Muslims in Kenya flock mosques to mark Idd-ul-Adha
A section of Muslims in parts of the country have thronged open grounds and mosques to mark Idd-ul-Adha.
Idd-ul-Adha, also known as Idd-Ul-Hajj, is celebrated to mark the end of the pilgrimage to Mecca.
According to Islamic teaching, Idd-ul-Adha (the feast of slaughtering) takes place on the 10th day of the third month after Ramadhan and revolves around activities of Abraham and his son.
This holy feast is not to be confused with Idd-ul-Fitr, which is marked at the end of the holy month of Ramadhan, which comes earlier.
Hundreds thronged the Tononoka Grounds in Mombasa, others on open grounds and mosques in different counties.
Sheikh Omar Abdulaziz led prayers at the Tononoka grounds where the chairman of the Council of Imams and Preachers of Kenya (CIPK) Sheikh Mohammed Khalifa was among leaders who joined the faithful.
The marking of the celebrations Sunday once again brought to fore the never ending differences among Muslims on Idd prayers.
Those who prayed Sunday appeared to have ignored Chief Kadhi Ahmed Muhdhar’s advice to mark the Idd-ul-Adha on Monday.
Although Sheikh Muhdhar’s announcement to have the celebrations marked on Monday relied on the local sighting, those who defied him followed an announcement by Saudia Arabia to go hand in hand with celebrations by the pilgrims.
Sheikh Muhdhar last week announced that the celebrations should be marked on the day that the government declared a public holiday.
“In Kenya, we started the fasting on Saturday August 3, which was the first day of Dhul-hijjah month and we are supposed to finish it on the ninth day of Dhul-hijjah which will be Monday August 12,” said Chief Kadhi Ahmed Muhdhar last week.
President Uhuru Kenyatta was among leaders who wished Muslims happy celebrations.
“It is on the pedestal of our cultural and religious diversity that we continue to build a strong, united and prosperous Kenya.
“It therefore gives me great pleasure to express my appreciation of the role that the Islamic faith and culture plays in shaping Kenya’s distinctive character as a harmonious and caring society,” said President Kenyatta in his statement.
In Kisumu, Muslim faithful gathered on Sunday at Kibuye Primary School for Idd-ul-Adha prayers.
Sheikh Said Ahmed Bafana, who led the prayers, called upon all Muslims to love their neighbours and the needy during this festive season.
“Let’s keep ourselves holly and live according to the teachings of Allah. We should live in peace and preach Allah’s word through our deeds,” Sheik Bafana said.
The sheikh also urged the faithful to be true to Allah both in public and in private and not to be hypocrites.
During these celebrations, Muslims buy new clothes and slaughter goats, sheep, camels and cows and the meat is shared among family, friends and the needy.
“Today is a special day for us. It is a time for us to come together regardless of our status. The prayers for this celebration should be held in open grounds, that’s why we chose this venue,” said Mr Musa Mudema, a faithful.