Coronavirus: Peterborough Muslims urged to stay at home during Eid
Muslims in Peterborough are being urged to stick to social distancing rules this weekend as Eid celebrations begin.
This month Muslims have been fasting as part of the holy month of Ramadan, which will end this weekend, leading to the start of Eid Ul Fitr, one of the most important celebrations in the Islamic calendar.
The festival would normally see families coming together to celebrate, with thousands normally attending mosques in Peterborough - but this year residents are being urged to stay at home due to the coronavirus regulations, with online and radio services replacing those in a Mosque.
Abdul Choudhuri, chairman of the Faizan e Madina Mosque said: “Sadly it has been a most difficult time in our lifetime to see the Mosques been closed and for Muslims not to properly observe the most holy month of Ramadan in Islamic calendar.
“Normally Mosques are packed with worshippers for all prayers, particularly at late evening time for special prayers, but due to the lockdown all mosques were closed and people were advised to say their prayers at home, and I am pleased that people have followed that guideline.
“Our Imams were providing them a service online and on YouTube.
“Also in the month of Ramadan we would normally collect several thousand pounds for various charities and for poor and needy people which unfortunately we were not able to do so due to mosques been closed.
“In spite of this situation we were still able to help financially rough sleepers and vulnerable people in and around Peterborough.”
West Ward councillor Ansar Ali said: “This year’s Ramadan and Eid celebrations will be like no other in living memory due to the Covid19 crisis.
“The mosques have been closed, under normal circumstances we would have seen hundreds gathered in local mosques every day for prayers and thousands on Eid day for Eid prayers.
“However the Muslim community sees it as its duty to follow the NHS guidance and worshippers are encouraged to stay within their households to protect themselves and others from this virus.
“Although it is extremely sad to not attend the prayers in the mosques and meet and visit family and friends on this auspicious occasion, it is our duty to protect our communities during this unprecedented crisis.”