Eid al-Adha observed in Middle East, other parts of the world under covid shadow

News Network
July 20, 2021

eidaladha.jpg

Muslims in many countries around the world were observing Tuesday, July 20, yet another major Islamic holiday in the shadow of the pandemic and amid growing concerns about the highly infectious delta variant of the coronavirus.

Eid al-Adha, or the “Feast of Sacrifice,” is typically marked by communal prayers, large social gatherings and, for many, slaughtering of livestock and giving meat to the needy. This year, the holiday comes as many countries battle the delta variant first identified in India, prompting some to impose new restrictions or issue appeals for people to avoid congregating and follow safety protocols.

The pandemic has already taken a toll for the second year on a sacred mainstay of Islam, the hajj, whose last days coincide with Eid al-Adha. Once drawing some 2.5 million Muslims from across the globe to the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia, the Islamic pilgrimage has been dramatically scaled back due to the virus.

This year, 60,000 vaccinated Saudi citizens or residents of Saudi Arabia have been allowed to perform the hajj, preventing Muslims from other countries from fulfilling the Islamic obligation.

Indonesia marked a grim Eid al-Adha amid a devastating new wave of coronavirus cases in the world's most populous Muslim-majority nation. Large gatherings were banned and tougher travel restrictions imposed. Vice President Ma'ruf Amin, also an influential Islamic cleric, appealed to people to perform holiday prayers at home with their families.

“Don't do crowds,” Amin said in televised remarks ahead of the start of the holiday. “Protecting oneself from the Covid-19 pandemic is obligatory.”

The surge is believed to have been fueled by travel during another holiday — the Eid al-Fitr festival in May — and by the rapid spread of the delta variant.

In Malaysia, measures have been tightened after a sharp spike in infections despite a national lockdown since June 1 — people are banned from travelling back to their hometowns or crossing districts to celebrate. House visits and customary trips to graveyards are also banned.

Healthy worshippers are allowed to gather for prayers in mosques, with strict social distancing and no physical contact. Ritual animal sacrifice is limited to mosques and other approved areas.

Health Director-General Noor Hisham Abdullah has urged Malaysians not to “repeat irresponsible behaviour,” adding that travel and celebrations during Eid al-Fitr and another festival on the island of Borneo led to new clusters of cases.

“Let us not in the excitement of celebrating the Feast of Sacrifice cause us all to perish because of Covid-19,” he said in a statement.

Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin urged Muslims to stay home. “I appeal to you all to be patient and abide by the rules because your sacrifice is a great jihad in Allah's sight and in our effort to save lives,” he said in a televised speech on the eve of the festival.

The World Health Organization has reported that Covid-19 deaths had climbed after a period of decline. The reversal has been attributed to low vaccination rates, relaxed mask rules and other precautions, and the delta variant.

Lockdowns will severely curtail Eid al-Adha festivities in Sydney and Melbourne, Australia's two largest cities.

Sydney resident Jihad Dib, a New South Wales state government lawmaker, said the city's Muslims were sad but understood why they would be confined to their homes with no visitors allowed.

“It's going to be the first Eid in my life I don't hug and kiss my mum and dad,” Dib told Australian Broadcasting Corp.

Melbourne Muslims face their second Eid al-Adha in lockdown in as many years. The sudden announcement of the Melbourne lockdown last week will also deal a huge financial blow to retailers who had stocked up on food ahead of what they thought would be usual Eid festivities.

Iran on Monday imposed a week-long lockdown on the capital, Tehran, and the surrounding region as the country struggles with another surge in the coronavirus pandemic, state media reported. The lockdown begins on Tuesday.

Not everyone is imposing new restrictions. In Bangladesh, authorities have allowed an eight-day pause in the country's strict lockdown for the holiday that health experts say could be dangerous.

In Egypt, Essam Shaban travelled to his southern hometown of Sohag to spend Eid al-Adha with his family. He said ahead of the start of the holiday that he planned to pray at a mosque there on Tuesday while taking precautions such as bringing his own prayer rug and wearing a mask.

“We want this Eid to pass by peacefully without any infections,” he said. “We must follow instructions.”

Shaban had been looking forward to pitching in with his brothers to buy a buffalo to slaughter, going door-to-door to give some of the meat to the poor and to the traditional festive meal later in the day with his extended family.

“It's usually boisterous with laughter and bickering with the kids,” he said. “It's great.”

But others will be without loved ones.

In India, where Eid al-Adha starts Wednesday, Tahir Qureshi would always go with his father for prayers and then to visit family and friends. His father died in June after contracting the virus during a surge that devastated the country, and the thought of having to spend the holiday without him is heartbreaking.

“It will be difficult without him,” he said.

Muslim scholars in India, where Eid will be celebrated on July 21, have been urging people to exercise restraint and adhere to health protocols. Some states have restricted large gatherings and are asking people to observe the holiday at home.

Meanwhile the pandemic's economic fallout, which threw millions of Indians into financial hardship, has many saying they cannot afford to buy sacrificial livestock.

In Kashmir, a disputed, Muslim-majority region, businessman Ghulam Hassan Wani is among those cutting back. “I used to sacrifice three or four sheep, but this year we can hardly afford one,” Wani said.

Comments

Add new comment

  • Coastaldigest.com reserves the right to delete or block any comments.
  • Coastaldigset.com is not responsible for its readers’ comments.
  • Comments that are abusive, incendiary or irrelevant are strictly prohibited.
  • Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name to avoid reject.
News Network
September 13,2021

Thiruvananthapuram, Sept 13: An Air India Express flight which took off from Kerala for Sharjah, in the UAE, on Monday morning with 170 passengers was forced to turn back shortly after taking off due to a technical glitch.

