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“It is like having a month of real hardship and toil without the celebration at the end. It does feel like a real sacrifice not to have the momentous occasion of Eid as we know it.”
Ali Amla sum up how thousands of Muslims across the UK will be feeling as they mark a very different Eid this weekend following a month of fasting during Ramadan.
Eid-al-Fitr is the date when Muslims worldwide celebrate the end of fasting and it is usually a joyous occasion filled with brightly-coloured new outfits, food and communal festivities. But the Covid-19 pandemic means people won’t be able to meet and interact with those outside their households this year.
Eid is traditionally marked with congregational prayers in mosques and parks followed by parties with family and friends. But mosques, like other places of worship, remain closed, while large gatherings are not yet permitted. So, Muslims are urged to observe the religious festival by praying within their household and celebrating virtually with family and friends instead.
Eid has not been cancelled – we just have to celebrate it in a different way this year.Ali Amla
“I am really going to miss going to the mosque for Eid prayers and that powerful feeling of solidarity after completing the month of Ramadan,” admits father-of-two Ali Amla, 40, who lives in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire. “But it is about changing your mindset. Eid has not been cancelled – we just have to celebrate it in a different way this year. It is about remembering the essence of Eid and finding what works for you.”
Although Amla knows his nine-year-old daughter and eight-year-old son will miss seeing their grandparents, cousins and aunties and uncles on Eid and that family feeling of togetherness, he is planning to virtually connect with his sisters and their families so everyone can still see each...