Muslims in Kenya will start observing the holy month of Ramadhan on Thursday, Deputy Chief Kadhi Sheikh Sukyan Hasan announced after the moon was sighted in parts of the country including Mandera, Wajir and Tana River Counties.
Ramadhan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, is considered the holiest by Muslims.
The faithful have been urged to be united as they start observing their fast and avoid anything that would interfere with their saum (fast).
Muslim religious leaders have also called for dialogue between Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition leader Raila Odinga and President William Ruto in observance of the holy month of Ramadhan which starts tomorrow Thursday March 23.
In a press release, Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims (Supkem) National Chairman Hassan Ole Naado warned that the political grandstanding by the Azimio and Kenya Kwanza camps is not good for the country.
“They continuously amplify political rhetoric that is driving more and more people into disillusionment. Without a doubt, the resultant tension, which is increasing as the days go by, will result in anarchy if lessons from the past are anything to go by,” he said. He further urged the country’s political leadership to tone down their messaging and address their issues at the policy level.
In Mombasa, Muslim leaders called for a truce between the leaders.
“With the holy month of Ramadhan approaching, we urge the organisers and leaders of the planned protests to rethink their decision as it may interfere with the fasting season. The holy month restrains the faithful from acts and desires that disrupt peace in the society. It is a month that Muslims reflect and turn back to God,” said the Council of Imams and Preachers of Kenya organising secretary Sheikh Mohamed Khalifa.
His sentiments were backed by former Kenya ambassador to Oman Sheikh Mohammed Dor who called for a quick resolution to the standoff.
“This can be achieved through proper approach and dialogue instead of resorting to jungle law, thereby hurting people and the country’s economy, which is counterproductive,” said Sheikh Dor.
Ramadhan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, is considered the holiest. It lasts 29 or 30 days, depending on the lunar cycle.