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.
Head of International Union of Muslim Scholars warns incoming US president of consequences of ‘anti-Muslim’ discourse
According to statistics, the number of Muslims in Latin America is over four million, with 700,000 in Argentina and more than 1,500,000 million in Brazil
Knowing the correct time of the day for daily affairs is important and it is the inventions from Muslim scientists who have impacted current clock technologies.
In the hands of the Western countries maps sometimes showed the land to be exploited, and many times used as a tool to create equilibrium in their own favour
'Although i have not yet had the opportunity to perform my daily prayer inside of it, a masterpiece of the result of our hands in Africa, became an example which gave me both a feeling of pain and pride on the inside. I had witnessed once again that a seed planted gave branches five thousand kilometers away.'
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