• Monday, Aug 10, 2020
  • Last Update : 05:29 pm

In pictures: Muslims around the world celebrate Eid-ul-Azha

  • Published at 01:40 pm July 31st, 2020

In Asia, Muslims including in Thailand and Malaysia prayed in or outside mosques wearing masks

Muslims across Asia, taking precautions against the novel coronavirus such as wearing face masks and temperature checks, performed prayers on Friday to mark the festival of Eid-ul-Azha in mosques with reduced capacity as well as on the streets.

In Indonesia, worshippers were advised to maintain social distancing during the prayers as the world's biggest Muslim-majority country struggles to contain the spread of the virus.

Indonesia's religious ministry also asked mosques to shorten ceremonies this year, while many mosques cancelled the ritual of slaughtering livestock and distributing meat to the community.

Worshippers take part in the Eid-ul-Azha prayers outside Hagia Sophia, in Istanbul on July 31, 2020 | AFP

"This year's Eid-ul-Azha is very different from previous years because we need to follow health protocols as we perform prayers, like maintaining social distancing," said Devita Ilhami, 30, who was at the Sunda Kelapa mosque in Jakarta.

She also noted they had to bring their own prayer mats, with markers on the ground to show where they should be laid.

Elsewhere in Asia, Muslims including in Thailand and Malaysia prayed in or outside mosques wearing masks.

In Malaysia, while some mosques cancelled the ritual of slaughtering livestock, 13 cows were killed in the traditional way by cutting the throat under rules limiting the number of animals and people at the Tengku Abdul Aziz Shah Jamek mosque in Kuala Lumpur.

Indonesian Muslims offer Eid-ul-Azha prayers at the Great Mosque of Central Java, during the outbreak of the coronavirus in Semarang, Indonesia, on July 31, 2020 | Reuters

In Saudi Arabia, King Salman bin Abdulaziz, tweeted Eid-ul-Azha greetings early on Friday, shortly after leaving hospital.

"I congratulate everyone on the occasion of Eid-ul-Azha," the Tweet said.

"I ask God almighty .... to lift the pandemic from our country and the world with his grace and mercy."

Meanwhile, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani will attend prayers in Kabul. Islamist Taliban militants have announced they will observe a three-day ceasefire for the holiday, offering some respite from weeks of increasing violence in the country.

In India, where Eid will be celebrated mostly from Saturday, several states have eased coronavirus restrictions to allow worshippers to gather in mosques in limited numbers.

Iraqi Muslims offer Eid-ul-Azha prayers on the street outside Abu Hanifa mosque in Baghdad Adhamiya district, during the outbreak of the coronavirus, in Iraq on July 31, 2020 | Reuters

Ritual sacrifices would be performed in enclosed areas, away from public view, and the remains carefully collected and disposed, he said.

In southern Karnataka state, authorities are requiring mosques to disinfect their premises, use thermal scanners, provide hand-washing facilities and ensure individuals maintain a distance of 6 feet between each other.

Health experts have been concerned about the risks of the coronavirus being spread during such religious festivals, when Muslims typically gather in mosques and homes, or travel to their home towns.

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