Noida: Emojis replaced the warmth of the embrace, mobile screens played the sermon, the sweetness of the sewaiyan was confined to packets — Noida on Monday spent an Eid unheard of.
Not that it took many by surprise. Mosques in the city wore a deserted look as Muslim members celebrated the festival and offered prayers from within the confines of their homes. Imams of most mosques had anyway made an appeal to members of the community to stay home and not head out even for prayers.
At the Jama Masjid in Sector 8, only four persons who live on the mosque premises read the prayers. “This Eid is a difficult one. A video of my message to community members had been shared on WhatsApp . I had appealed to people to exercise social distancing, wear masks and replace the traditional embrace with flowers and phone messages. It is now advisable to celebrate a simple Eid and use the money to help the poor and needy,” said Mufti Mohammad Rashid, the imam.
Maulana Ansar Qamar Shahid of the Bank Wali Majid in Sector 9 said many people had called him up to ask if they could be allowed to enter the mosque for Eid prayers. “I just told them it was not possible for their own safety,” he added.
Exchange of gifts and the traditional visits to houses of relatives and friends was minimal. Mohammad Irshad’s friends in Sector 27 did not come home for a plate of sewaiyan. Instead, they were sent a packet each.
Police patrolled areas around mosques in Rabupura, Jewar and Surajpur, etc and made announcements asking people to stay indoors.
“People were asked to follow the government’s guidelines. If the doctor has asked for social distance to be maintained, it should be taken like medicine,” said Imam Mufti Mubarak of the Noorani Masjid, Sector 16.