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Kenyan Authorities to Preserve Fish Carrying Koranic Message; 'God is Communicating with His People'

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MOMBASA, Kenya -- The Kenyan fisheries department has taken the fish with a Koranic message caught off the Mombasa coast on Friday for preservation at its Liwatoni cold house.

At the same time, the National Museums of Kenya said it would document it for use in religious education.

The Museums' education officer, Mr Hassan Mohamed Hassan, said yesterday that the tuna was caught at Vanga, near the Tanzania border, and sold to Mr Omar Mohammed Awadh, a retailer.

He said that as Mr Awadh sorted fish at his Takaungu shop in Kuze old town, he noticed the writing, Wallahu khayru razikiyna (God is the greatest of all providers).

Mr Hassan said Islamic scholars had gone through the message and "there is no doubt that the almighty God is communicating with his people."

Meanwhile, at the Mombasa Old Town, the find has baffled the Muslim residents.

Yesterday, they thronged Mr Awadh's Takaungu Fresh Fish Shop to have a glimpse of the fish, unaware that it had been taken away.

The secretary-general of the Council of Imams and Preachers of Kenya, Sheikh Mombasa Dor, said the message was a reminder from God that "we should not forget his teachings."

"This has been confirmed as a verse from the Holy Koran in the Arabic language," he added. "We believe that God brings these kinds of messages in many forms from time to time, and that we should not only read the holy book, but also practise what it says."

The district commissioner, Mr Mohamed Maalim, said the message was as baffling in its presentation as in its clarity.

"It is so clearly spelt out, and that is why we believe that Allah (God) is sending a message to humankind." A story appearing in the Saturday Nation yesterday used an erroneous word (arms) in the translation of the Arabic words "Walahu hairu raziqin" as "The Almighty God is greater than those who give arms". The correct word should have been alms. We apologise for the inadvertent mistake.


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