Muslims in Uganda have been asked to lookout for the moon tonight and urged to observe COVID-19 guidelines during Eid Al-Fitr celebrations scheduled for this weekend.
Muslims will this weekend mark the end of the month of Ramadan.
The Director of Sharia at Uganda Muslim Supreme Council, Sheikh Yahaya Ibrahim Kakungulu has urged Muslims to look out for the moon today Friday evening, noting that “if it is sighted today, Eid-Al-Fitr will be celebrated tomorrow Saturday 23rd May 2020. If the moon is not sighted today evening, Eid-Al-Fitr will automatically be celebrated on Sunday 24th May 2020.”
He made the remarks during a press conference held today at the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council (UMSC) Headquarters in Old Kampala.
The Mufti of Uganda Sheikh Shaban Ramadhan Mubaje issued a Fatwa on this year’s Eid-Al-Fitr prayers, directing all Muslims to pray from home and adhere to the COVID-19 and Eid-Al-Fitr Prayer Guidelines.
“Due to the COVID-19 pandemic lock down, the all Muslims should observe this year’s Eid-Al-Fitr prayers within their respective homes with only members of their households while adhering to the Corona virus preventive measures,” he said.
He clarified that Muslims should observe two Rakats after sunrise and before lunch on Eid-Al-Fitr day, and since this will be an individual or family prayer, a sermon will not be necessary.
He urged Muslims to disregard certain individuals on social media claiming that Eid Prayers are not permissible at home, and others insisting that a sermon must accompany Eid prayers at home.
“Ignore those individuals misleading you on social media,” the Mufti said.
He noted that UMSC will hold an exclusive Eid-Al-Fitr prayer only at the National Mosque, UMSC Headquarters Old Kampala during which he will deliver his Eid Message.
He also said the special prayer will not be open to the public, but it will be broadcast live on TV and radio to enable Muslims to watch or listen in from their respective homes.
He reiterated that such precautionary measures are strictly meant for the current COVID-19 lockdown.
On the issue of Zakat Al Fitr, Mubaje directed that Muslims may approach their Imams individually to pay Zakat Al Fitr inform of food items or cash.
Mufti informed those who are unable to reach the Imams due to travel restrictions to either send their Zakat via Mobile Money to the numbers provided at all the UMSC structures or give it directly to the needy persons in their vicinity.
The Mufti commended President Yoweri Museveni for his clear guidance and leadership in the fight against COVID-19, and lauded Muslims for adhering to the preventive measures put in place by the government.
He pledged UMSC and IRCU’s continued support towards the government’s efforts to contain the COVID-19 pandemic and also expressed his gratitude to all those who donated to the needy during the fasting period. He particularly thanked the Muslim Intellectual and entrepreneurs’ consortium for donating food items to the Imams.
By Drake Nyamugabwa