Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): City’s Muslim families say that celebrated Eid by bringing smiles on the faces of the sad. They say that there can be no festivities amid gloom of Covid pandemic.
Free Press talked to a section of Muslims who said that when people are sick and dying and losing livelihoods, how can they wear new clothes or enjoy delicacies?
Excerpts of their views:
Dr Ayesha Ali, registrar, MP Homeopathic Council
‘We never imagined this’
“We had never imagined that we will see such times. Our extended family has some 25 members. We have decided to avoid celebrations and use the money to help others. No one knows when anyone amongst us will bid a goodbye to this world. It seems futile to wear new clothes or exchange gifts in such an atmosphere. We will try to provide food or money to those who need it. For the past seven months, we have been running a ‘langar’ at our ancestral town Mungaoli in Guna district. If we can bring a smile on the faces of needy, it will be our real Eid.”
Mohib Ahmed, counsellor
‘In such times, who can celebrate?’
“Festivals are about happiness, joy. But when everyone around you is scared, gloomy and anxious; when bodies are floating in rivers; when there is no place for burial - who can celebrate a festival? Who can wear new clothes and eat delicacies when the atmosphere is laden with stench of death and scores of people are struggling to keep hunger at bay. Diseases have always been there but I have never seen such a pathetic situation in my life. My nephew, in mid-forties, succumbed to disease a couple of days back. This Eid, I plan to visit homes where someone has died over the past one year with a bowl of sewaiyyan - not to celebrate, but to condole.”
HM Hussain, architect
‘Where is the question of festivities’
“Jab hawa mein bawa hai to tyohar kaisa (When there is an epidemic in the air, where is the question of festivities).On Eid, we offered namaz at our place and prayers for Covid patients. During Ramzan, I went around city to feed fish, stray dogs, cows as there was none to look after them. Every year, we used to distribute packets of dry fruits to Rozedars on Eid. As shops were closed due to lockdown, we could not buy dry fruits and instead we distributed 20,000 eggs to the poor as they are a good source of protein and boost immunity. Besides, we have donated money to organisations that provide medicines, oxygen cylinders etc to meet medical needs of the sick.”
Iqbal Baig, government servant
‘No celebrations at all’
“Whether it is family, relatives or friends, everyone is disturbed and stressed in these pandemic times. In such circumstances, how can we go for traditional celebrations? We only pray to Allah to free humanity from this cruel epidemic. There are 12 members in our family and we all have decided not to celebrate the festival. In such times, it is the duty of everyone to help others. We have been providing ration kits to needy. Whenever we get information about a needy person, we go to his house to hand over the kit to him. I have also bought two oxygen concentrators to help those who are sick but cannot find oxygen beds.”