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Celebrating Eid al-Fitr during Covid-19

Muslims all over the world are celebrating Eid al-Fitr , one of the religion’s principal festivals. Eid literally means a “festival” or “feast” in Arabic .

There are two major Eids in the Islamic calendar each year – Eid al-Fitr earlier in the year and Eid al-Adha later.

Eid al-Fitr is celebrated on the first day of the 10th month in the Islamic calendar.

Eid al-Adha is celebrated on the 10th day of the final month in the Islamic calendar.

Eid al-Fitr is a three-day-long festival and is known as the “Lesser” or “Smaller Eid” when compared to Eid al-Adha, which is four-days-long and is known as the “Greater Eid.”, celebrated in august.

The two Eids recognise, celebrate and recall two distinct events that are significant to the story of Islam.

The Eid al-Adha, is the “feast of the sacrifice.” It comes at the end of the Hajj, an annual pilgrimage by millions of Muslims to the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia that is obligatory once in a lifetime, but only for those with means.

The other Eid al-Fitr means “the feast of breaking the fast.” The fast, in this instance, is Ramadan, which recalls the revealing of the Quran to Prophet Muhammad and requires Muslims to fast from sunrise to sundown for a month.

Eid al-Fitr features two to three days of celebrations that include special morning prayers. People greet each other with “Eid Mubarak,” meaning “Blessed Eid” and with formal embraces. Sweet dishes are prepared at home and gifts are given to children and to those in need. In addition, Muslims are encouraged to forgive and seek forgiveness. Practices vary from country to country.

In many countries with large Muslim populations, Eid al-Fitr is a national holiday. Schools, offices and businesses are closed so family, friends and neighbours can enjoy the celebrations together.

The spiritual meanings of Eid al-Fitr, is celebrating of Allah’s provision of strength and endurance. Amid the reflection and rejoicing, Eid al-Fitr is a time for charity, known as Zakat al-Fitr. Eid is meant to be a time of joy and blessing for the entire Muslim community and a time for distributing one’s wealth.

What about the Eid Al Fitr during the Covid-19?

Eid Al Fitr, the celebration, which marks the end of Ramadan, will look very different this year. The three-day public holiday is, under normal circumstances, all about being with your family, visiting friends and having big lunches together. However, the great curveball of 2020, also known as the coronavirus, has caused a change in traditions.

This year, a few rules need to be followed.

All things that are technically legal to do now, since salons and shopping malls will be open from 9am until 7pm each day, with a two-hour limit on visits.

Big family gatherings in the afternoon, that involve a huge family lunch and lots of people chatting and catching up not be allowed. The UAE government has warned against Eid Al Fitr celebrations. So if you want to invite anyone over to your house, you might face a Dh10,000 fine. Do not host a Eid Al Fitr gathering.

This year, since Eid prayers won’t take place in a mosque, and cash shouldn’t be given away, charity will look a little different. The UAE government has discouraged giving Eid money away. Cash can transfer viruses and should not be given away to anyone this holiday. Muslim can contribute virtually to many charities because charity to the poor is a highly emphasized value in Islam like The Quran says.

Alessandra Quarta Conte

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