Amid Covid-19 pandemic, India woke up on Saturday to glimpses of Muslim devotees arriving at mosques and offering prayers to mark the second most important Islamic festival – Eid-ul-Adha. With lockdown restrictions eased in parts of the country, devotees were seen visiting mosques while maintaining social distancing and wearing masks as preventive measures to keep Covid-19 at bay. The mosque authorities at various places ensured checking body temperature of the devotees and provided them with hand sanitiser.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi extended his wishes on the occasion and hoped the “spirit of brotherhood and compassion be furthered”.
“Eid Mubarak! Greetings on Eid al-Adha. May this day inspire us to create a just, harmonious and inclusive society. May the spirit of brotherhood and compassion be furthered,” the prime minister tweeted.
Union minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi was seen offering prayers at his residence on Saturday morning. The minister wished everyone on the occasion and said that the pandemic has not dampened the spirits of the devotees.
“The world is facing the corona crisis but it has not dampened the spirits of people. People are praying today keeping their safety in mind. There is no lack of passion in offering prayers,” Naqvi said.
With lockdown restrictions considerably eased in the national capital, several mosques, including Jama Masjid and Fatehpuri Masjid in Delhi, held the prayers today on the auspicious occasion. Devotees on Saturday morning offered namaz at Delhi’s Jama Masjid on the occasion of Eid Al-Adha.
“We have ensured strong arrangements here. In fact, we have ensured a safe environment in several big and small mosques on this occasion. namaz will be offered at 6:05 am,” said Sanjay Bhatia, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) was quoted by news agency ANI.
“I feel really good to be here on this occasion. Everyone followed lockdown norms and even Muslims had earlier offered namaz at their home, they followed all the rules and regulations. We are still adhering to the rules,” said a devotee.
The Covid-19 lockdown had led to the closure of religious places, including mosques, due to which Muslim devotees were unable to pray in mosques on Eid-ul-Fitr in May. The Centre had allowed religious places to reopen from June 8 under Unlock 1. Under Unlock 3 guidelines, religious functions and other large congregations continue to be prohibited.
Eid-ul-Zuha, more commonly known as Bakr-Eid, is the festival of sacrifice observed on the tenth day of the Dhu al-Hijjah which is the twelfth month of the Islamic calendar. Also known as Bakrid, the sacrifice feast, the festival is marked by sacrificing an animal, usually a sheep or a goat to prove their devotion and love for Allah. Post the sacrifice, devotees distribute the offering to family, friends, neighbours and especially to the poor and the needy.