World Bulletin / News Desk
At least 1,000 disadvantaged families from Harare and its surrounding areas converged on the city’s largest mosque Friday to celebrate Eid al-Fitr.
As early as 5 am, families, some as far as 70 kilometers away, started arriving in trucks, buses and on foot in Harare's Mbare township.
By 10 am, Mbare Mosque was packed.
The large gathering in Mbare focused on zakat, or giving to charity, one of the five pillars of Islam.
“Zakat is a charitable contribution, mandatory for all Muslims, and is considered as a tax. Because such contributions help marginalized families, especially during Ramadan, that is the reason why you see a huge gathering here today,” Hassan Chipanga, manager of the Charitable Foundation for Development, told Anadolu Agency in Mbare.
According to Chipanga, charitable donations increase during Ramadan and are given to everyone, regardless of religion.
Sheik Ibrahim Mpache, from Mbare, said charities during Ramadan value all citizens equally.
“In our society we have people who are rich and some disadvantaged, so charity helps bring people together,” Sheik Ibrahim Mpache said.
One of the beneficiaries, Thabani Dube, was grateful for the food hampers he received at Mbare Mosque on Friday.
“Even if you do not have money or goods to distribute, charity in Islam comes in the form of knowledge or water, so the idea is basically to embrace giving,” Dube told Anadolu Agency.
The food hampers given to 1,000 families in Mbare on Friday were distributed by Islamic Relief of South Africa.
Liberia Muslims observe Eid amid new Ebola outbreak
Thousands of Muslims in Liberia observed Eid al-Fitr on Friday amid calls for Muslims to be cautious of the latest Ebola outbreak and help the prevention and spread of the viral disease.
“We thank Allah that the start and end of this year’s fast was peaceful, unlike last year,” Grand Mufti Sheik Abubakar Sumaworo told Anadolu Agency.
“But with the new cases of Ebola… we all have agreed to join the fight against Ebola,” he said.
During the Eid al-Fitr celebrations in the West African country, Muslims were seen shaking hands and sharing meals.
This is in sharp contrast to last year, when Muslims were restricted from doing such things due to the Ebola crisis.
Sheikh Abubakar Sumaworo says the Liberian Muslim community should not to wait for the government and international community to fight the latest Ebola outbreak, but rather all imams and Muslim leaders should raise awareness of the disease through the mosques.
“Today we called on all Muslims to observe the Ebola preventive measures by burying their dead safely and reporting sick people,” he said.
A mass meeting of imams and Muslim leaders in Liberia is scheduled to take place early next week, where they will form strategies on how to help fight the latest outbreak.
“Last year’s (Ramadan) was painful for me, but I thank Allah that I am alive,” 42-year-old Amanita Kromah, who lost 16 family members to Ebola, told Anadolu Agency.
Confusion in Kenya
Thousands of Muslims in various parts in Kenya celebrated Eid al-Fitr on Friday, rather than on Saturday as Kenya’s highest Muslim cleric had instructed.
Sheikh Abu Qatadah was among the Muslim clerics leading people in prayers on Friday.
He told Anadolu Agency that they began celebrating Eid on Friday as the moon had already been sighted elsewhere.
“More than 12 countries from around the world have already started celebrating Eid al-Fitr; we have decided to also mark the end of the long month of Ramadan with them as the moon has already been sighted,” Sheikh Abu Qatadah told Anadolu Agency.
The move by some Muslims to celebrate Eid on Friday was criticized by Sheikh Hamisi Mungai, chairman of Kenya’s Council of Imams and Muslim Preachers.
“We have not seen the moon yet. The fact that someone else has seen the moon from their country does not mean that we have the right to break our fast and start celebrating Eid al-Fitr,” Mungai told Anadolu Agency.
“The words of Chief Kadhi Ahmed Muhdhar were clear: that we should celebrate the end of Ramadan on Saturday after we see the moon,” he said.
“Those who turned up for prayers and celebration were misguided by people who do not strictly follow Islamic teachings,” he said.
Chief Kadhi Ahmed Muhdhar, Kenya’s highest Muslim cleric, had previously announced that Kenyan Muslims should mark the end of Ramadan on Saturday.
Mogadishu men were searched by African Union troops before the eid prayer
In Abidjan, Ivory Coast, worshippers filled out into the streetsLast Mod: 18 Temmuz 2015, 18:42