Eid-ul-Adha to be low key affair in south India due to Covid-19 pandemic
Eid-ul-Adha is likely to be a low-key affair in most southern states in view of the steep surge in Covid-19 cases. In Telangana, it will be celebrated on August 1 but in Kerala and parts of Karnataka, Eid it will be on Friday (July 31).
In Telangana, the government has said that there will be no mass congregation prayers nor will there be open slaughtering of cattle, goats, and sheep for distribution of meat among the poor, which is an integral part of the festival. Muslims normally sacrifice an animal on Eid-ul-Adha.
In Karnataka too the government has said that only 50 people would be allowed at a time in mosques for prayers and there will be no mass congregations due to the pandemic.
The historic Mecca Masjid near Charminar in the old city of Hyderabad will not open for the general public to offer Eid namaz. It was a similar case for Eid-ul-Fitr on May 24 due to Covid-19 pandemic.
Maulana Hafeez Mohd Rizwan Qureshi, Imam of Mecca Masjid said the mosque would not be opened for namaz because of the alarming situation prevailing in Hyderabad.
“In fact, even after the lifting of the lockdown for places of worship, we have not been allowing the general public regular as well as Friday prayers. Only five persons are being allowed for prayers every Friday,” he said.
The Maulana appealed to the people to visit mosques in their respective areas and attend the prayers following guidelines like social distancing and wearing masks. “Stay at your homes after prayers,” he said.
Telangana State Wakf Board chairman Mohd Saleem said no congregations for mass prayers would be allowed in any Eidgahs across Telangana for Eid-ul-Adha on August 1.
“Namaz-e-Eid will not be held at Eidgah or the open grounds which see large congregations of Muslims. We shall, however, allow prayers in local mosques for a limited number of people,” he said.
The Wakf Board chairman said not more than 50 people should offer prayers at each mosque, that too by following the social distancing norms and other precautions to contain the possible spread of the virus. “If necessary, the prayers may be held twice during the day to allow more worshippers,” Saleem said.
The mosque committees have been asked to advise senior citizens and children below 10 years not to come to mosques for Eid prayers. Those suffering from cold, fever, cough and comorbidities like diabetes and blood pressure have also been urged to pray at home. The Wakf Board also advised imams to keep their Eid sermons brief.
The authorities have also imposed restrictions on sale of cattle, sheep or goats in view of the possibility of spread of Covid-19 at the markets.
The Telangana high court on Thursday directed the municipal authorities to see that the slaughtering of cattle, sheep or goats should be done only according to the prescribed norms and there shall be no indiscriminate slaughtering of animals, including camels.
The high court pointed out that there were reports of diseases being spread through meat as well. “We know how coronavirus has spread from bat meat in China. So, we need to take all precautions,” the court observed.
The municipal authorities have appealed to the people to avoid visiting public places to buy sheep or goats and instead avail the facility provided by officials in every town by earmarking a place on the outskirts for sale and purchase of the animals. “For slaughtering, they should visit the slaughterhouses instead of doing it in public places,” a GHMC official said.
In Kerala, Muslim religious leaders during a video conference with chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan last week pledged support to the state government’s fight against the pandemic and decided to limit Eid celebrations this time.
The maximum number of devotees at a time in all mosques in Kerala on Friday will be limited to 100 and respective mahal committees will keep an eye on them.
There won’t be mass prayers at public places and Covid tests will be conducted on those who are involved in animal sacrifices. Religious leaders said there will be no mass slaughtering of animals and their number will be limited just for the sake of ritual and asked believers to go by the protocol of the government.
Governor Arif Mohammad Khan and the CM greeted people on the eve of Edi-ul-Adha which will be celebrated on Friday in Kerala.
“Bakrid which glorifies sacrifice and eternal faith in the almighty inspires us to remain united through love, compassion, and mutual support, both in our daily lives and in our fight against the Covid-19,” Khan said in his greetings.