The plane, which also had a crew of six, landed safely at Thiruvananthapuram airport and another flight was arranged for the passengers, including five infants, to travel to Sharjah, an Air India Express (AIE) spokesperson said.

According to an official of the airport, the incident occurred at around 7 am.

The AIE spokesperson said the pilots noticed the technical glitch around half an hour after take-off and immediately decided to turn back to Thiruvananthapuram.

Comments

Add new comment

  • Coastaldigest.com reserves the right to delete or block any comments.
  • Coastaldigset.com is not responsible for its readers’ comments.
  • Comments that are abusive, incendiary or irrelevant are strictly prohibited.
  • Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name to avoid reject.
News Network
September 16,2021

bihar.jpg

Patna, Sept 16: People of Bihar are surprised over crores of rupees being credited in the bank accounts of two children.

The incident appeared in Katihar district where two class 6 students, Ashish Kumar and Gurucharan Biswas received Rs 6,20,11,100 and Rs 90,52,21,223 in their bank accounts on September 15 respectively.

Both the children are native of Pastia village in Bagahura Panchayat. They have bank accounts in Uttar Bihar Gramin Bank.

Udayan Mishra, the district magistrate of Katihar also confirmed that the children have received hefty amount.

"Big amounts were credited in the accounts of two children. The amount can be seen in the mini statements. The senior officials of the bank are being informed," Mishra said.

"As soon as we learnt about the money being credited in the accounts of two children, we have put the accounts on freeze and stopped withdrawal. When inquired with the parents of the children, they were also unable to reveal the source of the fund. Now, we are investigating the matter to find out who is the sender," said M.K. Madhukar, the LDM of Uttar Bihar Gramin Bank.

Earlier, a person named Ranjit Das of Bihar's Khagaria district also received Rs 5.5 lakh in his Uttar Bihar Gramin Bank account.

Das refused to return the money to the bank claiming that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had promised every citizen to give Rs 15 lakh in their bank accounts. He said he has received first instalment of it.

Das further said that he had withdrawn the money from the account and spent it. Now he has no money. After he showed inability to return the amount, bank officials lodged an FIR against Das and he was arrested by Khagaria police. Now, he is lodged in jail.

Comments

Add new comment

  • Coastaldigest.com reserves the right to delete or block any comments.
  • Coastaldigset.com is not responsible for its readers’ comments.
  • Comments that are abusive, incendiary or irrelevant are strictly prohibited.
  • Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name to avoid reject.
News Network
September 9,2021

owasi.jpg

Hubballi, Sept 9: Asaduddin Owaisi led All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) has managed to snatch Congress votes in the recent Hubballi-Dharwad municipal corporation. The MIM has three seats in the Hubballi-Dharwad East Assembly constituency, known as Congress bastion. 

Being represented by Prasad Abbayya since 2013, Hubballi-Dharwad East constituency is often considered as a Congress stronghold. The Congress was expecting a resounding victory, if not a clean sweep, in the recently concluded Palike elections. But, MIM, which fielded its candidates mainly in wards with sizable Muslim presence, ate into Congress votes.

The last-minute campaigning by Owaisi swung the tide in MIM’s favour in three wards, where it managed to stave off the Congress.

The MIM had fielded its candidates in 12 wards in its electoral debut in the Hubballi-Dharwad Palike elections. Nazeer Ahmed Honyal has won from Ward No 71, with a margin of 1,694 votes against the Congress candidate Mohammad Halwoor, who is the son of Congress city district unit president. Waheeda Khannum Kittur (Ward No 76), and Hussainbi Nalvatwad (Ward No 77) also emerged victorious defeating Congress candidates.

In Ward Nos 61, 79 and 81, AIMIM candidates finished second. Also, AIMIM candidates secured more than 1,000 votes in two wards where independents won, resulting in the defeat of Congress.

In Ward No 69, an independent candidate (BJP rebel) has won, while the number of votes secured by Congress and AIMIM candidates together was more than the votes bagged by the winner. After the results, family members of the AIMIM candidate alleged that relatives of the Congress candidate attacked them, blaming them for the Congress’ defeat.

Defeating three Congress candidates, finishing second in three wards, and eating into Congress votes to facilitate the victory of independents in two wards, the MIM certainly created hurdles for the Congress in its quest to wrest power from the saffron party in Hubballi-Dharwad Palike. 

Though Congress leaders allege that the AIMIM is the B team of the BJP, they admit that it has prevented the Congress candidates from winning in several wards.

Belagavi and Kalaburagi

In Belagavi City Corporation (BCC), MIM fielded seven candidates and managed to open its account in Ward 18, where Shahidkhan Pathan defeated Congress’ Abdulkhader Gheewale by a margin of 52 votes. Pathan polled 949 votes against Gheewale’s 897 votes. 

The remaining MIM candidates, however, failed to make any impact on the outcome.

Interestingly, the MIM fared poorly in the Kalaburagi Mahanagara Palike elections, where it was expected to make inroads. The party drew blank but managed a second-place finish in six wards, where Congress candidates crossed the line. 

The Congress, despite MIM's presence, has managed to secure 26 seats in 55-member strong Kalaburagi Palike.

Comments

Add new comment

  • Coastaldigest.com reserves the right to delete or block any comments.
  • Coastaldigset.com is not responsible for its readers’ comments.
  • Comments that are abusive, incendiary or irrelevant are strictly prohibited.
  • Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name to avoid reject.