celebrated Idd Ul Fitr, a festival that marks the end of Ramadhan, a month-long fasting period.

On Wednesday night, Muhdhar said the Hilal (moon crescent) had not been sighted in Kenya or Tanzania and urged Muslims to fast on Thursday to complete the prescribed 30 days of Ramadhan.

In Mombasa, Catholic Archbishop Martin Kivuva and Anglican Church Bishop Alphonso Mwaro Baya joined Muslim clerics for the celebrations at Masjid Swalihina in Kisauni.

The clerics decried the rising cases of insecurity in Mombasa linked to marauding gangs, which Kivuva blamed on the economic crises brought about by Covid-19 pandemic.

“We are seeing an increase in cases of insecurity in Mombasa. This could be as a result of hopelessness brought about by Covid-19 and that is why we should come together to find solutions,” he said.

Bishop Mwaro said they joined the Muslim clerics in the celebration as a show of unity and love between the followers of the two religions.

Council of Imams and Preachers of Kenya (CIPK) national treasurer Sheikh Hassan Omar urged Muslim clerics and scholars to come up with ways to end division on when Ramadhan starts and ends.

“We cannot continue to be embarrassed over divisions on the day to start Ramadhan and end it. It is high time we came up with a way to end these divisions,” said Omar. 

Most notable sheikhs failed to attend yesterday’s prayers. Kenyan Chief Kadhi is expected to lead the major prayers today.

OnWednesday, the Chief Kadhi chaired the moon sighting committee in Mombasa and declared that Idd Ul Fitr would be celebrated today.

“We have received several reports that the crescent has been sighted. We cannot go with hearsay,” he said.

Yesterday Hassan dismissed claims that the crescent had not been sighted and criticised the Chief Kadhi for dismissing credible reports of the sighting of the moon. 

Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho called on Muslims to unite and not to be divided over the sighting of the crescent. 

“It their right to celebrate today and it is also the right of those to celebrate tomorrow to do so. We should not be divided by the day we must remain together,” said Joho.

In Nakuru, Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims (Supkem) national chairman Hassan ole Naado called on Muslims pray for their counterparts in Palestine currently under fire from Israel.

“The violence we are witnessing between Israel and Palestine is quite worrisome. We call upon their leaders to end this conflict,” said ole Naado.

The Muslims converged at Jamia Mosque in Nakuru town led by Nakuru County Muslims Association Chairperson Faezz Ahmed.

They regretted the attack by Israeli police officers at Al Aqsa Mosque in the Old Jerusalem regarded as the world’s

Adan Mohamed Osman, the Sheikh of Jamia Mosque called on heads of states in the troubled region to seek a truce between the two countries.

“We are all seeking peace. Nobody wishes to be at war. We are calling for ceasefire before more lives are lost,” said Sheikh Osman.

Jamia Mosque chairperson Ibrahim Walid said this year’s Eid ul Fitr was different considering mosques and other places of worship had been temporarily shut by the government to contain the spread of Covid-19.

“We had to re align our prayers to the guidelines given by the Ministry of Health. The first 20 days of this holy month elapsed with mosques shut down. We are however grateful President Uhuru Kenyatta reopened places of worship in our last ten days of the month,” said Walid.

 

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