Former Chief Kadhi Sheikh Hammad Mohamed Kassim led Muslim faithful in Idd prayers early Friday morning at Ronald Ngala Grounds in Mombasa County after Chief Kadhi Ahmed Muhdhar failed to attend.
This comes as a section of faithful in the country defied the Chief Kadhi's guidance to commence Idd-ul-Fitr celebrations on Friday, instead choosing to break their fast on Thursday.
On Friday, thousands of Muslims gathered at various grounds and mosques including Masjid Ummu Kulthum in Kizingo to mark the end of the Holy Month of Ramadhan with their children as they observed Covid-19 protocols.
The faithful celebrated Idd-ul-Fitr, the beginning of a three-day-long festival that is also known as “the feast of breaking the fast.” The celebrations include special morning prayers and a time when sweet meals are prepared at home.
Muslims were encouraged to forgive and seek forgiveness even as they take time to reflect and rejoice after fasting.
“I am happy we have been able to get to this end. We had 30 days of fasting and may Allah grant our prayers. We know there are many that started the fast with us but they are no longer with us,” said Sheikh Kassim.
During Idd prayers, Sheikh Kassim urged them to also spend time sharing gifts with the less fortunate as they celebrate, in the spirit of charity known as Zakat al-Fitr.
“Let us be grateful not just by words by with our deeds and the blessings Allah has bestowed unto us. Let us share and make merry with those that are not fortunate in the society,” Sheikh Kassim said.
Sheikh Kassim also called on political leaders to preach peace and unity among Kenyans, while asking them to focus on strengthening the economy rather than politicking all the time.
“We have seen the effects of the Covid-19 to our economy, our businesses and lives but we know Allah is greater than the disease. We need to get in prayer that this too will come to an end,” he said.
The ex-Chief Kadhi also condemned ongoing violence in Palestine and Jerusalem saying that policies of discrimination on grounds of colour, race and religion was the cause of conflict.
Local leaders who attended prayers at Ronald Ngala Grounds, including Mvita MP Abdulswamad Nassir and Jomvu MP Badi Twalib, also condemned the crisis in the Middle East.
“It is important we collectively speak against the atrocities going on in Palestine and Israel,” Mr Nassir said.
Mr Twalib called for tolerance, urging the United Nations to take action and end fighting.
“The UN is aware and the whole world is seeing the ongoing violence in Palestine, action needs to be taken before it spirals to other countries,” he said.
Mombasa Businessman Mohamed Said Abdallah ‘Saido’ said Idd was a time to embrace and forgive one another.
He said there should be no divisions among Muslims on the basis of ending the fasting period.
“There are those that ended Ramadhan yesterday and there are those who have ended today. We have nothing against each other, we are all one before Allah. We are happy. It is a time to sort our differences, pray for peace for one another, let us take time to visit the sick, give gifts to orphans and the poor,” he said.