Muslims in England return to celebrating Eid al-Adha together

Muslims in England had been ready to pray shoulder to shoulder for the primary time because the begin of the pandemic after social distancing restrictions had been eased simply in time for the beginning of Eid al-Adha.

“We’re actually having two celebrations in one: one is the Eid celebration, the other one is freedom – to be able to come together, stand shoulder to shoulder, and see friends and family that people haven’t seen for a long, long time,” stated Mohammed Arif from the Walsall Union of Muslim Organisations, which is placing on an Eid-in-the-park occasion for the primary time to deliver worshippers exterior the place an infection threat is diminished.

Thousands had been anticipated at Leicester’s Victoria Park Eid prayers, however in Birmingham, the annual Eid celebration in Small Heath Park which normally attracts up to 60,000 individuals was cancelled once more, with organisers Green Lane Masjid as a substitute internet hosting 4 separate congregational prayers onsite and one outside occasion for 500 individuals.

It’s a bit unusual after such a very long time for everyone to be praying shoulder to shoulder

Kamran Hussain, Green Lane Masjid

“We had discussions with Public Health England, some of our doctors who are on the frontline seeing rising infections and with the council, and we decided that it was probably not in the public interest for us to do it just yet,” stated the mosque’s CEO, Kamran Hussain.

But after over a yr of socially distanced prayer, he stated it was an uncommon however welcome feeling for individuals to be praying in shut proximity once more. “It’s a bit strange after such a long time for everybody to be praying shoulder to shoulder and obviously we’ve created space for people who still want to social distance,” he stated, including masks and hand sanitising would nonetheless be inspired.

“The lifting of restrictions has come just at the right time for us. This is the fourth Eid prayer during Covid, and this is the first one where we’re getting some real level of normality now.”

Eid al-Adha, which means “festival of the sacrifice”, falls on Tuesday for many Muslims though some are marking it on 21 July. It comes after Eid al-Fitr, which came about beneath Covid restrictions in May.

“We’ve taken some comfort from football and cricket games where there have been large crowds but we are asking people to still to take precautions, people can still bring masks if they wish,” stated Arif. He added {that a} vaccination bus could be onsite on the prayers to encourage youthful individuals to get the jab in the event that they haven’t already.

At London Central mosque, leaders stated they didn’t plan on altering their insurance policies a lot, regardless of the federal government’s rollback of all Covid restrictions.

“We’re still going to follow the restrictions even after ‘freedom day’ – we’re not all of a sudden just open doors and everything’s back to normal, even though technically that’s allowed,” stated a mosque spokesperson, Monir Ahmad.

“We’re just doing the best practice to stay safe because we know the numbers are going up and ethnic communities are more adversely affected.”

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