Sunday August 19, 2018
Majority Leader in the National Assembly Aden Duale has threatened to petition the Judicial Service Commission to take disciplinary action against Chief Kadhi over his stand on matters of Idd ul Adha celebrations.However, Chief Kadhi Sheikh Ahmad Muhdhar faulted the move, saying he had written to the CS in advance to inform him that Kenyan Muslims would observe the holiday on Wednesday, August 22.
The Garissa Town MP claims that the Chief Kadhi overstepped his mandate when he questioned the decision by Interior Cabinet Secretary Dr Fred Matiang’i to Gazette Tuesday, August 21 as a public holiday.
“Chief Khadhi is out of order and should not fault Cabinet Secretary Matiang’i on Idd ul-Adha holiday date. This will divide Muslims,” wrote Mr Duale.
He said the Constitution of Kenya stipulates the mandate of the Chief Kadhi, and that declaring public holiday was not within its jurisdiction.
“The Constitution of Kenya provides for Kadhi's courts to decide disputes of personal law among Muslims — marriage, divorce and inheritance. It is supposed to discharge its duties as provided in article 170 of the Constitution of Kenya 2010,” he wrote.
On Friday, Dr Matiang’i declared that Tuesday shall be a public holiday.
"It is notified for the general information of the public that Tuesday, August 21 be a public holiday to mark Idd-ul-Adha, 2018," said Dr Matiang’i.
Mr Duale said that the Chief Kadhi’s behaviour suggested that he was either not well versed with the teachings on the holiday or he was simply abusing his office.
“The Hajj will take place for five days from August the 19- 24. The second day of the pilgrimage is known as the “Day of Arafat” and it comes before "Idd ul Adha".
The second Eid celebrations in Islamic calendar thus Monday is "Yammul Arafat" and Tuesday is Idd ul Adha. We shall send a petition to the Judicial Service Commission to discuss the conduct of the Chief Khadhi for an abuse of office,” he wrote.
However, some Muslims reprimanded the MP for politicising a religious issue.
Kwale Woman Representative, Zulekha Hassan urged Mr Duale to stop politicising the issue.
“Please leave the Kadhi alone. It's really in bad taste for politicians to get involved in matters Islamic scholarship. Let those who will pray of Tuesday and those who'll pray on Wednesday do so and then go to work,” she wrote.
She cautioned that Mr Duale’s remarks could incite Muslims against the Kadhi’s office.
“Apart from the issues outlined in the constitution, majority Muslims in this Country look up to the Kadhi as a religious leader and depend on him for interpretation of various issues including Eid dates. Please allow Muslims in our Country to be free to choose,” she added.
Idd Ul Adha also known as Idd Ul Hajj is celebrated to mark end of pilgrimage that evolves around activities of Abraham and his son.