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Periodical article Periodical article
Title:The Observance of Ramadan in Swahili-land
Authors:Frankl, P.J.L.
Omar, Y.A.
Periodical:Journal of Religion in Africa
Geographic term:Kenya
Abstract:Ramadan continues to be the most important month in the Islamic year, and its observance remains an integral part of the Swahili way of life. The present account is mainly concerned with the observance of Ramadan in Swahili-land, with special reference to Mombasa, Kenya. It pays attention, amongst others, to the Islamic year, activities before the fast (kula mfungo), and activities and meals during Ramadan. The latter include the first food tasted at sunset (kufungua muadhini), just as the muezzin proclaims the call to evening prayer, the main meal eaten at home after the evening prayers (futari) and a further meal eaten before dawn (daku), tasty snacks (bembe), brought before sunset and served around ten or eleven at night, and leftovers (kilalo). Activities besides cooking and eating include nighttime entertainments, religious study, the performance of good deeds at the time of the "Night of Power" (laylat al-qadr), the donation of an obligatory gift (zakat al-fitr), and the celebration of id al-fitr (the feast of the breaking of the fast). (Source: ASC Documentation).