Manipur's Muslim community keeps spirit of Eid-al-adha alive amid pandemic

Manipuri Muslims offered Eid Namaz by strictly maintaining SOPs and following safety protocols.


Representational Image (Photo: Pixabay)

Although the festive mood is dampened by the total curfew in the state against the backdrop of surging COVID-19 and Delta Variant cases, Manipur's Muslim community nevertheless, kept the spirit of Eid al-Adha alive by celebrating Bakrid on Wednesday as prayers were offered at Mosques in strict compliance of COVID-19 guidelines. 

This is the second successive year that Eid al-Adha is being celebrated with Covid-related restrictions added with a total curfew this time. Amid growing concerns about the highly infectious delta Variant of the coronavirus on the rise, the state government announced curfew for 10 days from July 18 to July 27. However, Muslims of Manipur celebrated Bakrid although in a low key affair.  

Speaking to the Imphal Free Press, moulvi of Al-Fatta Masjid Habiba expressed that Eid al-Adha, or the ‘Feast of Sacrifice,’ is typically marked by communal prayers, large social gatherings, slaughtering of livestock and distributing meat to the needy. This year, the celebration was carried out amid the battle against the Delta Variant. Manipuri Muslims offered Eid Namaz by strictly maintaining SOPs and following safety protocols. 

One Rabiul Shah, a 56-year-old man from Keirang said that he had planned for hajj at the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia. But due to the pandemic and the increasing cases of Delta Variant mutation, he stopped from going on a pilgrimage.

“This year's hajj has been limited to only 60,000 vaccinated Saudi citizens or residents of Saudi Arabia. This has been an extremely sad moment for us and especially for me as I could not go on a pilgrimage,” Rabiul said.

He expressed his hope for the pandemic to end so that all Muslims could perform the pilgrimage again in a safe way.

In every Masjid of Manipur, the authorities Masjid appealed to the people to perform Eid prayers only at Masjid and not at Idgah by maintaining Covid appropriate behaviour and celebrate the occasion at home with their families.

Authorities of Masjids announced to avoid crowding and protecting oneself from the COVID-19 pandemic as obligatory during the celebration.  

The residents were prohibited from moving out on the roads. However, house visits and customary trips to graveyards were allowed under strict Covid guidelines. 

It may be mentioned that in Manipur, Eid al-adha is being celebrated by sacrificing goats or cows. The meat is distributed among the needy, relatives and community members. On this occasion, special food items like biryani, sewaiyan, and other local dishes are prepared. Muslims offer special prayers ‘Eid Namaz’ at homes and mosques on this festival. Married women visit their maternal homes with sweets to celebrate Eid with their families. 

This year, the celebration was subdued in India due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis. Various restrictions have been imposed by many state governments due to the expected third wave amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

First Published:July 21, 2021, 10:59 p.m.

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