Eid-al-Fitr festival without Imam Yacob
Muslims in Pattani province have been celebrating the Eid-al-Fitr festival which marks the end of the Ramadan fasting month without their respectable and beloved imam, Yacob Raimanee, who was murdered by gunmen believed to be extremists on August 5.
Although the celebration went on as usual on August 8, the first day of the Eid-al-Fitr festival, the mood was a somber one. Smiles disappeared from the faces of many Muslim adherents who showed up at the provincial mosque where the late Imam Yacob used to preach and pray.
"Although we do not have Imam Yacob today, many of us still remember all the good deeds done by the imam," said Ardenan who arrived at the mosque to celebrate.
Feekree, a young Cambodian Muslim and a student of the late imam for five years, said that Imam Yacob’s teachings would always remain in his mind although the imam was no longer with him.
Minus the death of Imam Yacob, most Muslims, male and female, adults and children, marked the start of the festival by wearing brand new and colourful trousers for the women and impeccable white and clean outfits for the men.
One thing that is a must for every Muslim household during the festival is Tupah or boiled sticky rice wrapped in Kapor leaves. Food and sweets were prepared for guests who made visits to the households.
While most Muslims in the deep South have been celebrating, there is however a large group of Muslim youngsters who have no chance of celebrating. They have been locked up in remand homes for rehabilitation to correct their drug habit or their misbehavior.
Thanks to the Justice Ministry’s department of child and youth protection, new clothes, hats and floor mates for praying were distributed to needy youngsters held in detention at the remand home.