Eid is an occasion of joy and peace, where people celebrate with their families, let go of past grudges and make meaningful connections with one another.
Eid al-Adha 2021 is one of the most significant festivals of Muslims after Eid-ul-Fitr. On this day, Muslims around the globe gather at mosques to offer prayers to Allah. The festival is celebrated to honour Prophet Ibrahim who was ready to sacrifice his 13-year-old son Ismail for Allah. Ever since then, to show their respect to Ibrahim, Islamic preachers celebrate this day by an animal sacrifice and distribute its meat among relatives, friends, and the needy.
This festival is supposed to induce harmony and a feeling of brotherhood amongst the members of the community. The major part of the festival is the Eid Milans, where all members of the community come together, exchange gifts and greet each other with warmth. All members of the society also are invited and everyone celebrates this festival with great zealousness. People wear new clothes and jewellery to mark the occasion as they visit relatives, friends and offer prayers. ‘Sevaiyan’ or a sweet dish made from milk and vermicelli is made and is a traditional specialty during this festival.
Eid Ul Zuha is a great occasion for the Muslims as they believe this is the day when their holy text Quran was considered to be complete. This is also the time of the year when the religious Muslims undertake the holy pilgrimage to Mecca, also known as the Hajj.
Eid is celebrated elaborately among Muslims all over the world. Special prayers are offered in Mosques, everyone wears nicest clothing and attend Salatul-Eid, the Eid prayer in the morning, people visit each other’s homes and partake in festive meals with special dishes, beverages, and desserts. People exchange gifts and sweets on this happy occasion. In addition, like the pilgrims in Makkah, the Muslims, who can afford to do so, offer domestic animals, usually sheep, as a symbol of Ibrahim’s sacrifice. The meat is distributed for consumption to family, friends, and to the poor and needy.
The conception of Eid in Islam is not confined only to celebration extravagance, luxurious feasts, friendly handshakes and embraces. The Muslims should rather devote this day to the worship of God and should beseech Him to approve their virtuous deeds and forgive their sins. This is because the doors of God’s pardon are kept open this day and His Blessings are bountiful.
However, once again, the celebration of Eid al-Adha has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. So, it is necessary to follow appropriate Covid norms to avoid the spread of infection. These necessary safety procedures will ensure that containment does not take place while the celebration is going on.
Kashmir witnessed low-key celebrations on the occasion of Eid-ul-Adha on Wednesday, as prayers were not held at the major mosques and shrines of Kashmir due to COVID-19-related restrictions.A majority of the faithful marked the festival of sacrifice by offering prayers in small groups and observing social distancing in view of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
This is third year of low-key Eid celebrations in Kashmir
Notably, Eid celebrations were low-key in Kashmir for the third consecutive year since August 2019.”No Eid prayers were offered for the fifth consecutive time in three years at the major mosques and shrines of Kashmir due to restrictions on large gatherings. While small gatherings for Eid prayers were witnessed at local mosques, some people preferred to offer the prayers at home,” officials informed.
Number of animals sacrificed this year less than pre-COVID-19 period
“Thousands of sheep and goats were sacrificed by Muslims across Kashmir to mark the tradition of Prophet Ibrahim. However, the number of animals sacrificed this year was less than the pre-COVID-19 period,” the officials noted.
Eid-ul-Fitr prayers also could not be offered this year.
Noticeably, in 2019 also Eid-ul-Adha prayers could not be offered as authorities had imposed a strict curfew in the wake of the abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution and bifurcation of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir into Union territories.Moreover, like last year, the prayers for Eid-ul-Fitr also could not be offered this year due to the COVID-19 lockdown.
In order to ensure everyone’s safety people should follow the below-mentioned precautions:
Make sure that you always wear a mask while going out anywhere.
If you are over the age of 60 or have any co-morbidities like diabetes, cardiac disease, chronic lung disease, chronic kidney disease or cancer, then avoid attending any kind of social gathering.
Use your prayer rugs instead of someone else’s.Wash your hand regularly and avoid any kind of physical contact with anyone eg: Hugging and shaking hands.
Make sure you sanitise your home and surfaces after the guest leaves the house.
Do not visit any crowded places and if urgently required then ensure that you are going well dressed with a double mask, hand sanitiser, and face shield.
Only a single member of the house should take the responsibility of sacrificing an animal as well as packing and distributing the meat to relatives, friends, and the needy.
With these measures, one can enjoy the festival without getting infected with the virus. However, the government is emphasising the citizens to get vaccinated as the vaccine will help in the fight the virus.