Zanzibar President Hussein Ali Mwinyi yesterday said the government has accepted to make the Islamic New Year (Hijri) a holiday in the islands.
Dr Mwinyi said this in his greetings to Muslims after Friday Prayer held at Masjid Kubba, Kwa Boko, in the Urban West region.
The Islamic calendar consists of 12 lunar months in a year of 354 or 355 days. The calendar started during the month of Al-Muharram in 622 when Prophet Muhammad shifted from Mecca to Madinah.
The current Muslim New Year 1444 started on July 30, 2022, according to the Muslim Council of Tanzania (Bakwata).
Dr Mwinyi said the government agreed to the request of Muslims to make the day a national holiday as it is the case for the solar New Year.
“The world recognises the Hijri Calendar where Muslims have the opportunity to celebrate their new Islamic year,” he said, congratulating the Office of the Mufti of Zanzibar for celebrating it this year.
The secretary of the Office of the Mufti of Zanzibar Sheikh Khalid Ali Mfaume asked Muslims to continue praying for Dr Mwinyi whom he described as a righteous leader and “one who practically implements the promises he made.”
The preacher of the Friday prayer, Sheikh Hija Suleiman, asked Muslims to continue doing good deeds and avoid evil, realizsing that this month of Muharram is one of the four holy months in Islam.
He explained that there are many virtues found in this month of Muharram, including fasting during the 10th day.
Meanwhile, Dr Mwinyi visited the home of Hijjat Akiba Haji Ramadhana at Fuoni, who died in Saudi Arabia while participating in the Hajj and was buried in Medina.
Dr Mwinyi consoled the family of the deceased, calling them to be patient following the loss of their loved one as well as wishing the deceased a good rest.