Muslim leaders have hailed President Uhuru Kenyatta for respecting Adhan, an Islamic call to prayers, during the requiem mass of the late President John Magufuli in Dodoma, Tanzania.
While eulogising the departed Head of State, Mr Kenyatta temporarily stopped his speech for two minutes from 12:53 pm to about 12:55 pm when he heard the Adhan.
Adhan is normally recited by muezzin at a mosque five times a day summoning faithful for obligatory prayers.
A muadhin is a man who calls Muslims to prayer from the minaret of a mosque. He leads the call (adhan) five times a day.
The leaders, led by the East Africa Community Cabinet Secretary Aden Mohammed, who accompanied President Kenyatta to Tanzania, praised the Head of State for pausing his speech during the call to prayer.
“President Kenyatta paused his speech during a call to prayer “Adhan” from a neighbouring mosque at the Dodoma stadium during the late President Magufuli funeral function. He received a standing ovation for the respect from the crowd,” said CS Mohammed on his Twitter handle.
Religious leaders led by Council of Imams and Preachers of Kenya Organising Secretary Sheikh Mohammed Khalifa said the Head of State showed utmost respect to the Muslim faithful by pausing his speech when he heard the call for Islamic prayers from the nearby mosque in Dodoma.
“We thank President Kenyatta for representing Kenya in Tanzania. He has shown the East Africa Community chairmanship, love, unity and support. He does not discriminate. He has shown his respect for Muslims. It is a fact Mr Kenyatta knows God and he respects all denominations. He cares about Muslims and the faithful. He has shown respect to the religion,” said Sheikh Khalifa.
He said the President showed the utmost respect to Muslims worldwide by pausing during his speech.
“He showed the world what Kenya stands for in terms of religion. Kenya is a God-fearing nation that respects all denominations and this is led by none other than our President," added Sheikh Khalifa.
"Mr Kenyatta, a Christian honoured Adhaan an Islamic call to prayer a very important gesture,” he added.
Sheikh Khalifa said Mr Kenyatta has shown the world what religious tolerance entails.
"He has shown the world what Kenya ascribes to; we are one country, one nation and as we approach the Holy Month of Ramadhan as Muslims in Kenya, want to thank him for the love and respect. We will pray for him to steer the EAC chairmanship in the right direction," he added.
Other Kenyans took to social media to praise the Head of State for respecting the Adhan.
"Respect to my President. Pausing his speech to let the Islamic call to prayer finish. That is beautiful to see. The Adhan is powerful. Hats off sir (sic)," said Ahmed Mohamed on Twitter.
Hotelier Mohammed Hersi said Mr Kenyatta showed tremendous respect for Islam.
"This is the sort of stuff that happens and only people who understand would make such a move. True tolerance. Ubarikiwe Mheshimiwa Rais State House Kenya," said Mr Hersi.
Mr Taib Ali Taib Bajaber described Mr Kenyatta’s gesture as beautiful.
“How beautiful, for President Kenyatta of Kenya to have paused his speech during the late John Pombe Magufuli’s memorial service at Jamhuri Stadium in Dodoma, Tanzania, in respect of the Muslim community’s call for prayers known as Adhan. Heshima sio utumwa. That's our President,” he said.