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Eid celebrated at home sans hugs, handshakes in B'luru

Monday - May 25, 2020 3:00 pm , Category : INDIA
Bengaluru, May 25 (IANS) Thousands of devout Muslims on Monday celebrated Eid-ul-Fitr with religious fervour at home in this tech city, offered prayers (namaz) maintaining physical distance and greeted each other from afar without the customary hugs and shaking hands.
"As offering prayers in mosques and idgah maidan have been banned due to the Covid-induced lockdown, we have celebrated the Eid fest at home for the first time in many years with only family members and not others," city-based Urdu scholar Hameed Khan told IANS here.
Though Eid was celebrated in coastal Karnataka on Sunday, it is feted in other regions of the southern state, including Bengaluru on Monday, as decided by the Markazi Ruet-e-Hilal committee.
"With ban on religious congregations of all communities since the lockdown was enforced on March 25, even the month-long Ramadan fasting and prayers for five times a day had to be performed within the confines of our home, as violation would have invited trouble for us from the authorities," recalled Khan.
Unlike the daily or regular prayer, the morning prayer on the Eid is special for the Muslims the world over as it is meant to invoke the Almighty Allah for His blessings (dua) and mercy (rehamat).
"We hoped the extended lockdown would be lifted or relaxed after May 17 so that we could celebrate Eid with gaiety and fervour by offering prayers in mosques and idgah maidan where thousands, including children gather to greet each other and exchange pleasantries before feasting together," noted Siddiqui Aldoori, a history lecturer.
The state government and the Karnataka Wakf Board, however, allowed the imams and qazis to offer namaz in their mosques but the devout were not allowed to gather to ensure social distancing.
Greeting the devout, city's Jamia Masjid Maqsood Imran Rashadi advised the faithful to pray in one place at home, keeping social distancing, and recite the 12 extra Takbeerat (chantings) by turns after offering the rakaat namaz.
State Governor Vajubhia Vala and Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa greeted the Muslims on the occasion and wished them Eid Mubarak in separate messages.
"May this festival of peace and harmony bring happiness in life. I congratulate the Muslim fraternity for cooperating with the authorities by offering prayers at home during the holy month of Ramadan and supporting us to contain the Covid-19 spread," said Yediyurappa in a message on the occasion.

--IANS fb/dpb