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Muslim leaders disagree with CS Kindiki over Eid public holiday

The Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims has challenged that CS Kithure Kindiki declared a public holiday the wrong date

SUPKEM Chairperson Hassan Ole Naado

Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims (SUPKEM) chaiperson, Hassan Ole Naado, has challenged Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki's announcement declaring Friday, April 21, a public holiday to mark Eid al-Fitr.

According to Ole Naado, CS Kindiki has confused Muslims who have been fasting clarifying that the end of Ramadan is based on the sight of the moon.

"We have gotten this one wrong! May Allah guide us. The correct public holiday (Idd-ul-Fitr) is supposed to be Monday, as both Saturday and Sunday are considered holidays in our country," Ole Naado said.

According to Naado, Kindiki should have consulted Muslim leaders, noting that the notice misled many who will break their fast even before sighting the moon.

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"This is confusing, and some people, more so those in the rural areas, may just follow and break their fast on Friday even if the moon is not sighted," he said.

Naado urged the Muslim community to uphold their Muslim traditions and break their fast only after sighting the moon.

Ole Naado’s sentiments were echoed by a section of Muslim scholars who questioned the government’s motive in declaring Friday as a holiday yet this time Ramadan started without any conflicting date.

A section of other clerics also differed with the SUPKEM leader's sentiments, saying there was no problem with the announcement by Kindiki.

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Former Mandera Senator Billow Kerrow said the CS was not at fault as this Ramadan fell on a lunar month, which means the Ramadan period ended in 29 days making Friday Eid.

"Ramadan, a lunar month, maybe 29 or 30 days. If it ends in 29 days, then Friday tomorrow will be Eid. If it does 30 days, Eid will be Saturday. If CS gazetted Saturday & Eid falls on Friday, we will still blame CS for gazetting the wrong day? CS did no wrong!" Kerrow said.

The UAE moon-sighting committee is scheduled to meet on April 20 to decide the date of Eid al-Fitr 2023.

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The holiday could either fall on April 21 or April 22 depending on the sighting of the crescent moon. According to astronomical calculations, Eid al-Fitr was expected to be on April 21 since Ramadan was predicted to last for 29 days.

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