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Eid al-Fitr: Muslims urged to maintain unity, fraternity:Read more>>

The Mufti of Rwanda, Sheikh Salim Hitimana, has called on the Muslim community to remain united and be driven by fraternity with their neighbours by helping the needy in their communities.

Hitimana made the remarks on Friday during the early morning Eid prayers at Kigali Regional Stadium, Nyamirambo, Nyarugenge District.

The prayers, which brought together thousands of Muslim faithful at the stadium, were held to observe the end of the Holy Month of Ramadan, which started on May 17.

Sheikh Hitimana said the Holy Month of Ramadan was a success and he attributed this to unity and humility among Islam believers during the fasting period.

“This has been and should remain a time to be close and network with Allah through daily prayers, helping between themselves as well as be driven by charity activities by supporting the needy communities,” he said.

“We are pleased that Muslims have smoothly observed the Holy Month of Ramadhan, contrary to previous years where there have been squabbles. They are now united and have behaved well during the fasting period. There were some Muslims whom we took time to approach and change their mindset so we could be on the same page as a united Muslim community, through different awareness campaigns, and we are happy that all the approaches paid off,” he said.

“It would be unfaithful if a Muslim enters the Holy Month in good health but ends up without any change to their behaviours, especially bad ones. Even Prophet Muhammad abhorred this,” he said.

The top clerics urged believers to not only give their offerings regularly to better their lives and fortunes but also remain close to God.

Although Muslims are now united unlike in the past years where conflicts erupted through extremist ideology among some groups, they have a task to join efforts to build proper mosques as a big number of them need to fulfill standards required by the Government.

Over the last five months, at least 99 mosques across the country were closed over standards but 52 have so far been reopened while more efforts are being put so that the others can meet the required standards before they are given the green light.

Ramadhan is that time of the year when all Muslims abstain from eating and drinking from dawn until sunset for 30 days as they reflect on their faith.

While fasting is one of the five pillars of Islam and an obligation for all adult Muslims, the period ends with Eid-al-fitr, when Muslims gather in different mosques to celebrate with special prayers, hold family get-togethers, among other feasts.

Assouman Habinshuti, one of the Muslims who attended the prayers said: “The fasting period is a right moment for us, Muslims in general, to join needy people and try to support them, either with food or money”.


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