Muslims urged to observe health guidelines during Idd celebrations

Written By: KNA

Muslims in a previous Idd prayers at Tononoka grounds in Mombasa County.

The National Muslim Covid-19 Response Committee has advised members of the Muslim community to strictly observe Covid-19 protocols during celebrations of Idd- ul-fitr next week.

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The committee Chairman Prof Mohamed Karama urged Muslims in the country to follow safety guidelines during the festivities to mark the end of the holy month of Ramadhan.

Muslims globally will celebrate Idd-ul-fitr next week on the 13 or 14 of this month upon sighting of the moon or completion of the mandatory 30 days fasting.

The government through Gazette Notice No.4205 has declared Friday, the 14th May 2021 a public holiday to mark Idd-ul-fitr.

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“Every individual takes it upon themselves to see that safety is observed during the Idd celebrations by following guidelines and avoiding crowded places,” said Prof Karama in a press statement on Saturday.

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Prof Karama further said, “Muslims and all other Kenyans must always maintain their guard. The detection of the Indian variant in the country should be a matter of concern to all of us.”

He asked all mosques planning to conduct Idd prayers to ensure that all the Covid-19 protocols will be observed and suggested that prayers be done in open grounds with proper crowd management.

“Every mosque should form a Covid response sub-committee that will ensure all health protocols are put in place including regular disinfection of the premises,” added Prof Karama.

He also encouraged Muslims faithful to partake the Covid vaccine saying this will help in reducing the severity of infection.

During Idd festivities, Muslims mark the occasion with pomp and colour, visiting relatives and converging in designated entertaining places after completing 30 days of religious obligation.

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This year the holy month in which Muslims across the globe fast and reflect began on April 14 and it was for the second time observed under the restrictions of Covid-19 protocols.

Ramadhan is a month of prayers during which Muslims traditionally converge in large numbers at mosques especially taraweeh (special night prayers).

During the annual festive season Muslims forsake food, water and sexual relations from dawn to dusk.

Ramadhan is the ninth month in the Islamic calendar and it is time when Muslims around the globe focus on prayer, fasting, giving charity and religious devotion.

Fasting is compulsory upon every Muslim male or female but exemptions include children under the age of puberty, insane people, men and women who are too old to undertake the obligation of fast.

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Others include sick people whose health is likely to be severely affected by the observance of fast, pregnant women and women breast-feeding their children and women in the period of menstruation.

In his message to usher in the fasting period last month, Chief Kadhi Sheikh Ahmed Muhdhar said, “it is imperative for Muslims to accept the current situation and adapt to the changing realities occasioned by the covid-19 pandemic.”

While extending his best wishes to Muslims, Sheikh Muhdhar urged them to strictly observe the Covid-19 protocols as outlined by the Ministry of Health.

He called on the Muslim community to use the holy month to pray for the country and continue showing resilience in the face of the global health emergency.

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