Sheikh Salim Hitimana, the Mufti of Rwanda, urged Muslims to persistently pray that God will take away the Covid-19 pandemic and restore normalcy to the lives of Rwandans and the general world population.
He passed the message during the Eid al-Fitr celebrations meant to mark the end of the Ramadhan, a traditional 30-day fasting period in which Muslims always participate every year.
Speaking in a media interview on Thursday, May 13 at the Kigali Stadium where the main Eid celebrations were held, Hitimana recognized the anomalies caused by the pandemic, as he called upon Muslims to pray for the situation to normalise so that life will go on as it used to.
“God is the owner of mercy, kindness and power. I think we have to remember and keep praying to him to take away this pandemic,” he said.
He also urged the faithful to be consistent in observing preventive measures, as they pay attention to the advice of the medics in regard to fighting the pandemic.
“We know that people are longing to socialize with each other as they used to before the pandemic. However, we should not forget the times in which we are. The Covid-19 pandemic has taken away many lives, therefore, there is no room for complacency as we fight against it,” he said.
“So, we urge people to be patient. When time comes and we win this battle against the pandemic, we will socialize again,” he added.
Eid al-Fitr – which means ‘festival of the breaking of the fast – is celebrated at the end of Ramadan, a month when many adult Muslims fast.
Speaking in interviews with media, Muslims shared what the Ramadhan fasting period, and eid means to them.
Naira Uwamahoro, a Muslim lady in Kigali said the Ramadhan fast is a significant time of drawing close to God, praying for mercy, and doing works of charity.
“It is a time for us to draw close to God, so that he will hear us more and forgive us,” she said.
Ramadhan Abdul, a Muslim from Nyarugenge District – Kigali also shed light on what the fasting tradition means for them.
“The fourth pillar in our faith talks about fasting for 30-days during the Ramadhan month. It is a very important pillar, and if someone denies it, this can mean that he has also left the religion. That is why Muslims all over the world fast during this period, repenting and drawing close to God,” he said.
For this edition of Eid, Muslims were allowed to congregate, unlike last year where they entirely celebrated the holiday from their homes due to a nation-wide lockdown that was being implemented.
In Kigali, places of worship like the Onatracom and Gadaffi Mosques were some of the places that were allowed to host prayers on the day.
The main event to mark the holiday was convened at the Kigali Stadium in Nyamirambo.