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Commencement of Ramadan in The Gambia

Jul 24, 2012, 1:29 PM

Muslims in The Gambia have again been divided in the commencement of Ramadan with some people starting on Friday while many began fasting on Saturday. But that was not it all, as some people also started fasting on Sunday, though not many.

While the Gambia Supreme Islamic Council announced for people to begin fasting on Friday, most Gambians preferred to fast on the day they believe was the right day to begin fasting.

The lack of unity in observing the start of Ramadan and end of Ramadan prayer is becoming more serious in the country, more than ever before.

The Islamic council in their announcement mentioned that Mecca was going to fast on Friday, so we should also keep the fast since the time difference is not that much.

However, it is clear that some Gambians want to hear that someone in their country has sighted the moon before they start fasting or performing the Eid prayer, and they are sticking to that, for the past few years.

The big division in the country concerning Ramadan is another sign of the divisions in the Islamic Ummah.

It is sad that Muslims in The Gambia cannot agree on fundamental matters like fasting, times of prayer and so on.

Yet they all claim to be believers in one God, called Allah.

However, it is important to be reminded all that Islam attaches great importance to unity and social harmony.

One aspect of that is the requirement for all to pray towards the Kaba in Mecca. 

If we accept to pray facing Mecca, why should one not be prepared to follow Mecca in matters of fasting?

After all, true believers have all accepted that Mecca is the location of the House of Allah on earth, where Muslims belonging to all sects go to perform the annual Hajj or pilgrim.