Muslims celebrate Ramadan at home because of the coronavirus
Orthodox Muslims in the Middle East today had to offer special prayers from home, marking the beginning of Eid al-Fitr (Eid al-Fitr) due to the closure of mosques as part of restrictions on the new coronavirus, DPA reported.
Eid al-Fitr, one of the two major holidays in Islam, marks the end of the one-month fast during Ramadan.
The special prayer is usually performed in mosques or outdoors early in the morning on the first day of the holiday.
This year, however, several Arab governments have called on believers to do so at home, as prayer houses remain closed.
On the three-day holiday, families and friends traditionally gather and eat sweet things. The children receive new clothes and monetary gifts, reminds DPA.
Several countries in the Arab world have declared full or partial quarantine and banned gatherings for the holiday in an attempt to stop the spread of the virus.
Egypt, the world’s most populous Arab country with nearly 100 million people, began a curfew later today for six days, from 5pm to 6am.
Public transport has been suspended and entertainment venues have been closed for this period to restrict outdoor traffic.
However, the government allowed a state mosque in Cairo to open today only for prayers for Eid al-Fitr in the presence of a small group of worshipers.
Yesterday, Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of Islam, introduced a 24-hour curfew that runs until Wednesday. The country has the highest number of coronavirus infections in the Arab world.
And while Muslims are celebrating the end of Ramadan amid calls for vigilance, Europe continues to reduce restrictions, allowing, as in France, the resumption of religious services, notes AFP.
In Pakistan, ignoring instructions for physical distance, Muslims rushed to the markets to shop before Eid al-Fitr, one of the most important holidays in the Muslim calendar, according to AFP.
In Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim country, the annual relocation at the end of Ramadan began despite an official travel ban. Many resorted to undercover carriers and used fake permits to reach their relatives before the holiday.
Indonesia has reported the highest number of coronavirus infections in Southeast Asia – nearly 22,000, recalls the AP.