A section of Muslims defy Chief Kadhi, hold Idd-ul-Fitr prayers
A section of Muslims in Kenya have defied Chief Kadhi’s advice to mark Idd-ul-Fitr on Friday. Hundreds of Muslims have flocked to various mosques and worship grounds for prayers to mark the end of the Holy month of Ramadan.
Chief Kadhi, Sheikh Muhdhar made the announcement in Mombasa on Wednesday evening after the crescent moon that signifies the end of Ramadhan failed to be sighted in the country.
However, it was later reported that the moon had been sighted in parts of Kenya, prompting a section of Muslims to end the month-long fast.
In Nairobi, scores of Muslim faithful thronged outside Jamia Mosque for prayers but were later dispersed by police after the mosque failed to open for congregational prayers.
Muslims across the country especially in Nairobi and Mombasa have been shopping for clothes, food items and drinks ahead of the celebrations. Markets around Nairobi and Mombasa have recorded booming business this week ahead of tomorrow’s celebrations.
This is the second year Muslims across the world are marking Idd-ul-Fitr under COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020, celebrations were limited amid coronavirus restrictions barring congregational worship, a key feature of the festival of breaking the fast.
While the West culturally follows the Gregorian calendar, the Islamic calendar is lunar which means it is based on the sighting of the crescent moon. Every year, Idd-ul-Fitr occurs approximately 10-11 days earlier depending on when the crescent moon is sighted since lunar months are shorter than solar months and so it varies from country to country by about a day.
Saudi Arabia’s Supreme Court called Muslims in the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and other Arab states to sight the crescent moon for the month of Shawwal on Tuesday evening, which is May 11, 2021, marking Idd-ul-Fitr and the end of Ramadan 2021.
In Kenya, the Government declared Friday May 14, a national holiday in order to mark Idd-ul-Fitr.