#EidMubarak to all our brothers and sisters celebrating in Rwanda and around the world. Wishing all of you a blessed and safe Eid al-fitr – President Paul Kagame conveyed the message to the Muslim community on Sunday.
Normally on such a day, Rwandan Muslim community gathers at Kigali Regional Stadium- Nyamirambo to hold a salat (Islamic prayer) session for Eid al-fitr (Festival of Breaking the Fast) a Muslim religious holiday marking the end of the month-long dawn-to-sunset fasting period of Ramadan.
This year, due to ongoing coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic measures limiting large gatherings and prayers, Rwandans celebrated the prayers at their homes with most of the faithful following a live National TV and Radio prayer broadcast of the Eid prayer led by Mufti Sheikh Salim Hitimana.
A handful of selected religious leaders and community representatives were able to attend and pray alongside Mufti Hitimana as others followed the prayer rubrics consisting of the prescribed movements and words followed by Muslims while offering prayers to Allah (God).
Hitimana used the opportunity to remind Muslims continue living in harmony but also stay safe by respecting measures put in place to prevent more Covid-19 infections in the country.
The Mufti used the example of the teaching of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) where he shows that infection control is inherent in Islamic practices.
For instance, on Travel bans and quarantine Prophet Muhammad said “If you hear of an outbreak of plague in a land, do not enter it; and if the plague breaks out in a place while you are in it, do not leave that place.” (Sahih al-Bukhari).
The Holy Prophet also practiced social distancing as well, saying “Do not place a sick patient with a healthy person” and also called on upholding “Cleanliness is half of the faith” where proper hand washing techniques and thorough hygienic practices – a hallmark of Islam.
He also advocated for seeking medical treatment and free medical care- all of which resonate with the current needs to address the Covid-19 crisis.
The President of the Senate Augustin Iyamuremye on behalf of the Senate also said: “Eid Mubarak to all Rwandan Muslims, wishing them peace and everything good to all who are celebrating while staying safe,” Iyamuremye wrote on twitter.