Mufti calls for unity as Muslims celebrate Eid

The Muslim Community yesterday celebrated Eid el-Fitr, which also marked the end of the Islamic Holy Month of Ramadan.
Acting Mufti Kayitare leads Eid el-Fitr prayers yesterday. The New Times/ Timothy Kisambira.
Acting Mufti Kayitare leads Eid el-Fitr prayers yesterday. The New Times/ Timothy Kisambira.

The Muslim Community yesterday celebrated Eid el-Fitr, which also marked the end of the Islamic Holy Month of Ramadan.

In Kigali, thousands of Muslims  thronged Nyamirambo Regional Stadium where main prayers, presided over by the new head of the Islamic community in the country, acting Mufti Ibrahim Kayitare, were held.

The faithful braved the morning cold and, by 6am, the stadium was full to capacity. Prayers kicked of at 7:47am.

Kayitare preached unity, the significance of Eid, the Islamic faith as well as fasting. He also took time to call upon the believers to take a leading role in developing the nation and actively support national development policies.

The Islamic community has for the last two years been embroiled in bitter wrangles that resulted into the resignation of Sheikh Abdul Karim Gahutu as the Head of the Islamic Community in Rwanda with Kayitare taking over as the interim  leader for a period of six months as they prepare to elect a new Mufti.

“We have spent a long time embroiled in disagreements and wrangles. This is not what the  Quran tells us. The Quran instructs us to maintain unity,” Kayitare said, adding that the wrangles among the Islamic leaders effect the welfare of the Islamic community and that the only way Muslims will live a better life is to maintain unity.

“We all need to apologise for any wrongs done in the past, that’s the only way we are going to heal and prosper.”

The acting Mufti said he will embark on a countrywide tour to preach unity and forgiveness for the mistakes commited by sections of his community in the past.

Faithful speak

Meanwhile, the Mufti called upon the faithful to participate in the forthcoming parliamentary elections.

Sheikh Musa Sindayigaya said, “On this day, we celebrate our fulfilment of God’s command of fasting and the unity of Islam. We celebrate by coming together with our families, friends and neighbours.”

Ismail Minani, another Muslim, said, “Eid al-Fitr mainly marks happiness and joy in our faith. This fasting month is a time of intense spiritual renewal but we are also engaged in several activities, especially in helping the poor and the vulnerable.”

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