Muslim clerics in Lamu have protested against increased political campaigns on Fridays, a prayer day for the Muslim faithful.
They have called for a ban of campaigns on Fridays saying they hinder the faithful from attending to their prayer schedules on Fridays, also known as Jummah.
Jummah is a form of congregational worship held in the early afternoon every Friday.
In the Quran, believers are instructed to hasten to the remembrance of Allah (God) and leave all business when the call to prayer is made on Fridays.
The clerics complained of empty mosques most Fridays as faithful attend political rallies and campaigns across the region.
Lamu is predominantly a Muslim county with Friday being a sacred day for prayers.
Speaking on Tuesday, Ustadh Sharf Twawy condemned politicians who have formed a habit of holding rallies on Friday, terming it a deliberate move to discourage people from worship.
He said it’s imperative for every Muslim to attend Jummah prayers regularly and missing such puts them at loggerheads with their creator.
“Every adult Muslim man must attend Jummah prayers without fail unless they are sick or traveling because attending political rallies is preposterous and must stop,” Twawy said.
He urged Muslims in Lamu to shun political rallies or engagements of any form that are held on Friday.
“Who doesn’t know that the majority here are Muslims yet they still come here on Fridays and hijack people who should be in the mosque? Politicians must know that Friday is our day of worship and should be respected whether they like it or not,” he said.
Cleric Mohamed Abubakar said they had initiated door-to-door visits to remind residents of the importance of Jummah prayers.
He explained that apart from prayers, Jummah is also important for Muslims as they get time to hear sermons by imams.
“We are encouraged in the Quran to only return to our usual business after the prayers are complete. It’s quite unfortunate that politics is slowly overtaking this. We want a ban on any social events on Friday to focus on prayers,” Abubakar said.
The Lamu West Council of Imams and Preachers of Kenya-CIPK chairman Noordin Saney said it was unfortunate for people to trade Jummah with politics.
“Politics is just for a season but religion is with us forever. This is actually the time we should actually pray more for peaceful elections. It’s not the time to skip prayers,” he said.
Last Friday, ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi, while leading a Kenya Kwanza Economic Forum in Mokowe Lamu west, was forced to apologise after Muslim clerics and leaders were unhappy for skipping Jummah.
They asked that such engagements in the future should be held between Monday to Thursday.