|“This is a period of sacrifice and generosity to please God,” said Sheikh Kassim, urging Muslims to help the needy.|
By Charles Ogallo, IOL Correspondent
NAIROBI, January 9, 2006 (IslamOnline.net) – Kenya’s three million Muslims will celebrate `Eid Al-Adha on Tuesday, January 10, by donating sacrificed animals to thousands of needy fellow Kenyans suffering a searing drought that has killed dozens and placed millions at risk of famine.
“We must show our faith in its true colors by helping our brothers and sisters who are in dare need of food and water for themselves and their animals,” Halima Yusuf, a Nairobi-based businesswoman, told IslamOnline.net on Monday, January 9.
`Eid Al-Adha and hajj came at an opportune time for Kenyan Muslims to show their kindness and love to their brothers and sisters suffering from hunger, added the 35-yrea-old Muslim.
In his New Year address, President Mwai Kibaki has declared the drought as a “national disaster”.
More than 70 Kenyans, mainly children, have died of hunger, malnutrition and related illnesses in Kenya’s northeast, which along with neighboring southern Somalia and southeast Ethiopia are the regions worst-affected by two years of chronic drought.
In addition to the human toll hundreds of thousands of cows, goats and camels have perished, severely hurting the area’s livestock-dependent pastoralist population.
|Kenyan youths, queuing with empty water containers, search for water due to the drought. (Reuters).|
Faraj Mohamed, a Muslim faithful residing in Mombasa city, said that plans were underway to donate foodstuffs to the national relief food kitty coordinating relief food distributions to famine affected areas.
“Muslims will be praying for our brothers and sisters dying of hunger in famine-stricken areas to get enough food and water.
“As we mark `Eid on Tuesday we will share with them the little we have.”
Sheikh Hamad Kassim , the Kenyan Chief Kadhi on Friday, January 7, urged local Muslims to be generous and help those in need, especially starving Kenyans.
“This is a period of sacrifice and generosity to please God” he said, adding that Muslims should find time to help the needy.
A financially-able Muslim sacrifices a single sheep or goat or shares six others in sacrificing a camel or cow as an act of worship during `Eid Al-Adha.
The ritual reminds Muslims of the great act of sacrifice Prophet Ibrahim and his son Isma`eel were willing to make for the sake of God.
Preparations for `Eid celebrations have reached its peak in major towns across Kenya with many Muslims seen buying animals to be slaughtered.
Sheikh Kassim told IOL `Eid prayers will be held in all mosques across the country with assistance of local kadhis.
In Mombasa, Muslims will gather at the famous Makadara grounds already fenced for the event.
The celebration will also be held in the capital city, Nairobi, and Kisumu city.
Despite restrictions imposed by the government, two thousand Kenyan Muslim pilgrims are already in Saudi Arabia joining more than 2.5 million Muslims in performing hajj.
Muslims make up around ten percent of the Kenya’s 30 million population.