Islamic organizations in Mangochi said they fully support the Muslim Association of Malawi’s (MAM) decision to withdraw from the National Ruyat Hilaal Committee, which oversees the moon sighting.
MAM’s National Chairman, Sheikh Idrissah Muhammad, announced the withdrawal on May 2nd, while attending Eidul Fitri prayers in Zomba, saying they would create their own structures to manage moon sighting issues.
District MAM members and other renowned Muslim scholars are to be part of the structures.
Sheikh Adin Chiwa, speaking on behalf of the district’s Islamic groups at the Islamic Annual Conference held at Pamkambiri Lodge, said that all Islamic organizations in Mangochi are fully supportive of the proposal.
Sheikh Chiwa noted at the conference, which was chaired by MAM National Chair, that the sighting of the moon has been a subject of contention among Muslims in the country for some time.
“Simply because some of us follow worldwide sighting, there have been instances of name calling, particularly on Eid days, and your decision to withdraw from the National Ruyat Hilaal Committee will bring us all together,” Sheikh Chiwa said.
Sheikh Chiwa, the Director of Chiwa Contractors Limited, then requested MAM not to reverse its decision, claiming that the association’s name had been tarnished numerous times due to the issue of moon sighting.
He then emphasized the need of MAM continuing to help the district in development efforts undertaken by other groups so that the district’s Islamic development agenda can be realized.
He then went on to discuss the numerous efforts that various groups are making to improve the welfare of Muslims in areas such as health, education, and socioeconomic activities.
MAM Chairperson Sheikh Muhammad responded while gracing the event, assuring the audience that MAM will not change its stance.
MAM has been the caretakers of moon sighting announcements throughout the country, and it will be working with its district structures in this set up, Sheikh Muhammad informed the audience.
The Chairman then advised MAM members from other districts who attended the conference to make sure that their district committees were prepared for the tasks.
The Mangochi MAM office had an Islamic annual conference to examine its progress under the topic Vision of Islam and Development.