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SA Muslims to celebrate Eid on Monday

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There was a sigh of relief amongst the crowd at Three Anchor Bay on Saturday evening upon the announcement that South Africans will fast another day, due to the moon not being sighted. The Crescent Observers Society (COS) confirmed that ulema had reached a consensus that the crescent had not been spotted anywhere in the country. This means Eid-ul-Fitr will be marked on Monday 26 June, the first day of Shawaal.

“We have unanimously agreed that the moon was not sighted,” said COS hakim Shaykh Siraj Hendricks live on VOC.

Imam Yusuf Pandy makes the closing dua

The observers had this week assessed that the moon was too young to be sighted.
Muslim Judicial Council president Shaykh Irfaan Abrahams urged the community to value the final day of Ramadan, as for some, it may be their last.

“Take the opportunity to make the most of this last day of Ramadan and continue in the spirit of this blessed month. Let us be consistent with the recitation of the Quran, increase our dua and continue to do good through our charitable deeds, InshaAllah,” he said.

He also praised the Crescent Observers Society, known as the ‘Maankykers’, for preserving the tradition of the moon sighting and for ensuring the event fosters a sense of unity, love and brotherhood in the Cape Town Muslim community.

‘Die maankykers’

A sizable crowd turned up for the moon sighting at Three Anchor Bay, an age old tradition in the Cape. While there was a frosty bite in the air, families made the most of the little bit of winter sun to take part in the annual event. While the little ones spent the time before the athaan having fun on the swings, teenagers were texting on their phones, and mothers could be seen laying out the iftaar picnic on the grass.

Families settle on the grass on the Promenade

When it came to the prayer for Maghrib, the ulema, respected elders and young men and boys quickly lined up to perform salah, led by Imam Yusuf Pandy. The communal prayer was a beautiful sight, testament to the spirit of brotherhood in the Cape Muslim community.

Imam Yusuf Pandy leads the salah

As usual, the event was attended by a number of dignitaries, including Western Cape Premier Helen Zille, who has attended the moon-sighting for the past eight years.

“It is with sadness that Muslims have to say farewell to the holy month of Ramadan. For us, it’s a relief not to see our Muslim staff and colleagues fasting as we really feel for them, but I know Muslims feel otherwise, as they love this month,” she said.

Premier Helen Zille with Rashaad Frydie and Shaykh Achmat Sedick

In her Eid message, Zille said chose to use the colloquial phrase “Slamat”.

Due to other commitments, Mayor Patricia De Lille could not attend, sent a heartfelt message to the Muslim community. The City of Cape Town was represented by Councillor Aslam Cassiem.

“As is the custom at this time of the year, we have seen how the Muslim community have validated the makings of a caring city through their acts of charity and generosity to those in need. We are eternally grateful for these efforts which demonstrate the vital role that residents play in helping us build a caring city,” she said in her Eid message.

“It is my hope that the Muslim community is filled with a sense of inner peace and deep spiritual renewal. Eid Mubarak. May the blessings of Almighty Allah be with you on this auspicious day.”

Ml Aslam Cassiem, a ward councillor, with M.Fasiegh Petersen

ANC Western Cape provincial secretary Faiez Jacobs said Muslims have once again demonstrated that Islam is a religion in solidarity with the poor.

“The Muslim community is an active agent in the fight against hunger and poverty. We pay respect to a community that has survived the ravages of slavery, the evil of colonialism, and the indignity of apartheid,” he said.

ANC provincial secretary Faiez Jacobs chats to M.Fasiegh on air

The South African Muslim community is an example to other communities who suffer Islamophobia and extremism, said Jacobs.

“The ANC wishes all a Muslims a blessed Eid. Eid Mubarak or is traditionally said in Cape Town, Slamat vir Labarang!” VOC

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