Traders in Mombasa are enjoying booming business as Muslims prepare for the Idd ul-Fitr celebrations.
The business community and mainly those dealing with clothes have witnessed increased traffic of customers, as the holy month of Ramadhan draws to a close.
Shopping centres like Nawal, Mombasa Mall in Mwembe Tayari and the ancient Mackinnon Market (Markiti), are witnessing a beehive of activities as Muslim faithful buy foodstuffs, clothes and shoes in readiness for the celebrations.
Kenyan Muslims will join their counterparts all over the world in the Idd celebrations slated for 2nd, or 3rd of May, depending on the sighting of the moon.
Idd-ul-Fitr, the feast of breaking the fast, comes at the end of the Holy Month of Ramadhan, which requires Muslims to fast from sunrise to sunset, for a month.
Most of the malls, mosques, business premises and shops within the CBD have put up decorative lighting to attract more customers.
“Despite economic challenges, business is thriving, forcing us to open our shops up to 11pm,” said Mahmud Sadiq, owner of two shops along Digo Road.
Sadiq said most residents prefer evening hours for shopping because of the unfavorable weather during the day and heavy traffic.
Abdalla Jumaan, a trader at Mwembe Tayari Mall said: “This year is far much better compared to last year when restriction of movements was in place because of Covid-19 pandemic.”
Jumaan said just like all other sectors, small traders were adversely affected by the restrictions, which were part of the measures to curb coronavirus contagion.
During the festivities, Muslims mark the occasion with pomp and color, visiting relatives and converging in designated entertaining places after completing 30 days of religious obligation.
It is not yet clear if the major Idd fanfare at Makadara grounds will this year take place following its suspension during the last two years due to Covid-19.
Ramadhan is the ninth month in the Islamic calendar and it is the 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, and men and women who are too old to undertake the obligation of fast.
Others include sick people whose health is likely to be severely affected by the observance of fast, pregnant and breast-feeding women as well as those women experiencing monthly period.
Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i has in a special gazette notice declared Tuesday, 3rd, May 2022 a public holiday to mark Idd-ul-Fitr.
By Mohamed Hassan