Recap: Eid al-Adha 2020 news, pictures, updates from Birmingham and around world

Eid Mubarak! Eid al-Adha – also known as Eid ul Adha, Greater Eid, Bakra Eid or Qurbani Eid – is here with prayers and festivities in Birmingham, across the UK and around the world

Eid Mubarak! The second Eid in the Islamic calendar is here, meaning prayers and festivities for families in Birmingham, across the UK and around the world.

Eid al-Adha – ‘festival of the sacrifice’ – is also known as Eid ul Adha, Greater Eid, Bakra Eid, Qurbani Eid and other names, depending on location and tradition.

In 2020, it is on Friday, July 31, and will be a very different Eid from previous years.

But there will be more going on than for the earlier Eid al-Fitr at the end of Ramadan. That was in the middle of lockdown when mosques and parks were completely closed, restricting prayers, meals and festivities to people’s own homes.

The reopening of places of worship means that there can be congregational prayers for Eid al-Adha, though with social distancing measures in place.

Read all the latest news and updates for Eid al-Adha 2020 in Birmingham and around the world.

At the end of the first day of the festivities, we once again wish everyone Eid Mubarak wherever you are and however you are celebrating.

You can catch up with all the main news, pictures, video, information and developments on this very different Eid by looking through the posts below.

Worshippers in Birmingham have been telling us about their experiences of Eid al-Adha with the new social distancing measures.

Jameel Shariff, 22, who lives in north Birmingham, told us: “Usually when people go to the mosque to pray there is a massive emphasis on needing to be shoulder-to-shoulder when you stand up.

“After prayer, even if you don’t know the person next to yourself, you would shake their hand, or give each other a hug to say Eid Mubarak.”

He added: “Usually after Eid during the day you would go to people’s houses. Your family, uncles, aunties, grandparents, extended family and even friends. Some people are doing that and some people aren’t to adhere to the guidelines.

“It was sad to see because Eid is supposed to be a celebration and not being able to do that the way you usually would is not nice. It’s not usually how Muslims usually celebrate.”

But he was relieved to be allowed to go to the mosque this time. For the earlier Eid al-Fitr celebrations at the end of May, mosques were closed and all prayers, communal meals and other worship was restricted to people’s own homes.

“I’m glad that people were able to go to the mosque and able to pray how they usually would,” he said.

A protective mask lies on the ground next to the Dome of the Rock Mosque in the Al Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem’s old city, on Friday, July 31, 2020.

The face covering was dropped as Muslims attended Eid al-Adha prayers at the site, a reminder of the ‘new normal’ as the religious festival has had to adapt to the ongoing Covid-19 crisis.

This is the first Feast of the Sacrifice since the onset of the global coronavirus pandemic.

The major Muslim holiday, at the end of the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca, is observed around the world by believers and commemorates prophet Ibrahim’s pledge to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience to God.

Ibrahim (or Abraham in Christian and Jewish texts) was shown a ram to slaughter instead, and today’s worshippers incorporate a sacrificed animal – usually a cow, sheep or goat – into their festivities, with some of the meat distributed to the poor and needy.

Small groups of pilgrims have performed one of the final rites of the Hajj as Muslims worldwide marked the start of Eid al-Adha.

Just after dawn on Friday, small groups of pilgrims – masked and physically distancing – made their way towards the massive multi-storey Jamarat Complex in the Saudi valley area of Mina.

There, the pilgrims cast pebbles at three large columns. It is here where Muslims believe the devil tried to talk the Prophet Ibrahim, or Abraham, out of submitting to God’s will and killing his own son.

He was shown a ram to slaughter instead, and this is symbolised in the sacrifice of an animal as part of the Eid al-Adha festivities.

The last days of the annual pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia coincide with the start of the four-day Eid al-Adha, or Feast of the Sacrifice, in which Muslims slaughter a goat, sheep or cow and share the meat among family; friends and relatives; and the poor and needy.

