The just ended annual Ijitimai (Muslim gathering) held at Makina Jamia Mosque in Kibra-Nairobi has proved to be an attraction for many Muslim youth both locally and outside the country.
Ijitimai which is translated as a gathering of Muslims whose sole aim is to seek Allah’s mercy as a preparation of the hereafter; Daa’wah (spreading Islam); Inculcating virtues of doing good and prohibiting bad; Enhancing Muslim Brotherhood and encouraging peaceful interreligious coexistence as well as promoting peace, love and unity among others.
Basically, Muslims literally ‘camped for three days’ at this mosque and going by the attendance on the opening day, the Makina Jamia Mosque was filled to capacity with a mainly youthful audience eager to benefit from what was going on.
On the second day, participants had an opportunity to listen to hour long Darsas (religious lectures) given by different speakers as a way of reminding Muslims what is expected of them.
The topics are what affects many Muslims in their daily lives as well as possible solutions on how to address these challenges in light of Islamic teachings.
Tired participants also sprawled on carpeted mosque floors as a way of relaxing.
Others also had an opportunity to visit stalls located just outside the mosque compound to buy Islamic literature-including copies of translation of the holy Qur’an, Kanzus/Buibuis, Muslim caps among other items as traders reported good business.
According to Hassan Ali-a youthful participant, says this Ijitimai gathering is a way of warding off negative peer pressure.
“I would rather spend time here in the mosque following the proceedings than hanging out and wasting time.”
For Majid Hussein, Ijitimai provided an opportunity for soul searching about his relationship with His creator. “This is a good curtain raiser for the holy month of Ramadhan. So it is better to start early”
Hamisi Ahmed-the Chairman of Markaz Fisa Bil’Lillah Tabligh, Kibra-the organisers of the event is impressed and upbeat by the turnout.
“We have recorded a huge turnout both from men and women unlike previous years. I am also impressed by the high number of Muslim women. They have come from Mombasa, Meru, Embu, Mwea, Malakisi, Zanzibar and Tanzania.”
According to Hamisi, Ijitimai began long ago with the late Darwesh and the group has continued with the same besides having a yearly schedule of activities.
“Our group is registered with the government and has managed to visit various countries in East and Central Africa. Our last visit was in Mwanza-Tanzania and Zanzibar. We have plans to visit Malawi sometime in September. Locally, we have been to Kapsabet, Diani, Malakisi among other areas and now in Kibra.”
Among the benefits of attending a Ijitimai gathering according to Hamisi include; being close to Allah (SWT); an opportunity to perform your ibadah (worship) in tranquility and for the rich to interact with the poor.