IQNA

14:15 - November 03, 2021
News ID: 3476327
TEHRAN (IQNA) – Lamu Maulid Festival, marking the Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) birthday, is now under way in Old Town in Lamu, an island in Kenya.

Celebrations in Lamu, Kenya

 

At least 6,000 guests and tourists from across the world are expected to attend this year’s week-long event, which is in its 134th edition.

The festival is marked annually by some Muslims in remembrance of the birth of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in the holy city of Mecca in 570 AD.

The festival is marked every third month of the Islamic calendar and is always held at the Riyadha mosque.

The mosque is the longest-functioning and most influential Islamic teaching institution among the Swahili in Coastal East Africa.

Speaking at the mosque, secretary-general Abubakar Mohammed Badawy said guests from Morocco, Comoros Islands, Tanzania and Uganda had confirmed they will attend.

Apart from international visitors, he said, guests are also expected from several Kenyan counties, including Tana River, Malindi, Kilifi, Mombasa, Nairobi and Nakuru.

This year's festival, he said, will be used to sensitize the community and visitors on the need to embrace peace and unity as Kenya prepares to hold the 2022 General Election.

Badawy also thanked the national government for lifting the COVID-19 night curfew, saying this will allow festival night activities to be held.

But he urged attendees to observe existing COVID-19 rules and regulations for their own good.

"Previously, we normally used to receive guests of between 20,000 and 30,000 every time we marked the Maulid Festival. This year, the number is a bit limited due to the COVID-19 situation. We expect at least 6,000 guests and tourists," he said.

"Our chief guest will be the secretary-general of Morocco's Sufi leadership, who has confirmed his attendance. Othman Maalim, a knowledgeable Muslim scholar and preacher from Tanzania, has also confirmed he will attend."

Muslim faithful from the archipelago have begun flocking to Old Town.

Lamu residents and guests will also benefit from free medical camps organized by Riyadha Health and Welfare Services Group, which has brought at least 45 medical specialists from Mombasa, Nairobi and other places.

The services will include free cancer screening, eye cataract surgeries and blood pressure tests.

By Tuesday, 19 patients with health problems, mostly eye cataracts, had been lined up for surgery.

To add color to the event, the festival usually also incorporates competitions. They include swimming, dhow sailing, football, Islamic calligraphy and general Maulid processions.

The grand Maulid Festival, the climax of the event, will be held on Thursday.

A prize-giving ceremony for contesters will be held on Friday at the Riyadha Mosque and Islamic Center grounds.

 

Source: allafrica.com

Tags: Prophet ، birth ، Kenya ، Lamu ، Muslims
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