alexa Kenyan Muslims defy Chief Kadhi Ahmed Muhdhar on Idd-ul-Adha - Daily Nation

Kenyan Muslims defy Chief Kadhi Ahmed Muhdhar on Idd-ul-Adha

Tuesday August 21 2018


Muslim faithful in Eid-ul-Adha prayers at Tononoka grounds for the Mombasa on August 21, 2018. PHOTO | KEVIN ODIT | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

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Some Kenyan Muslims have defied Chief Kadhi Ahmed Muhdhar’s advice to mark Idd-ul-Adha on Wednesday.

The faithful flocked various mosques and open grounds for prayers, marking the their Idd celebrations.


Idd is an Arabic word that means feast or festival while Adha means sacrifice.

The holy feast is not to be confused with Idd-ul-Fitr, which is marked at the end of the holy month of Ramadhan.

In defiance of Sheikh Muhdhar’s advice, hundreds thronged Tononoka grounds in Mombasa to mark the festival on Tuesday morning.

Others converged on open grounds and mosques for special prayers.


In Wajir, thousands of faithful gathered at the Wajir Qorahey for the celebrations.

The faithful began flocking the grounds from as early as 7am.

Also present in the event was Wajir Governor Mohamed Abdi.

During celebrations in Wajir, religious leaders expressed concern over increasing cases of young people engaging in behaviours that are against Islamic teachings.

They warned the youth against engaging in drug abuse.

Sheikh Abdiwahab Osman encouraged the residents to visit VCT centres for HIV testing.

"I call upon all of those who have not be tested to visit the hospitals for your own good," he said.

Wajir Idd-Al-Adha celebrations

Wajir Governor Mohamed Abdi addressing Muslim faithful at the Wajir Qorahey grounds on August 21, 2018 during Idd-Al-Adha celebrations. PHOTO | BRUHAN MAKONG | NATION MEDIA GROUP


In Isiolo, calls for peaceful co-existence and forgiveness dominated the celebrations.

Hundreds of Muslim faithful flocked Isiolo stadium, joining others from across the country who defied the Chief Kadhi's advice to mark the celebrations on Wednesday.

No political leader from Isiolo was in attendance.

Sheikh Qari Abdirazak, who led the prayers, asked Muslims to share what they have with the needy and also maintain peace.

Inter-faith religious organisation Chairman Ahmed Set supported President Uhuru Kenyatta's fight against corruption saying Muslim leaders are fully behind him.

He asked Muslims to fight violent extremism, saying it has nothing to do with the religion.

"We want to appeal to our youth to shun drug abuse and [stop] being lured to join terror groups. Parents, elders and religious leaders should play an active role by giving guidance to our youth to avoid such habits," said Mr Set.

Isiolo Stadium

Muslim faithful during Idd-Al-Adha celebrations at Isiolo Stadium on August 21, 2018. PHOTO | VIVIAN JEBET | NATION MEDIA GROUP

The celebrations went on despite Sheikh Muhdhar’s last week announcement that the celebrations should be marked on Wednesday, August 22.

His announcement elicited bitter exchanges among Muslims online, with some supporting the sheikh's decision.

This is after Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i declared today, Tuesday, as holiday to give Muslims ample time to mark the holy feast.


However, Sheikh Muhdhar faulted the move, saying he had written to Dr Matiang’i in advance to inform him that Kenyan Muslims would observe the holiday on Wednesday.

Idd-ul-Adha, also known as Idd-ul-Hajj, marks the end of pilgrimage that evolves around activities of Ibrahim and his son.

Muslims celebrate this day to reflect on the levels of their faith in Allah.

According to Islamic traditions, Allah tested Prophet Ibrahim’s obedience by commanding him to sacrifice his first and the only son Ishmael.

Ibrahim and Ishmael’s willingness to obey Allah’s commands was rewarded by not only sparing Ishmael’s life but also blessing Ibrahim with another son, Is-haaq.

Idd-Ul-Adha Eldoret

Goats on sale outside Uasin Gishu Primary School in Eldoret town on August 21, 2018 during Idd-Ul-Adha prayers presided over by Sheikh Mohammed Hussein. Muslims slaughter and feast on animals to mark the day. PHOTO | JARED NYATAYA | NATION MEDIA GROUP

According to Islamic teaching, the feast of slaughtering takes place on the 10th day of the third month after Ramadhan.

Although basically the calendar depends on sighting of the crescent moon, in this case the question is: Sighting the moon in Saudi Arabia or locally?

Although Sheikh Muhdhar's announcement to have Idd marked on Wednesday relied on the local sighting, those who defied him followed the announcement by Saudi Arabia, which is hosting pilgrims in Mecca.

After the special prayers, sacrifices are made and the slaughtered animals are shared among the family, friends and the needy in the community.

More follows.

Reported by Mohamed Ahmed, Bruhan Makong, Vivian Jebet