A joyous atmosphere has engulfed the Barham Green mosque in Zimbabwe's second largest city of Bulawayo as the Muslim community celebrated Eid al-Fitr, the three-day feast that follows the holy fasting month of Ramadan.
Muslim worshippers thronged the mosque, in the north of the city center, from the early hours on Friday to celebrate the start of the Islamic religious feast.
Abdi Mahamoud, a Muslim resident of Bulawayo, said the festival crowns a month of dawn-to-dusk fasting.
"Ramadan is a month of fasting and a time of reflection, forgiveness and charity. This time is one of the pillars of our religion. If I can put it in simpler terms I can describe it as our Christmas," Mahamoud told Anadolu Agency.
He said that Eid al-Fitr shows unity of Muslim communities around the world, who perform special prayers to mark the occasion either in the open space or mosques.
Mohamoud said that Muslims in Bulawayo have built more than five mosques in the last few years and this is a sign that the religion is growing in the city.
The Muslim worshipper stressed that his religion was a religion of peace.
"This religion teaches respect and this is emphasised by Allah's final messenger Muhammad to Earth. However the international media has portrayed our religion as associating with evil and terrorism,” he said.
Brighton Ngwezi, 20, who embraced Islam two years ago, has recalled his first moments with the Islamic religion.
"It was difficult to come out to the open with my friends because they had a negative perception about Muslims. It took them time to accept me and respect my religion," he told AA.
Ngwezi says he embraced Islam after discussions with his father about the Islamic teachings.
"The teachings of the Quran are very supportive and they instil a lot of discipline in an individual,” said Ngwezi.
“Now I can freely wear my robes and go to the mosque. In my first days it was not something I could do," he added.
Like many Muslims in Zimbabwe, Ngwezi believes that his religion is flourishing in the African country.
"The only hindering factor is that the Quran needs someone who is keen on learning the teachings but it is unfortunate that the youths of today hate learning,” said Ngwezi.
He lamented that Eid is not an official holiday in Zimbabwe, unlike other countries where Islam is more pronounced.
"Here it is difficult because one needs to balance it with work," said Ngwezi.
Zimbabwe, a predominantly Christian country, has a population of about 13 million people.
Muslims are estimated to make up about 1% of the population.
Liverpool and Everton fans team up with England's oldest mosque to help city food banks
We met a father who almost danced to the death of his daughter. Because his daughter died as a Muslim.
In his book ' Fasting during long days', Musa Carullah discusses about the topic of fasting in some geographies which are confusing to some people. By Yusuf Tuncbilek.
Muslims civil rights leader Nihad Awad urges Trump to ensure rights of minorities regardless of ethnic, religious background
The story of how the Qur'an was kept and taught.
Learn about 10 amazing things you may not have known about the Ka’bah.
The Haji Ali Dargah trust has barred women from the landmark mausoleum off the coast of Mumbai since 2011, insisting the presence of women near the tomb of a revered saint is a "grievous sin" in Islam.
Suhaib Webb is an American Muslim imam who is currently the imam of the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center
Largest Muslim body warns against radicalism, addresses tensions mounting before 2017 Jakarta gubernatorial election
Imam of capital's Grand Mosque says 'tiny' community gets little financial support
Smithsonian exhibition includes 47 handwritten Qurans from Turkey
Ishaq intended to travel from France to Makkah on foot.
The story of Sheikh Yusuf, who went to Arabia at a tender young age never to return to his homeland, turning these far lands into his 'own Macassar', has a lot of deep wisdom
Whilst pilgrimage in these times are comfortable, pilgrims in the Ottoman period was nothing less than a three month journey with much sacrifice and one of seven traditional routes used in the journey
Phadungsat Mosque in southern tourist area of Phuket built with Saudi Arabian donation of $35,000
Salahudin Ayyubi was a fighter who was freed in Jerusalem of the crusaders, he was a living example of the tolerant, progressive, and inclusive faith which was so dear to his heart. By showing restraint and peaceful treatment, Salahuddin was upholding the central tenets of Islam such as freedom of religion and protection of non-Muslims.