By: Fadhili Mwambingu
The first weekend in August commemorated the Shias religious historic event of Eid-Ul-Ghadeer.
The public gathering in Al Ridha Islamic Complex in Mtongwe Kwale County was attended by religious men and women.
Eid-ul-Ghadeer is a Shi’a festival that celebrates the appointment of Ali ibn Abi Talib, Muhammad’s cousin and son-in-law, as the Prophet’s successor.
In the two branches of Islam, Shia refers to the branch that regards Ali as the legitimate successor to Mohammed.
The festival takes its name from the place where prophet Muhammed is believed to have made this announcement, the Pond (Ghadeer) of Khumm, a place where people gathered together before returning to their homes after Hajj.
Shia Muslims believe that this was the last time the prophet addressed a gathering of people before he died.
However, during this day around the world, Shia Muslims mark a day that is widely considered to be the one that splits the Muslim world.
It is usually commemorated with various customs.
Typically, presents are given and people take ritual baths and eat celebratory meals.
Also, most of Shia Muslims fast on this day and recite a special prayer praising Allah and thanking him for the faithful and infallible imams.
In his presentation during the celebration in Mtongwe, Sheikh Hamisi Mohammed reminded the Muslim fraternity that the day is very important to everyone and that it is their responsibility to be firm with their religion and fulfil the destiny laid out to them by Allah.
He further urged them to spread the message of Allah as well as engaging positively with others by facilitating opportunities to pray together in order to bring other faithful close to Allah.
Marking this occasion, the head of the Interreligious Dialogue Commission of the Catholic Archdiocese of Mombasa Rev. Richard Ooko congratulated the Muslim fraternity as they observe Eid-Ul-Gadheer, a celebration to honour the sacrifice and devotion to God.
He continued by emphasising the importance of unity among people in the society.
Fr. Richard urged them to pray and stand together in their faith as well as leaving to embrace unity in their communities, stating that it gives people courage, power and strength.
“… a group of people walking together creates a big and huge peaceful community” he added.
Also present at the event was Dr. Hamed Beheshti of the Lec Hadi Uni who joined virtually ,Head of Tabligh BMMK Sheikh. Musa Shali among other religious men and women drawn from different religions.