Muslims in Malawi are joining those across the world to cerebrate Eid al-Fitr after 30 days of fasting during their holy month of Ramadan.
Eid marks the end of a month of fasting from dawn to sunset, as well as spiritual reflection and prayer for members of the religion.
Aside, the spiritual reflection, Muslims in Malawi also prayed for contemporary issues that have negatively affected the Southern African country including the COVID-19 pandemic.
One of the Muslims based in Blantyre, Rukiya Lawe says taking part in fasting has great advantages.
"It is a requirement for every Muslim to take part in the fasting, because we have different prayer items (Duwas) which have impact on different lives. During this holy month we do not only pray for ourselves but those surrounding us including the sick, dead and the country as a whole. By the end of the month we see God answering our prayers in different ways.
"Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and government restrictions the prayer gatherings were not much affected because in Islam you can pray wherever you want even at home," she said.
Cassim Kumwenda, a Muslim based in Ntcheu said observing the holy month brought him closer to Allah (God).
"The fasting has been so good, spiritually taking part has brought me closer to Allah, I repented my sins and have confidence that I have been forgiven. Health wise, it has helped me lose excessive fats in my body. This is because of reduction of food intake compared to the period when we are not fasting.
“COVID-19 preventive measures including washing hands, masking up and social distancing were also followed to make sure everyone is safe from the virus,” he said.
Another Muslim from Balaka, Kumbukani Juma said: “During the holy month I had three priorities, I prayed for forgiveness of sins, eternal life and protection from the COVID-19 pandemic. As we have seen in India the situation is worse because of the new variant.”
According to Malawi's Minister of Information, Gospel Kazako government has declared Monday 17th May, 2021 as a public holiday in official observance of Eid Ul Fitri.
This is because the sighting of the moon has coincided with another holiday-Kamuzu Day in Malawi.
Eid al-Fitr also called the "Festival of Breaking the Fast" is a religious holiday celebrated by Muslims worldwide that marks the end of the month-long dawn-to-sunset fasting of Ramadan.
The date for the start of the celebrations varies based on when the new moon is sighted by local religious authorities, so the day of celebration varies by locality.
Under usual circumstances, the day starts with prayers and a big meal is usually the main event, but there’s lots of other ways people celebrate too.