NEW DELHI — Muslims in India celebrated a subdued Eid Al Fitr (Aidilfitri) on Monday without the congregational prayers and by avoiding public celebrations due to the coronavirus pandemic.
In Kashmir, Kerala and some other places in the country Eid was celebrated on Sunday after Muslim countries announced the end of the holy month of Ramadan on Saturday, but Indian Muslims largely followed the announcement by Delhi’s Jama Masjid imam Syed Ahmed Bukhari to celebrate it on Monday as the new moon was not sighted locally on Saturday.
Malaysian diplomats and their families observed Eid festivities within the High Commission premises in New Delhi.
Amid restrictions on public gatherings and congregations, mosques and prayer grounds did not hold the Eid prayer.
People prayed at home and stayed away from the traditional celebrations that usually include receiving friends and relatives to join feasts.
“Islam focuses on protecting lives. If not maintaining the social distancing rules in the current situation endangers people’s lives, then it would be considered wrong from an Islamic point of view,” said Nadeem Ashraf, an assistant professor in the Department of Theology at Aligarh Muslim University.
“Despite the restrictions on public gatherings during the COVID-19 lockdown, Muslims have observed their religious duties very well,” he told Bernama.
Religious leaders and scholars had appealed to the Muslim community to spend more money on helping those facing financial problems during the coronavirus lockdown, which has caused significant unemployment and business losses.
“People have heeded these calls and contributed a lot to charity work. It is time for solidarity with those in need,” said Haji Mohammad Haroon, president of the Jamiat Ulama organisation’s Madhya Pradesh state unit.
“Today we are preparing a lot of food to distribute among the needy and those who have lost work. So many others would be doing the same instead of receiving visitors at home,” he said.