Afzal Sayed Munna : EID MUBARAK to all Muslim brothers and sisters around world. My heart is breaking to wish as it is sad that the Holy month of Ramadan is just over, and we have to wait one more year to embrace the extended love of Allah. But at the same time, I am happy and delighted that we are going to celebrate the Eid al-Fitr. Eid al-Fitr also called the “Festival of Breaking the Fast”, is a religious holiday celebrated by Muslims worldwide that marks the end of the month-long dawn-to-sunset fasting of Ramadan. Today almost around 1.6 billion Muslims across the world will celebrate the Eid al-Fitr. Eid al-Fitr is traditionally observed with a feast, friends and family gathering, larger prayer gatherings in the mosque, and a sense of goodwill with charity.
But unfortunately, the year 2020 Eid al-Fitr is going to be celebrated extraordinarily under COVID-19 lockdown. This is a very unprecedented time where we are not allowed to go out except for essentials. Since the UK went into lockdown on March 23, Muslims have been observing Ramadan at home and have been advised to celebrate Eid there too. I cannot remember any year where I have not been to the mosque to pray and then went to visit friends and families to share food and spend quality time. But this year is very much different from any other year. Today I prayed at home with my family members.
The traditional Eid greetings was online. I think Muslim community leaders in the city have done very well in letting people know how they can stay safe while still observing their faith. East London mosque produced a YouTube video on how to perform Eid Salah at home which was very much helpful for me and I believe for many others in my community.
The Muslim community has done so well to make the most of the month of Ramadan from home and I know personally how much I have utilised video calls with family, friends and colleagues to keep spirits up and to maintain contact with everyone. I now advise everyone to continue moving forward with this same responsible attitude by celebrating Eid at home. I know it is difficult but staying at home will save lives, which takes precedence in our faith.
I wish everyone a happy and blessed Eid Mubarak. Stay home, stay safe.
Afzal Sayed Munna
Lecturer, Module Leader and Programme Coordinator,
University of Wales Trinity Saint David, London.
Vice Chair, Newham Barking and Dagenham Liberal Democrats.