There were low key celebrations as hundreds of Muslim faithful in Garissa congregated at various mosques to mark Idd-ul-Adha in line with government’s directive not to converge in open prayer grounds as has been the tradition.
Under normal circumstances, the faithful in their hundreds congregate at various prayer grounds set aside for such festivities clad in their regalia to mark one of the most important days in Muslim calendars.
On July 6 President Uhuru Kenyatta opened places of worship with strict guidelines among them restricting the number of congregants to 100.
Idd-ul-Adha is an Islamic festival to commemorate the willingness of Abraham to follow Allah’s command to sacrifice his son.
It also marks the end of Hajj, the annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca. It is one of the two Idd celebrations, Idd-ul-Adha and Idd-ul-Fitr, and is often considered the holier of the two.
The government yesterday urged the Muslim faithful to adhere to ministry of health protocols to curb the spread of the highly infectious corona virus.
During the Covid-19 response committee meeting attended by SUPKEM national organizing secretary Abdullahi Salat it was agreed that there will be no prayers in various open grounds reserved for such celebrations.
Faithful who talked to KNA on phone said that they had no option but to abide by the government’s directives because of their safety.
Yussuf Abdi regretted that such an important day in the Islamic calendar had to be celebrated with a lot of restrictions.
“This year’s celebrations will go into history books as different but it is a day we should all seek forgiveness from God and ask him to get rid of Covid-19,” Abdi said.
“I want to urge my fellow Muslim brothers and sisters to observe ministry of health protocols. Covid-19 is real and they should not be misled otherwise,” he added.
On her part Fatuma Ibrahim said that the government should have allowed the organizers of Idd-ul-Adha prayers to mark the fields to allow for social distancing among other ministry of health protocols.
“This is an important day for us (Muslims) and comes once a year. We should have been allowed to congregate even if it’s a few of us,” she noted.
By Jacob Songok