The Islamic holy month of Ramadan is nearing an end amid the coronavirus crisis. Scores of countries, including India, are under lockdown to curb the rising incidence of Covid-19 infections.
Last month, during the commencement of Ramadan, governments across the globe and Islamic leaders had urged the Muslim community to offer prayers from home and not to congregate amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Mosques bore a deserted look in the absence of devotees owing to the global outbreak of coronavirus.
With Eid-ul-Fitr celebration just around the corner, Islamic leaders have urged people to stay indoors and avoid large gatherings on the occasion of Eid.
Also read: Timing, date of Eid and impact of coronavirus
Earlier this week, Darul Uloom Deoband, India’s leading Islamic seminary, issued a fatwa urging Muslims to offer their Eid prayers at home instead of congregating at mosques. The fatwa said the Eid namaz can be offered in the same manner that the Friday prayers are now being read at home.
The Muslim Council of Britain also issued a similar directive asking people to celebrate Eid virtually keeping the prevailing coronavirus situation in mind.
Islamic and Gulf nations like Saudia Arabia have extended lockdown for the period of Eid holidays keeping the rising number of coronavirus cases in view.
Egypt has said it will bring forward the start of its curfew by four hours to 5 pm and halt public transport from May 24 for six days during the Eid holiday.
Shops, restaurants, parks and beaches will be closed for the extended holiday at the end of the holy month of Ramadan. Restrictions on citizens’ movements will remain in place for at least two weeks afterwards, Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly said on Sunday.
Saudi Arabia too has introduced a nationwide 24-hour curfew during the Eid holidays amid the coronavirus crisis. The curfew will apply from May 23 to May 27.
In Jordan, there will be restrictions of movement of vehicles on the first day of Eid. The curfew will now begin at 8 pm, instead of 10 pm, and will last till 6 am.
On Monday, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said a four-day lockdown, starting May 23, would be imposed nationwide, to prevent the spread of coronavirus during the Eid holidays.
The month of Ramazan is the holiest of the year as per the Islamic tradition and lasts for around 28 to 30 days depending on the sighting of the moon. The month-long fasting or Sawm (fasting from dawn till dusk) is one of the five pillars of Islam and is observed by Muslims across the world during Ramadan.
The day starts with partaking a meal at the crack of dawn and ends by breaking the fast after sunset and saying the evening prayer Magrib.
The month-long phase of fasting culminates into the day of feasting after the moon is sighted and Eid is celebrated to round off the holy month.
This year Ramadan began on April 23 and shall continue till May 23. This year, Eid is likely to be celebrated on May 24, depending on the date when the moon is sighted.