Under the shadow of the coronavirus pandemic that keeps people away from leading a normal life, the nation will celebrate Eid-ul-Azha with due solemnity, religious fervour and zeal tomorrow (Saturday) to commemorate the supreme sacrifice of Hazrat Ibrahim (AS).
Apart from the Eid prayers, the day will dawn with also special prayers to overcome all the darkness of the coronavirus pandemic and floods that have already tightened the grip leaving thousands of people stranded and struggling for survival, taking away the joy that accompanies the occasion.
Besides, special prayers will also be offered for the peace, progress and development of the country.
And this time there will be no Eid jamaat at Eidgah or open spaces and grounds due to the Covid-19 pandemic situation.
Earlier, the government asked people to offer Eid prayers at nearby mosques, following health guidelines and special instructions.
On the other hand, wearing mask Muslims began performing the holy Hajj on Wednesday, circling Islam’s holiest site along socially distanced paths in the smallest pilgrimage in modern history as the Saudi hosts strive to prevent a coronavirus outbreak.
The hajj, one of the five pillars of Islam and a must for able-bodied Muslims at least once in their lifetime, is usually one of the world’s largest religious gatherings.
The Eid-ul-Azha is celebrated on the 10th of Zilhajj month of the Hizri calendar as Hazrat Ibrahim (AS), on this day, some 4,500 years ago, offered to sacrifice his beloved son Hazrat Ismail (AS) who willingly submitted to the will of his father to please Allah.
But the Almighty in His benign mercy spared Hazrat Ismail (AS) and instead sent a ram to be sacrificed.
To commemorate this historic event, the Muslims across the country will offer prayers in congregations and sacrifice animals in the name of Almighty Allah.
They will offer munajat seeking divine blessings for peace, progress and prosperity of the country as well as welfare of the Muslim Ummah.
Elderly people, children, ailing persons and their caregivers have been requested not come to mosques to offer Eid prayers to prevent transmission of coronavirus.
The mosque authorities across the country have been asked not to keep carpets in the mosques during prayers, entire mosques should be disinfected before prayers, and everyone will have to bring their own prayer mats (jainamaz).
There should be soap or hand sanitiser at the entrance of every mosque and people will have to maintain distance and follow health guidelines during offering prayers.
In capital Dhaka, in compliance with hygiene rules and maintaining social distancing, a total of six Eid congregations will be held at the National Baitul Mukarram Mosque, said a release issued by the Islamic Foundation on Thursday.
The first Jamaat will be held at 7am. Hafez Mufti Maulana M Mizanur Rahaman, senior Imam of the mosque, will conduct the Jamaat, said the release. The second Eid Jamaat will be held at 7:50 am and the third one at 8:45 am. Maulana Mahiuddin Kashem will conduct the fourth Jamaat at 9:35am.
The fifth Jamaat, to be conducted by Hafez Maulana Waliur Rahman Khan, will be held at 10:30am. Maulana Muhammad Abdur Rab Mia will conduct the sixth and last Jamaat at 11:10am.
Adequate security measures have been taken for peaceful and smooth celebration of the holy Eid-ul-Azha. The law enforcement agencies have also been asked to ensure smooth movement of vehicles on highways, waterways and train routes.
Railway stations, bus and launch terminals were seen overcrowded on Thursday as home-goers are heading for their desired destinations.
Makeshift cattle markets in the city as elsewhere across the country have been witnessing a rush of buyers for sacrificial animals.
State-run Bangladesh Television, BTV and Bangladesh Betar and other TV channels and radio stations would broadcast special programmes on the occasion of the Eid-ul-Azha.
Important public and private buildings will be illuminated in the capital and other cities. National flag and banner with the inscription of words ‘Eid Mubarak’ will be hoisted at public and private buildings and different important points in the capital and other cities across the country.
On the day, improved diets will be served to inmates of government hospitals, prisons, orphanages, safe homes and shelter centers. The government earlier declared a three-day public holiday on the occasion.
Earlier on Wednesday, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina extended her greetings to the people of the country on the auspicious occasion of the Eid-ul-Azha.
“The Prime Minister in an audio message greeted people on the Eid-ul-Azha and it (the message) will be sent soon to the mobile users through their cell phones,” PM’s Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim told the media.
In the message of greetings, the premier said, “AssaIamualaikum, I am Sheikh Hasina. The holy Eid-ul-Azha once again comes to us after a year… I am extending my best wishes to you and all your family members on the occasion of the holy Eid-ul-Azha.”
She, however, expressed her hope that the Eid-ul-Azha would bring happiness to all after overcoming all the darkness of the coronavirus pandemic.
The prime minister called upon all to devote themselves to the welfare of the country and its people being inspired by the spirit of sacrifice realising the essence of the Eid-ul-Azha.
At the end of the message, she requested the countrymen to follow the health guidelines properly to stop further spread of the COVID-19, saying, “Be well and safe. Eid Mubarak!”