Nearly every aspect of this year’s pilgrimage and celebrations has been hugely affected by the global coronavirus pandemic.

It has pushed millions of people around the world closer to the brink of poverty, making it harder for many to fulfil the religious tradition of purchasing livestock.

In Somalia, the price of meat has slightly increased. Abdishakur Dahir, a civil servant in Mogadishu, said that for the first time he will not be able to afford goat for Eid because of the impact of the virus on work.

In some parts of West Africa, the price for a ram has doubled. Livestock sellers, used to doing brisk business in the days before the holiday, say sales have dwindled and those who are buying cannot afford much.

The Hajj has also been drastically affected by the virus. Last year, some 2.5 million pilgrims took part, but this year as few as 1,000 pilgrims already residing in Saudi Arabia were allowed to attend.

The Saudi Health Ministry said there have been no cases of the Covid-19 illness among this year’s pilgrims. The government took numerous precautions, including testing pilgrims for the virus, monitoring their movement with electronic wristbands and requiring them to quarantine before and after the Hajj. Pilgrims were selected after applying through an online portal, and all had to be between 20 and 50 years of age.

Sheikh Abdullah al-Manea, member of the Supreme Council of Senior Scholars of Saudi Arabia, used the Hajj sermon on Friday to praise the kingdom’s leadership for their “wise decision” to limit the number of pilgrims and protect human life. “We thank the positive role of Muslims around the world that have complied with the regulations of the country to protect them from the spread of this virus, which leads to the protection of Mecca and Medina,” the sheikh said.

A lot of people hearing all the news about the Eid al-Adha celebrations and restrictions are asking how often Eid happens.

They can remember an Eid sometime towards the end of May and are wondering why there is another one just two months later.

The short answer to that is that it was Eid al-Fitr at the end of May. For most countries and communities, that was on May 24, marking the end of daily fasting through Ramadan and the start of the next month, Shawwal.

To find out about these Eid events, why they have similar names and how many Eids there are in the Islamic Calendar, read more here.

Muslim leaders have slammed the Government for the “shockingly short notice” of new restrictions imposed in parts of northern England and announced the night before the Islamic festival of Eid.

The Health Secretary has denied that the new restriction was aimed at curtailing Eid celebrations, stating that “immediate action” was needed across Greater Manchester and parts of east Lancashire and West Yorkshire to keep people safe.

The announcement has been likened to cancelling Christmas, as it came just hours before Eid-al-Adha began on Friday.

The new rules, which came into effect from midnight, ban people in the restricted areas from meeting each other inside their homes or in gardens following a spike in virus cases.

The Muslim Council of Britain’s secretary general, Harun Khan, condemned the Government for making the announcement at “shockingly short notice”.

He said: “With the first day of Eid being today, for Muslims in the affected areas it is like being told they cannot visit family and friends for Christmas on Christmas Eve itself.

“Whilst the safety of communities is of paramount importance, as has remained the case from the very outset of this crisis, so is effective communication delivered in a timely fashion. Failure to communicate makes it difficult for communities across the country to continue working together to minimise the spread of the virus, whilst eroding trust in the ability of authorities to steer our course as we tackle the Covid-19 crisis.

“The UK Government has failed to provide clarity on the shockingly short notice and the reasoning behind the new rules that British Muslims deserve – any such clarification would be most welcome.”

Bradford West Labour MP Naz Shah said she was collecting food on Thursday night from a caterer for her family’s Eid celebrations when she heard about the new measures.

She said the announcement only gave people a few hours to change their plans, adding: “It really has disrupted people’s lives. It’s absolutely appalling, a new low in the way they communicate to the people of Great Britain.”

Rabnawaz Akbar, spokesman for the Greater Manchester Mosque Council and city councillor, described how the Government was “caught between a rock and a hard place”, as he believed questions would have been raised if restrictions were made “too soon or too late”.

“Clearly people are upset and angry, I know somebody who has arrived from Birmingham to Manchester to be with their family before the announcement was made,” Mr Akbar told PA.

