Eid al-Fitr is a Muslim holiday that marks the completion of Ramadan, the Islamic month of fasting and prayer. In Ghana, Eid al-Fitr is a public holiday to be celebrated on June 15. Read on to find out how to celebrate Eid al-Fitr in Ghana.
After the Islamic month of Ramadan, many Muslims in Ghana attend communal prayers, spend time with family and friends and give zakat al-fitr or charity.
Arab merchants who travelled through the trans-Saharan salt and gold trade routes introduced Islam to West Africans. Larabanga is one popular structure which came out of this exchange; Ghana’s oldest mosque constructed in a 17th century Sudanese-style and made with packed earth, with horizontal timber jutting out of its construction, triangular cuts in the walls, and pyramidal towers. Visit Larabanga during Eid al-Fitr not only because it is one of Ghana’s most revered religious sites, but also due to the fact it has always been a national Muslim pilgrimage site.
Ghana’s Muslim community leaders disagreed with the 2010 census figures which stated that 17 per cent of Ghanaians are Muslim. The correct figure is believed to be somewhere between 30 and 45 per cent Muslims in Ghana.
Northern Ghana and Zongo communities in every region in the country are the main residential locations for Ghanaians practicing the religion. Zongo is a colony formed by settlers usually from Sahelian areas of West Africa. The oldest and largest Zongo in Ghana can be found in Kumasi.
The Muslim Representative Council is an Islamic administrative body that represents Muslim social and economic interests. The body also organises means for annual pilgrimages.
Islamic Bureau for the Disabled and Service to Islamic Institutions is a non-governmental project based in Accra, Ghana, with the goal of improving the quality of life of people with disabilities regardless of their background or religion. The institution enables the space to celebrate Eid al-Fitr in the true spirit of Islam.
Ghana’s central mosques have spacious and clean interiors and breathtaking architecture. The two main mosques in Accra include one situated at Abbosey Okai, and another almost completed at Kanda, which looks a bit like the Grand Mosque of Istanbul. Kumasi Central Mosque can be located on the Yaa Asantewa Road. A large section of Ghana’s Muslim worshippers gather in the mosques to listen to khutba (sermon) during Eid al-Fitr.
Eid is a great time to show Muslim solidarity. With or without formal education, one can attend or visit this school founded by the wife of an Islamic teacher in their home and situated in one of Kumasi’s oldest Muslim settlements. Currently, the school gets no government support but offers Arabic, English, math and science classes, taught by Muslim and non-Muslim teachers and mostly attended part-time by married women.