Unlike last year, when all gates of Malerkotla were decked up and lit up markets were bustling with people shopping till late into the night, this year, Eid will be a more sombre occasion in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Though people themselves have refrained from stepping out to shop, they have also been asked by imams to restrict celebrations to indoors.
Malerkotla’s Sirhindi gate, Masjid gate and masjids are decked up in lights every Eid. The main bazaars display the latest varieties of clothes, ornaments, slippers. But this time we are not keen to shop, making both ends meet is a challenge,” said Shamsuddin, a student in Malerkotla. Markets close by 6 pm, hence evenings are spent indoors.
On Sunday afternoon, deputy imam of Jama Masjid Ludhiana Usman Ludhianavi in a video message to people said, “I appeal to people to not come on roads or visit each other’s houses to celebrate Eid, rather stay indoors and celebrate it with your family. Most importantly, please don’t buy new clothes this time. Instead keep this money aside and you can help some needy in your area or around, irrespective of the religion they belong to. During Ramzan month, it was heartening to see that our Muslim brothers and sisters have fed many hungry people walking on roads by organising langars for them. Thus they observed fasts in the true sense.”
Mufti-E-Azam Punjab Irtekaul Hassan too in a video message from Malerkotla appealed to Muslims to observe a ‘simple Eid’ this time. Mohd Ashraf, from Muslim Front Punjab, said, “Similar is the message from Markaz. Moreover, people don’t have enough money to do shopping this time.”
Mohd Mustkeem, from Jama Masjid Ludhiana said, “Eid is incomplete without sewain and these special sewian used to come from Delhi market every year. But this time they did not come from Delhi and hence we will be purchasing whatever we get at local shops. Namaz will be offered in masjids by five persons only and people have been told to pray inside their homes only and not come to public places or masjids.”
Narinder Singh, proprietor of Kays Lovely Sweets said, “We used to get extra orders for rasgulla, ras malai, kale gulab jamun and many other sweets in advance. In addition, people also used to buy gift packs. But this time, we have made no extra arrangements, we are struggling to bring customers back to markets.”
As per a 2011 census, 1.93 per cent Punjab’s population are Muslims.
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