Celebrating Eid-ul-Fitr in COVID times
By: Mushtaq Bhat
The month of Ramadhan begins and ends with the appearance of the new moon and when the Holy month of Ramadhan draws to a close, the festival of Eid-ul-Fitr takes place. It is the day of feasting when Muslims dress up, gather together at the place called ‘Eid Gah’ for a particular prayer. On this day people invite one another, share food and generally celebrate. However, currently the situation is worrying as the country is battling with the raging Second wave of the Covid 19 Pandemic and the authorities have already imposed restrictions and urged people to stay indoors. Consequently, the prayer of Eid ul- fitr will be performed at home to ensure safety and precautionary measures to contain speed of this virus.
There’s no denying that the festivities of this year will be a little dull in comparison to usual. But it doesn’t mean we can’t usher in the festival spirit because for some it will be challenging and for others, it allows more time with family than ever before.
We are familiar with the fact that the entire health care system of our country is under severe stress due to the emerging and alarming situation. We should be more careful in adhering to precautionary measures including staying at home, maintaining personal hygiene, using sanitizers and refrain ourselves from any kind of assembly.
Muslims across the globe have shown great maturity by listening to the religious scholars who have advised to celebrate Eid by staying indoors and avoid big gatherings in order to ensure safety for all and in view of the the second wave of Covid-19. Many of the scholars have been making appeals to their fellow Muslims to offer the Eid prayer at home and avoid going to the mosque to curb the risk of contracting the virus. Traditionally, the festival is marked with prayers in mosques and visits to friends and family.
This would be the 2nd Eid that Muslims will have to restrict themselves and stay away from the otherwise large Eid Gah’s and bustling markets and avoid the traditional hugging and kissing with their fellow brethren. Last year also, the community had set a very good example by praying at home and avoiding to form crowds.
In fact the holy festival will be certainly different but it can still be a time of giving thanks for all the blessings in our lives, focusing on the sunnahs we can fulfill and reaching out to those facing greater challenges than us. Offering alms and charity is one of the biggest pillars of our religion and this time the pandemic crisis has in fact mandated the helping out poor. It can be a good idea to help those in need. Many struck by the unprecedented crises are finding it hard to manage food, clothes and basic. We can distribute money, food, clothes etc to those in need. What could be the better way to close this holy month, if not by putting out a smile of gratification on someone’s face who couldn’t smile in months due to this crisis? This Eid make the needy smile. Hence charity, volunteering, practicing gratitude are some of the ways to enjoy the festival.
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