Zimbabwe Muslims celebrate Eid by giving to charity

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SHAFAQNA - Large gathering in Mbare township, Harare, focused on zakat, or giving to charity, one of five pillars of IslamAt least 1,000 disadvantaged families from Harare and its surrounding areas converged on the city’s largest mosque Friday to celebrate Eid al-Fitr.

The families received food hampers to celebrate Islam’s spirit of charity.

As early as 5 am, families, some as far as 70 kilometers away, started arriving in trucks, buses and on foot in Harare’s Mbare township.

By 10 am, Mbare Mosque was packed.

At the end of Ramadan, Muslims worldwide have a three-day celebration called Eid al-Fitr.

The large gathering in Mbare focused on zakat, or giving to charity, one of the five pillars of Islam.

“Zakat is a charitable contribution, mandatory for all Muslims, and is considered as a tax. Because such contributions help marginalized families, especially during Ramadan, that is the reason why you see a huge gathering here today,” Hassan Chipanga, manager of the Charitable Foundation for Development, told Anadolu Agency in Mbare.

Chipanga said the food hampers are meant to help disadvantaged Muslims who are fasting.

“The food parcels are meant to benefit Muslims who are fasting. It is charity donated from people who want to help people who are fasting, so that they easily get food when they break their fast,” he said.

According to Chipanga, charitable donations increase during Ramadan and are given to everyone, regardless of religion.

Sheik Ibrahim Mpache, from Mbare, said charities during Ramadan value all citizens equally.

“In our society we have people who are rich and some disadvantaged, so charity helps bring people together,” Sheik Ibrahim Mpache said.

One of the beneficiaries, Thabani Dube, was grateful for the food hampers he received at Mbare Mosque on Friday.

“Even if you do not have money or goods to distribute, charity in Islam comes in the form of knowledge or water, so the idea is basically to embrace giving,” Dube told Anadolu Agency.

“Such charitable distributions help us a lot because sometimes we will not have enough food when we break our fast,” Fatima Mpichika, another beneficiary, told Anadolu Agency.

The food hampers given to 1,000 families in Mbare on Friday were distributed by Islamic Relief of South Africa.

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