Qatar residents celebrated Eid al-Fitr Thursday abiding by the preventive and precautionary measures against the spread of Covid-19. They had a cheerful day with the authorities concerned opening the doors of mosques and prayer grounds for special Eid prayers.
“Restrictions often leave us staying inside the home, but this Eid was different and the day started with joy early morning," said Badrudheen Thotty Abdulrahman.
The resident of Al Wakra said it was good to have most of the mosques opened as it helped the faithful to easily find a place where they could participate in prayers and listen to the Eid sermon. The Ministry of Endowments (Awqaf) and Islamic Affairs made arrangements in 1,028 mosques and prayer grounds in various regions of the country to receive worshippers for the Eid al-Fitr prayers, which started at 5.05am while maintaining the Covid-19 precautionary measures.
Last year, mosques and prayer grounds remained closed during Eid-al-Fitr while the Mosques Management Department at the Ministry readied only 401 mosques and prayer grounds for the Eid al-Adha prayer. “The number of opened mosques and prayer grounds doubled this year while precautionary measures were strictly followed," said Rayees Ali, who performed his prayer at Al Aziziya prayer ground.
Awqaf and the Ministry of Municipality and Environment (MME) made arrangements to ensure the convenience and safety of the faithful at mosques and prayer grounds where MME's Public Cleaning Department carried out cleanliness campaigns. Special teams with the latest equipment and machinery cleaned the prayer grounds across the country and prepared them to receive the worshippers.
The Qatar Red Crescent Society (QRCS) deployed volunteers at mosques and prayer grounds in order to maintain safety and ensure the smooth conduct of the prayers. "People were very co-operative," Abdulrahman said. Rayees noted that Eid came as a relief even though restrictions are in place.
Meanwhile, residents abstained from holding usual family visits and tours taking note of the directions. “The usual meets were held virtual. Organisations opted for virtual meets and cultural programmes were not held," the Kerala Muslim Cultural Centre (KMCC) Kerala state committee secretary said. KMCC, like other organisations, had a special virtual Eid meet on Thursday. “Earlier, we used to meet in the office and hold household visits. But, this Eid had the routines going virtual," he added.
PICTURES: Jayan Orma and Shaji Kayamkulam.