Eight people were on Saturday, April 17 arrested for allegedly refusing to fast during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
The eight were arrested by Islamic police in Nigeria’s northern state of Kano- one of the 12 mainly Muslim states practicing the Sharia legal system alongside the country’s secular laws.
During the holy month of Ramadan, Muslims are expected to abstain from eating or drinking between sunrise and sunset.
The culprits, according to Hisbah police- who are tasked with enforcing Islamic law in Kano, were found eating in public during the afternoon.
The culprits included five females and three males. The women told the Hisbah police that they were menstruating therefore exempted from fasting. But the police say that fact did not warrant them eating in public.
According to Sharia laws, fasting is obligatory for all adults, but the rule exempts those who are sick and whose health will be affected by fasting and the old.
Pregnant, breastfeeding and menstruating women and travelers are also exempted from fasting and praying during Ramadan.
If found guilty, they could be fined or sent to a correctional facility.
the police in the state are warning of more raids to nab those not adhering to religious obligations.
Ramadan in Kenya
In Kenya, the holy month started on Wednesday, April 14 amid a new set of COVID-19 rules and a partial lockdown in the counties of Nairobi, Machakos, Kajiado, Kiambu and Nakuru.
Ramadan is the most sacred month of the year for Muslims — the Prophet Mohammed reportedly said, “When the month of Ramadan starts, the gates of heaven are opened and the gates of hell are closed and the devils are chained.”
Muslims believe it was during this month that God revealed the first verses of the Quran, Islam’s sacred text, to Mohammed, on a night known as “The Night of Power” (or Laylat al-Qadr in Arabic).