A section of Muslims on Tuesday defied Chief Kadhi Ahmed Muhdhar’s advice to mark Idd-ul-Adha today.
Muslims flocked to various mosques and grounds for prayers, on Tuesday to mark the day.
Idd is an Arabic word that means feast or festival and 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, which comes earlier.
In Mombasa, hundreds thronged Tononoka and other grounds.
This is despite last week’s announcement by Sheikh Muhdhar that the celebrations should be marked today (Wednesday).
The announcement by Sheikh Muhdhar elicited a bitter exchange among the Muslims.
This is after Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i in a gazette notice declared Tuesday a public holiday to celebrate the day.
Sheikh Muhdhar faulted the move, saying he had written to the CS in advance to inform him that Kenyan Muslims would observe the holiday today.
Idd-ul-Adha, also known as Idd-ul-Hajj, is celebrated to mark the end of pilgrimage that revolves around the activities of Abraham and his son.
According to Islamic teaching, Idd-ul-Adha (the feast of the sacrifice) takes place on the 10th day of the third month after Ramadhan.
National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale delved into the debate, saying Muslim political leaders will ask the Judicial Service Commission to make sure the chief kadhi does not operate outside his mandate as stated in the Constitution.
Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala called for the establishment of a national Mufti office that will lead Muslims. A Mufti is an Islamic scholar who interprets Islamic law or gives rulings on religious matters.
In Malindi, celebrations were marred by confusion after a section of Muslims kept off from the prayers at Alaskan grounds to mark the celebrations today.
Even as the celebrations went on at Alaskan grounds, a section of Muslims decried the meat ban following the outbreak of Rift Valley Fever in Malindi and Magarini, saying it affected the celebrations.
In Busia County, Muslims faulted the move by the national and county governments to evict them from Maduwa cemetery in the outskirts of Busia town where they have been burying their loved ones while those in Migori County backed efforts by President Uhuru Kenyatta to tackle the runaway corruption.
Muslims from the North Rift also praised the government's renewed fight against corruption, warning politicians not to interfere with it.
Led by Sheikh Mohammed Hussein of Jamia Mosque in Eldoret, they cautioned politicians against blocking the war on corruption.
In Nakuru, Muslims were asked to be at the forefront in fighting corruption.
Sheikh Salim Rashid, while delivering his address to hundreds of Muslims at Menengai High School, said the country will never achieve its development agenda if corruption is allowed to thrive. “For wholesale development of our country, we must join hands irrespective of our religious affiliation to fight corruption,” said Sheikh Rashid.
In Narok, the prayers began at around 6am as Muslims marked the day.
Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims Deputy Secretary-General, Sheikh Hassan ole Naado, led the faithful gathered at the Narok stadium for the celebrations. They later slaughtered animals including goats and cows.
Calls for coexistence and forgiveness dominated Idd-ul-Adha prayers in North Eastern counties.
Reported by Mohamed Ahmed, Kalume Kazungu, Charles Lwanga, Gaitano Pessa, Elisha Otieno, Titus Ominde, Wachira Mwangi, Francis Mureithi, Vivian Chebet and George Sayagie