By Solomon Hamala
The leader of Shia Muslim faith in Uganda has urged court to speed up the trial of suspects involved in the murder of his late father, Sheikh Dactoor Abdul Qadir Muwaya to ensure justice prevails.
HajjI Umaru Bongo made the call on May 14 during their Eid el fitri prayers held at Alhul Bait mosque in Buyemba village Mayuge district, the headquarters of Shia Muslim sect in East Africa.
He said he was shocked to hear remarks by some Muslim leaders of Sunni sect asking President Yoweri Museveni to release the suspects claiming there was no sufficient proof to pin them of the murder of his late father.
“These people should also face the same fate that they did to our dear father because he died an innocent man,” he said.
The deceased, Dactoor Abdul Qadir Muwaya who was the former leader of the Shia Muslim sect in East Africa was gunned down on Christmas day at his home in Buyemba village in 2014 by two armed men who were traveling on a motorcycle boda boda.
Following the intervention of President Yoweri Museveni, ten people including two men who pleaded guilty to having pulled the trigger were arrested hidden in a mosque in Bukatuba sub county Mayuge and an AK 47 rifle believed to have been used to execute the mission was recovered.
The two men said they were hired to kill the deceased after being paid shillings 800,000.
Meanwhile, Bongo urged Shia Muslims to embrace government programs like operation wealth creation, EMYOOGA ensure they uplift their house hold incomes.
He appealed to Muslims to continue offering Zaaka (offerings) to the needy besides praying regularly even after the Ramadan fasting season.
Bongo who is also the LC 5 chairperson Mayuge hailed government for ushering in freedom of expression that has enabled different religious sects exercise their rights without any intimidation.
“Different religions have come on board and on one come up to intimidate the leaders,” he said.
Why do Shia Muslims celebrate Eid el Fitri a day after the Suuni
According to the national Imam, Alhul Bait Mosque, Sheikh Yasin Bikumba, they celebrate Eid a day after just because the moon is always spotted a day after the Suuni Muslims have broken the fast (celebrated Eid).
Bikumbi said by celebrating Eid el fitri before the moon is sighted means the Suuni are only fasting for only 29 days which is bad according to the Islamic teachings.
“The holy Koran demands that a Muslim should fast for thirty days and later celebrate Eid El fitri,” he said.
He said they have always inquired from counter parts in other countries whether the moon could have been sighted on the day the Suuni Muslims celebrate Eid el fitri and the answer has always been NO.
Mode of prayers
Unlike the Suuni Muslims, the Shia believe a true faithful should pray five times a day.
However for the Shia the only difference is that the lunch time prayers (Thuhuri) are always jointly prayed with the 4 p.m (Asiri) prayers.
According to the head of Dawa at Alhul Bait Mosque, the motive of having joint prayers is to allow the Muslims faithful attend to other duties instead of spending long in prayers.
Hundreds of Shia Muslims from the entire Busoga region converged at the Alhul Bait mosque as early as 9 a.m ready to attend Eid el fitri prayers and later Friday (Juma) and joint Thuhuri lunch time and Asiri 4 p.m prayers.