No hug, handshake, namaz at mosque: Muslim scholars urge community to celebrate Eid at home

The usually crowded Jama Masjid in Delhi during the coronavirus lockdown | Photo: Suraj Singh Bisht | ThePrint
The usually crowded Jama Masjid in Delhi during the coronavirus lockdown (representational image) | Photo: Suraj Singh Bisht | ThePrint

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New Delhi: With Eid-ul-Fitr set to be celebrated on 25 May, several Muslim scholars and bodies across the country have appealed to the community to offer prayers at home in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Eid, which comes at the end of the 30-day Ramzan month, is expected to be first-of-its-kind with adherence to norms of social distancing. Community leaders have also urged people to stay at home and not venture out for Eid shopping.

Jama Masjid’s Shahi Imam Syed Ahmed Bukhari in a video message, asked Muslims, and particularly those in the national capital, to offer Eid prayers at home and not at mosques.

“I would urge the Muslims of Delhi, that just as they have patiently prayed at home the past few months, similarly Eid prayer should also be offered at home and not at mosques or eidgahs,” Bukhari said in the video posted on Facebook and Twitter accounts of his son and deputy Imam Shaban Bukhari.

Several scholars from different schools of thought have issued similar appeals, asking Muslims to stay at home this Eid.

Also read: This small, remote village on UP-Bihar border is feeding thousands of hungry migrant workers

Fatwas and appeals

Badruddin Ajmal, Lok Sabha MP and president of the All India United Democratic Front, released a video last week, saying Eid shopping is not mandatory for the festival. “Else it won’t be shopping for Eid, but you would be shopping for death,” he said.

Similarly, All India Muslim Personal Law Board member Khalid Saifullah Rahmani also urged everyone to celebrate Eid “with simplicity”.

Listing the various benefits of this move, Rahmani said besides helping to maintain the social distancing guidelines, not going out to buy clothes will have other benefits too.

“Show solidarity with our poorer brothers who cannot buy new clothes. Save the money and spend it on the people who cannot afford new items,” he said. “Other people might go out to buy clothes too, but the media will entirely pin the blame on you, like they did with the Tablighi Jamaat Markaz incident.”


Lucknow-based Darul Uloom Farangi Mahal had issued a fatwa last week asking people not to go out of their homes to offer greetings to others.

“Don’t go out to meet people. Give people Eid greetings over call, don’t shake hands or hug anyone,” the fatwa said.

In Hyderabad, a statement issued by different scholars last week appealed to Muslims to strictly avoid stepping out.

“Lockdown rules do not permit any community to congregate. Therefore, Muslims should not organise congregations at eidgahs and mosques,” the statement said.

#EidAtHome, #EidForMigrants trend on Twitter

The hashtags #EidAtHome as well as #EidiForMigrants started trending on Twitter — urging everyone to give their Eidi (traditional gift of money given to children by elders) to migrants instead.


“Say no to shopping, use that money on migrants…” read another tweet by a user.


Minimal Muslim, a design start-up based in New Delhi, has released a series of illustrations earlier this month in its signature minimalist design to spread the message of celebrating Eid by helping the needy.

“People are not used to such an Eid. It can feel very confusing as it is a completely new territory. So we decided to design these for the people who want to follow the guidelines, but also have a wholesome Eid at home,” Amir Equbal, the founder of the start-up, told ThePrint.

Equbal’s designs mention the various ways to offer prayers at home, and celebrate the festival with loved ones.

Also read: Eid 2020 comes after a Ramzan that tested not just Indian Muslims’ faith, but also patience


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