NAIROBI, September 30 – A section of Muslims broke their fast on Tuesday as others waited for Wednesday, in yet another year when confusion has met the ‘actual’ end of the Holy Month of Ramadhan.
Several Muslims in Mombasa and Nairobi broke their fast on Tuesday, even as the Chief Kadhi Sheikh Kassim Hammad announced last week that the day to break the fast would be Wednesday, October 1.
Those who broke the fast converged at the Tononoka Grounds in Mombasa and at Nairobi’s Sir Ali Sports Club Grounds for Idd-ul-Fitr prayers conducted by several religious leaders.
A section of the believers told Capital News that they broke the fast after the moon was reportedly sighted in some parts of the country.
“We are celebrating Idd-ul-Fitr because we were told that the moon had been sighted in Wajir. And other reports indicate that the moon had been sighted in Mombasa and also parts of North Eastern Province. We began celebrating in the morning and we will continue even tomorrow (Wednesday),” one believer said.
There has always been controversy over when to break the fast with some Muslims preferring to go according to the Chief Kadhi’s sighting of the moon, while another group prefers to break it when the moon is sighted in Mecca.
The Chief Kadhi announced that Muslims would break their fasting on Wednesday, and the government has already gazetted October 1 as a public holiday to mark Idd-ul-Fitr.
President Mwai Kibaki relayed in his Idd message in a statement on Tuesday morning, where he called on Muslims to pray for peace and prosperity in the country.
Some Muslims shared their feelings on completing the thirty-day fete with Capital News, where they expressed that fast gave them time to show compassion to less fortunate members of society.
“We are celebrating because we have been fasting for a full day, so that at least we can share with our poor Muslim brothers who cannot afford three meals a day. And to improve their lives because we have had a chance to put our feet in their shoes,” said one.