Religious Leaders, Organisations Urge Muslims to Observe Eid at Home

"Eid should be celebrated in a simple manner. Instead of buying new clothes and shoes, we should use what we already have," said the AIMPLB general secretary in a video message.

New Delhi: Ahead of Alvida Juma (the last Friday of Ramzan) and Eid, several Islamic scholars, seminaries, Muslim organisations and leaders have appealed to Muslims of India to observe Eid with simplicity, while offering prayers at home, and to help the needy. The festival of Eid is likely to be celebrated in most parts of the country either on Sunday or Monday depending on the moon sighting, except in some parts of South India where it is celebrated a day earlier.

Citing the latest fatwa that has been issued by the Darul Ifta Firangi Mahal Lucknow, Maulana Khalid Rasheed Firangi Mahali said that given the ongoing lockdown, Muslims should offer the Alvida as well as Eid prayers in their homes, as they had been doing thus far. He also said that no more than five people, which includes the Imam and the Muazzin, should be praying in the mosque, as has been mandated by the government.

He further added that new clothes are not mandatory on the occasion of Eid and that people should stay at home, eat seviyan and greet each other via mobile phones instead of going to their relatives and friends’ homes and avoid hugging each other or shaking hands. According to Maulana Firangi Mahali, “It is also said in the fatwa that one should strive to help as many poor people as one can on this occasion and that after offering the Eid namaz, Muslims should pray to Allah to make India and the whole World COVID-19 free”.

Moreover, Ulema (Islamic scholars) belonging to different schools of thought and sect have urged Muslims not to congregate in masjids or eidgahs for prayers. In a statement released, they have asked Muslims to offer prayers at home. The statement has been issued by Mufti Khaleel Ahmed of Jamia Nizamia (Hyderabad), All India Muslim Personal Law Board’s (AIMPLB) General Secretary Maulana Khalid Saifullah Rahmani and Maulana Nisar Hussain Hyder Agha, and dozens of others.

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Maulana Rahmani also released a video message through his social media accounts. In his video message on Twitter, he said that “we are observing Ramzan this year in extraordinary circumstances and therefore, Eid should be celebrated in a simple manner. Further, instead of buying new clothes and shoes, we should use what we already have. This will be our way of extending solidarity with Muslims who are poor and can’t afford to buy new clothes. Moreover, this money can also be used to provide help to the needy.”

He also said that Muslims should not visit the market for their Eid shopping as it may lead to a violation of the social distancing norms and result in the spread of the disease. “Your health and the health of your near and dear ones should be more important than new clothes,” he can be heard saying in the video.

Meanwhile, a number of Muslim activists and young Muslims across the country have started social media campaigns to celebrate a simple Eid this time, using the hashtags #EidAtHome and #EidiForMigrants on Twitter.

Speaking to The Wire, Patna based social entrepreneur and one of the people behind the campaign, Bashshar Habibullah said, “When the entire month of Ramzan has been spent praying at home due to the lockdown, what is the point of buying new clothes? Moreover, when so many people are starving and unable to meet their food and other basic necessities due to the lockdown, how can Eid be celebrated in the usual fashion? Hence, we thought that it would be a good thing to help the needy. Spreading happiness amongst others is also a way of celebrating Eid.”

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In Latur, Maharashtra, last week, a man wearing a skull cap was seen in a video appealing for an Eid with simplicity. He also urged people to help the poor and needy and to practice social distancing and avoid visiting the markets.

Last month, ahead of the Shab-e-Barat, leaders of more than a dozen Islamic organisations had appealed to fellow Muslims to spend the night of Shab-e-Baraat at home. “Muslims should not visit graveyards but pray for their departed relatives while staying at home,” read the statement released by them ahead of the festival which was observed on April 9.

Similarly, at the beginning of Ramazan, the All India Muslim Personal Law Board had asked community members to offer Taraweeh (special prayers for Ramzan) at home while observing the guidelines of #StayHomeStaySafe during the month of fasting.