An Nadzir followers celebrate early Idul Fitri
Andi Hajramurni , The Jakarta Post , Gowa, South Sulawesi | Sat, 09/19/2009 12:29 PM | National
Early celebration: Followers of An Nadzir Islamic group hug each other after performing Idul Fitri prayer in Somba Opu district in the South Sulawesi regency of Gowa. The group celebrated Idul Fitri on Saturday, earlier than the rest of Muslims nationwide. - JP/Andi Haramur
Over 1,000 followers of An Nadzir Islamic group nationwide celebrated Idul Fitri on Saturday.
In Somba Opu district in the South Sulawesi regency of Gowa, the group’s stronghold, about 500 An Nadzir followers performed Idul Fitri prayer in a field near their reclusive residential area.
Clad in black robes, the Muslim group members, both adults and children, had streamed into the field since early in the morning. All women members of the congregation wore veils.
Group leader Lukman A. Bakti said the early Idul Fitri celebration was decided based on both mathematic calculation and moon sighting, which he said were legitimate.
“We do not intend to challenge the government or seek popularity, but merely follow the guidance from Allah,” Lukman said. The government will only announce the date for Idul Fitri later on Saturday.
He added that he had intensively observed the moon since the 15th day of fasting, which fell on Sept. 3.
In his sermon Lukman called on the group followers to stop environmental destruction, which he said had resulted in a string of natural disasters affecting the country recently.
The group members shook hands and hugged each other after the prayer. They proceeded to a hall to eat Idul Fitri meals.
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