Thousands of Muslim faithful in Kenya on Friday joined their counterparts in other parts of the world to celebrate Idd-ul-Fitr (the festival of breaking the fast), marking the end of the holy month of Ramadhan.
Idd-ul-Fitr is a time for Muslims to be joyous and celebrate their dedication throughout the 29-30 days of fasting.
On this day, Muslims usually converge for prayers after which they exchange pleasantries before dispersing to enjoy meals at their homes and restaurants.
The faithful are also forbidden from fasting and should start the day by eating dates or snacks before leaving their homes to take part in Idd prayers.
In Mombasa, the faithful converged on various grounds, including Tononoka, Mvita and Ronald Ngala primary for the special prayers.
Former Chief Kadhi, Sheikh Hammad Kassim, led prayers in Mombasa also attended by his successor, Sheikh Ahmed Muhdhar.
In his speech after the prayers, Sheikh Kassim condemned the recent rape cases in reported schools in the country.
He said the trend is worrying and called on authorities to put in place measures to curb the menace.
“The cases have left parents worried when they send their children to these schools," he said.
"We are concerned as a Muslim society and the teachers who handle some of these children must be taught to see them as their students and not otherwise."
He further condemned parents in the county for not instilling discipline in their children, saying some are joining criminal gangs.
He said Islam as a religion does not teach on violence and it worries him when Muslim children are involved in violence.
“The parents ought to do what is required of them or else things will worsen. It is sad that we can no longer walk freely because it is not safe and police are everywhere to ensure there is peace,” he added.
Sheikh Muhdhar, on his part, praised the recent truce and unity among political protagonists, saying it will help Kenya move forward.
“The unity is what every human being needs. We are happy to see that things are now calm and the leaders are now on the right track,” he said.
Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho, Mvita MP Abdulswamad Nassir were among politicians joined the other faithful for the prayers.
Mr Joho and Mr Nassir shared their message of goodwill to Kenyans and urged people to continue embracing peace.
In Kwale, the prayers were held at various mosques across the county and donations made to the needy.
Governor Salim Mvurya was among hundreds of believers who prayed at Kongo mosque in Diani.
The county boss urged the adherents of the Islamic faith to practise the teachings of Koran and Ramadhan, including tolerance, patience, love, unity and peaceful co-existence.
"I want to emphasise the need to love one another and to co-exist peacefully because it is the tool for achieving unity as spearheaded by President Uhuru Kenyatta," he said.
He urged Muslims to remain steadfast in prayer and to submit totally to the will of Allah.
"We must take advantage of this spiritual rebirth and seek to unity the country," he said.
In Wajir, thousands of residents converged at Qorahey grounds where they held their prayers.
The faithful began trooping the grounds as early as 7am.
Present in the event was various county leaders including Governor Mohamed Abdi.
In Mandera, Sheikh Abdullahi Abubakari, who led the prayers, called on Muslims to embrace peace and forgiveness.
Ramadhan, he said, is about forgiveness and appealed to non-locals in Mandera to respect locals’ way of life.
House girls working in Muslim homes, he said, should dress decently.
"Those working in our homes should dress decently so that we don’t have religious issues," he said.
Reports by Ahmed Mohamed, Bruhan Makong, Fadhil Fredrick, Manase Otsialo and Vivian Jebet.