Nation celebrates Eid with festive fervour
Delhi: Dressed in festive finery, millions of Muslims across the nation offered prayers on Friday to celebrate the festival of Eid al-Fitr. People across the country were seen hugging each other and lighting firecrackers as they bid adieu to Holy month of Ramzan after sighting the moon on Thursday night.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Vice-President Hamid Ansari and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and top political leaders greeted the nation on the occasion of Eid al-Fitr.
They said that the celebrations across the country reinforce the timeless message of universal brotherhood, love and compassion.
Hoping that the joyous festival will strengthen the bond among citizens and bring peace as well as prosperity, other ministers who conveyed their Eid wishes included Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
Here is how Eid was celebrated in major Indian cities:-
Members of the Muslim community here thronged the historic 17th century Jama Masjid and other mosques to offer congregational prayers on Eid al-Fitr, marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan.
The Jama Masjid, built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in 1656, was the centrepiece of celebrations in Delhi. Prayers were also offered at Fatehpuri Masjid and Hazrat Nizamuddin, as thousands of Muslims hugged and greeted each other with the traditional greeting of “Eid Mubarak”.
Once the prayers are offered, it’s time to meet friends and family to exchange gifts and, more importantly, to feast. The sumptuous platter including “sevaiyan” (vermicelli pudding), “phirni” (rice pudding), biryani and mutton, chicken and lamb dishes are prepared at home as well as in restaurants on the occasion.
The exquisite dishes could satiate hunger more easily than the taste buds.
Markets in the walled city, especially bakeries, eateries, apparel and accessories shops did brisk business as huge crowds turned up and shopped for gifts, clothes and food items.
Towards evening, a lit up Jama Masjid in the walled city will add to the glimmer and exuberance surrounding the festival.
Delhi Police have made elaborate security arrangements, including diverting traffic at various places, particularly near mosques.
Meanwhile, social networking sites too were abuzz with activity since Thursday evening as people wished one another through messages, posts and e-cards.
Eid-al-Fitr, marking the end of the Ramadan fasting month, was celebrated across the state with religious fervour and gaiety.
Tens of thousands of Muslims offered ‘Namaz-e-Eid’ at Eidgahs or open grounds and mosques.
Wearing new clothes and skull caps, men and children offered prayers at hundreds of Eidgahs and mosques in twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad, Nizamabad, Adilabad, Karimnagar, Kurnool, Guntur, Vijayawada, Kadapa and other towns.
The biggest congregation in the state capital was at the historic Miralam Eidgah, where over three lakh people bowed their heads in supplication, seeking the Almighty’s forgiveness and blessings. Moulana Abdullah Quraishi Al-Azhari led the prayers.
The other major gatherings were seen at historic Mecca Masjid near Charminar, Eidgahs at Madannapet, Chilkalguda, Ujale Shah, Eidgah Bilali AC Guards and Saat Gumbad.
Muslims constitute about 10 percent of the 84.6 million population of Andhra Pradesh. They are about 40 percent of Hyderabad’s seven million population.
The ‘imams’ or priests, in their sermons, urged Muslims to strengthen their relation with the holy Koran and continue the pious deeds of Ramadan.
The ‘imams’ prayed for world peace and an end to the sufferings of Muslims of Palestine, Syria, Egypt, Iraq, Afghanistan, Myanmar and other countries.
Addressing the gathering at Masid-e-Azizia in Mehdipatnam here, Moulana Imaduddin Mohsin Madani exhorted Muslims to adhere to the principles of Islam for glory in this world and the hereafter.
He attributed the problems faced by Muslims in India and across the world to their indifference towards Koran.
Like elsewhere, elaborate security arrangements were made in the old city and other parts of Hyderabad. Traffic was diverted at several points around Eidgahs for smooth conduct of the prayers.
Scenes of communal harmony were witnessed at Eidgahs with public representatives of various political parties, top police and civil officials reaching there to greet their Muslim brethren.
Before leaving for prayers, Muslims paid ‘fitra’ (the annual compulsory charity paid by the head of the family on behalf of all family members under his care) so that the poor can also celebrate Eid.
‘Fitra’ (fixed at Rs.80 this year) is in addition to ‘Zakat’ or the 2.5 percent annual Islamic wealth tax which every well-to-do Muslim family has to pay for the poor and the needy.
Muslims celebrated Eid by meeting and greeting their relatives and friends. The visitors were treated with ‘Sheer Khorma’ — a sweet dish made of vermicelli, milk and dry fruits.
The children in the families were a happy lot for receiving ‘Eidi’ or the amount the elders pay to the younger ones on the happy occasion.
Muslims in Maharashtra celebrated Eid al-Fitr with great fervour and gaiety today.
Lakhs of Muslims clad in traditional attire trooped out at dawn to the nearest mosque in places like Dahisar, Borivli, Jogeshwari, Andheri, Marol, Bandra, Sion, Byculla, Mazagaon, Ghatkopar and other areas of state capital Mumbai to offer the thanksgiving “khutba” or special Eid namaaz.
For the first time in over two decades, the main Eid al-Fitr prayers could not be held at the historic Azad Maidan owing to rain.
The morning prayers would be followed by similar special prayers later in the afternoon, making the Eid al-Fitr of this year rare and truly memorable.
Soon after the “khutba”, Muslims greeted each other with “Eid Mubarak” and hugged, inside the mosques. Beyond the mosque, the greetings and hugs extended to non-Muslim brethren.
Then, the first celebrations started with a bowl of “sheer-korma”, the special Eid sweet preparation made of milk, vermicelli and lots of dates, assorted dry fruits and saffron, eaten with relish and served to visitors through the day.
Elsewhere in Maharashtra, traditional pomp and enthusiasm marked Eid-al-Fitr celebrations in Thane, Raigad, Ratnagiri, Pune Nashik, Aurangabad, Beed, Latur, Nanded and other districts in the state.
The festival was celebrated with gusto in Muslim-dominated towns like Bhayander, Mira Road, Bhiwandi, Mumbra, Malegaon, Alibaug and others across the state.
Shortly after the sighting the Eid moon Thursday night, mosques and other religious places in Mumbai and other parts came alive with colourful fairy lights, decorations of with flags, flowers and festoons to herald the joyful festival.
Maharashtra Governor K. Sankaranarayanan, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, state Congress chief Manikrao Thakre, AICC general secretary in-charge of the state Mohan Prakash, AICC general secretary Gurudas Kamat and AICC secretary Sanjay Nirupam were among the prominent people sending out Eid al-Fitr greetings.
Barring protests at some places, Eid al-Fitr celebrated across Kashmir with thousands of devotees flocking the mosques, shrines and prayer grounds in the Valley to offer the special prayers.
Dressed in their best, Muslims – men and women of all ages accompanied by children – made a beeline to the Eidgahs, mosques and shrines to offer prayers.
The biggest gathering of the devotees was witnessed at Hazratbal Shrine with around 60,000 people while Eidgah ground in old city recorded an attendance of 35,000 devotees.
Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and Union Minister for New and Renewable Energy Farooq Abdullah were among those who offered prayers at the Hazratbal shrine, the sources said.
Large gathering were also witnessed at Jenab Sahib Soura, Makhdoom Sahib, Iqra Masjid and Jamia Masjid Barzulla.