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How Muslims are celebrating Eid al-Adha amid coronavirus

How-Muslims-are-celebrating-Eid-al-Adha-amid-coronavirus

How Muslims are celebrating Eid al-Adha amid coronavirus

About 1.8 billion Muslims celebrate Eid amid a pandemic that has so far infected more than 16 million people.

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A girl stands with sheep ahead of the Eid al-Adha festival in Peshawar, Pakistan [Fayaz Aziz/Reuters]
A girl stands with sheep ahead of the Eid al-Adha festival in Peshawar, Pakistan [Fayaz Aziz/Reuters]

Muslims worldwide will celebrate Eid al-Adha, also known as the Festival of Sacrifice, amid a coronavirus pandemic that has so far infected more than 16 million people worldwide.

Like the Islamic holiday Eid al-Fitr in May that followed the holy month of Ramadan, Muslims are being encouraged to take precautions and alter the way they observe as a result of COVID-19 between July 30 and August 4.

In normal circumstances, Eid day starts by gathering at a mosque in the morning to take part in prayers.

The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) has published recommendations on its website promoting outdoor prayers and if not, for multiple staggered prayer times indoors.

Enough time should be arranged between congregations and khutbahs, or sermons, and they should be kept short, the MCB advised. It added Eid greetings should be given without hugging or shaking hands.

Much of Eid observances consist of getting together with family and friends and sharing meals, but the MCB advised it is best to keep numbers to a minimum and to meet outdoors.

Some mosques in Canada are following similar guidelines, with Toronto’s Jame Masjid encouraging Muslims to reserve a spot for prayer ahead of time on one of the eight different time slots on its SMART Jamaat app.

Crimean Tatar muslims pray in the Great Khan Mosque on the first day of the Eid al-Adha (Kurban Bayram) in the city of Bakhchisaray on October 4, 2014.
Crimean Tatar Muslims pray in the Great Khan Mosque on the first day of the Eid al-Adha (Kurban Bayram) in the city of Bakhchisaray in this file photo from 2014 [Max Vetrov/AFP]

For those who are unable to reserve a time, the Bosnian Islamic Association (BIA) in Toronto said Muslims can still perform Eid prayers at home instead.

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