After a month long period of fasting, Muslim believers will this weekend throng mosques and open places across the country to celebrate Idd-el-fitr which climaxes the holy month of Ramadhan.
Like it is the case with fasting, celebrating Idd is also marked upon sighting the new consent moon.
“If it (moon) is sighted earlier we will celebrate it on Saturday (tomorrow) and if not, we shall definitely complete 30 days and have it on Sunday. It cannot go beyond that because months on the Islamic calendar are either 29 days or 30 days,” Sheikh Hussein Rajab Kakooza, the Director of Sharia at Uganda Muslim Supreme Council, said yesterday .
In Uganda, it is only the directorate of Sharia that is mandated to announce the start or end of Ramadhan. “There is no compulsion or obligation that all Muslims globally should celebrate Idd –el-fitr on the same day given the fact that they live in different countries. But it is ok for religious leaders to have collective decisions in each country or region to avoid individuals acting arbitrarily on their own.” Sheikh Rajab added.
Muslims use a special calendar-Lunar calendar to determine the beginning and end of the fasting period. The Islamic calendar is about 11 days shorter than the widely used solar calendar. This explains why the Ramadhan period and other Islamic holidays change each year.
At Gadaffi National Mosque, Dr Abdul Kadir Balonde , the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council chairperson, will preside over prayers while his rival ,Sheikh Zubair Kayongo, will lead prayers at Kibuli Mosque .
Hajj Nsereko Mutumba, the UMSC spokesperson said yesterday that the prayers will begin at 9am. At Nakivubo Stadium, Sheikh Haruna Jemba, the UMSC chairperson Kampala District, will lead the congregation.
Meanwhile, authorities in Wakiso District on Wednesday marked early Idd celebrations at the district headquarters with caution to the Muslim community to exhibit proper morals even after Ramadhan.
“Ramadhan is like a training period and the good deeds that we perform have to continue through other months of the year,” former Mufti Sheikh Ahmed Mukasa, who presided over at the function, told the gathering.
He added that there is no month like the Ramadhan because the rewards a believer can receive during the holy month cannot be got in any other month.