Issues and Challenges


Stay Home, Stay Safe

Eid-ul-Fitr is just around the corner and the pandemic continues to come down heavily across the world. The deadly third wave of the coronavirus has infected more than 766,882 people in Pakistan. With strict lockdown, measures in place, Muslims around the world will once again find themselves celebrating Eid while keeping in mind the realities of the coronavirus. This article features general wellbeing guidance for social practices and get-togethers during Eid that can be applied across various public settings so that a healthy and safe environment is ensured.
Eid Prayer
As Muslims mark the end of Ramzan, the entire ummah bows before Allah to begin their Eid celebrations. Muslims gather in mosques or open spaces to offer Eid prayer. The prayer is followed by a sermon, in which the imam asks for forgiveness, mercy and peace but this year we need to celebrate this auspicious day keeping in view the current circumstances. Due to COVID-19, we must avoid large gatherings and may instead opt to pray in open air instead of a mosque. The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) has started a petition suggesting open-air gathering for Eid prayers. We must be cautious with our masks and should not forget to take our own prayer mats and practice maintaining social distancing. 
Dress up
I completely understand how we all are feeling in this pandemic. No large Eid gathering or family reunion does not mean we cannot usher in the festive spirit. We can definitely dress up and celebrate this Eid with our immediate family and connect with our loved ones online. Keep your gatherings small! Girls put on some makeup and wear your favorite jhumkas but do not forget to make masks and gloves a part of your outfit. 
Virtual Get-Togethers
Avoid hugging and shaking hands and follow all COVID-19 SOPs. Wear masks and use hand sanitizers to avoid contracting the virus. The best alternative to avoid gatherings is video calling our friends and family on Zoom or Skype. We take online classes on Zoom so why can we not greet our friends and family there as well. It is a great way to stay connected with our loved ones without putting them at risk. We can always write them letters as a gesture of love and care. 

Like 2020, we have had to compromise on our iftar parties and get-togethers but we can always cook on Eid and set the table with some delicious dishes and meals for our family. It is a great way to keep yourself busy and it will also stop you from the need of going out. Try out new recipes at home but do not forget to make matka kulfi, korma, zarda and the queen of Eid delights kheer to keep the Eid spirit alive. Also, include some healthy and nutrition-packed meals. Make sure to include fruits and antioxidant-rich food items that will help balance our feasting on Eid. 
Helping the Needy
As we know, the pandemic has brought with it many problems for those who are less privileged. A huge proportion of the population has suffered from unemployment and people are struggling to fulfil their necessities during this critical time.  As we know, zakat and charity are two of the biggest pillars of Islam, so we should help the people who do not have enough resources to celebrate Eid. Distribute money, grains, clothes, and toys to those in need right now. This practice is also a way to show gratitude and love to our brothers and sisters.
Giving Gifts to Relatives
Well, what can be better than some eidi and presents. Along with the warm wishes we can really bring smiles on the faces of our loved ones by sending them gifts. Eid is always the most awaited time of the year for children. So, you can make cute envelopes and fill them with sweets and eidi for the young ones to bring laughter on their faces.
Enjoying at Home
As we cannot get out of our homes due to this pandemic, we can make Eid exciting and joyful with some exciting activities at home. We can arrange movie nights and BBQ with our family. We can play board games and decorate our houses with lights. 
This pandemic has cost us many lives, and some of us have even lost our loved ones to COVID-19. On this Eid do not forget to pray to Allah for the wellbeing of our people and the country. 
Lastly, it is crucial that you follow the rules of social distancing diligently, sanitize and disinfect surfaces, avoid going to large gathering without a mask. Stay safe and Eid Mubarak! HH

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