Observe Eid with simplicity, help your neighbour and feed the hungry. This seems to be the message this Eid ul-Fitr, at least in the national capital.
With assemblies prohibited and all religious places closed amid the nationwide lockdown due to Covid-19 pandemic, Delhiites are bracing for an Eid at home, and so do religious leaders appeal for.
Stating that Eid means happiness, Umer Ahmed Ilyasi, Chief Imam of the All India Imam Organization (AIIO), told IANS, “Happiness is possible only when others are happy as well. We are facing an unprecedented situation. I have appealed against buying new clothes and observing Eid by staying home.”
Every year visuals of thousands offering namaaz at Delhi’s iconic Jama Masjid showcases Eid. But this year the vast expanse of the mosque will remain empty. Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid Ahmad Bukhari have asked people to offer prayers at their homes.
“I appeal to all the faithful to maintain social distancing and stay indoors during the Eid festivities,” Bukhari said. He urged them to extend a helping hand to the poor, the destitute and the needy in this hour of crisis, as hundreds and thousands were staring at an uncertain future.
Despite relaxations, footfall in most markets have been minimal due to the fear of infection. With restaurants not allowed to serve food, most traditional Mughlai eateries in the bylanes of Jama Masjid are likely to either remain shut or open only to provide home delivery.
One of the biggest Muslim festival, Eid ul-Fitr marks the end of the holy month of Ramzan. It’s normally celebrated with exchange of greetings, hugs, feasting and bonding. But due to the lockdown and corona scare, this Eid is likely to be muted.
Union Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi tweeted that though for the first time he would offer prayer and celebrate Eid at home due to the pandemic, it would not affect the festive spirit.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Shahnawaz Hussain, known for organising sumptuous Eid feast in the Lutyens Delhi, which is attended by top politicians cutting across political affiliations, journalists and other dignitaries, will also be observing a quiet Eid.
“I have been doing this Eid luncheon for 21 years. But this time things are different. No invitation has been sent. I will spend Eid in a simple way by distributing food among the poor,” said Hussain.
While the grandeur will be amiss this year, religious leaders insist it’s the intent that counts. They say, new clothes or a grand buffet is not what makes Eid special, it’s the happiness that counts, which increases manifold when shared with others.