“I think people are finding it difficult to grasp the new rules, but appreciate we don’t want to face a similar lockdown to Leicester, it’s better to have milder restrictions now. It’s a judgment call and in this case I personally think the Government did the right thing.”

Eid al-Adha prayers have been held at Dublin’s iconic Croke Park sports ground as a powerful symbol of religious unity during the pandemic.

The 82,000-seater Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) stadium is synonymous with Irish identity. Two hundred worshippers wearing face masks and surrounded by empty terraces rolled out their prayer mats on a manicured grass pitch normally used to host major Gaelic football matches.

Shaykh Dr Umar Al-Qadri, from the Irish Muslim Peace and Integration Council, delivered part of his speech in Irish and paid tribute to Ireland’s tradition of welcome and inclusivity – “cead mile failte”.

He said: “This pandemic has brought with it some blessings. If not for this pandemic we probably would not have been here. If it was not for this pandemic our communities would not have been united. We understand as humans we are in this together and we are having the same challenges.”

Croke Park was made available by the GAA to facilitate social distancing on a special religious day for Muslims.

Leaders of Catholic, Protestant and Jewish faiths in the city attended, as well as a senior representative of the Irish Government.

The religious leader said Ireland demonstrated it is an open and accepting society following his request to use Croke Park.

He added that Friday’s event was the first complete broadcast on state television, RTE, of Eid in a non-Muslim majority country.

A further easing of lockdown across England has been postponed as the Prime Minister warned the country “cannot be complacent” amid a rise in coronavirus in the community.

Measures due to be lifted on Saturday, August 1, including allowing small wedding receptions and reopening bowling alleys and casinos, have been postponed for at least two weeks.

Face coverings will also become mandatory in indoor settings such as museums and places of worship from August 8, Boris Johnson said.

He said he understood that the latest announcement would be a “real blow” to people who had wedding plans or those who can no longer celebrate Eid in the ways they would wish.

Eid al-Adha began on Friday, July 31. Festivities traditionally go on for four days, meaning it is expected to come to an end on the evening of August 3. Any planned family gatherings in higher-risk, close-contact venues can no longer go ahead.

Boris Johnson told a Downing Street briefing: “With those numbers creeping up, our assessment is that we should squeeze that brake pedal… in order to keep the virus under control.

“On Saturday August 1, you’ll remember we had hoped to reopen a number of the higher-risk settings that had remained closed and today I’m saying we’re postponing those changes for at least a fortnight.

“That means until August 15 at the earliest casinos, bowling alleys, skating rinks and the remaining close-contact services must remain closed.

“Indoor performances will not resume, pilots of larger gatherings in sports venues and conference centres will not take place, and wedding receptions of up to 30 people will not be permitted.”

Worshippers wearing masks perform Eid al-Adha prayer while maintaining a social distance at the Gazi Husrev-beg mosque in Sarajevo, Bosnia.

Some were able to get into the mosque but, due to limits on numbers to meet social distancing rules, others had to pray outside.

Friday July 31 is the first and main day of Eid al-Adha this year. Festivities can go on for four days.

Eid al-Adha, meaning Festival of the Sacrifice, commemorates the prophet Ibraham’s willingness to sacrifice even his own son as an act of obedience to God.

He was given a ram to slaughter instead and the religious event includes the ritual sacrifice of a domestic animal, whose meat is split between family; friends and relatives; and the poor and needy.

Worshippers in Leicester are being forced to celebrate Eid at home this year, because mosques remain closed.

Leicester South MP Jon Ashworth has urged Muslims to celebrate Eid al-Adha “with your own household at home.”

But the good news is that places of worship will be allowed to reopen from Monday, along with pubs, cafes, restaurants, hairdressers, cinemas and museums, as the local lockdown is eased.

Leisure centres, gyms and public swimming pools will remain closed. Meeting with other households indoors will still not be permitted.

Liz Kendall, Labour MP for Leicester West, said that despite an “unbelievably difficult period” for the city, the hard work and sacrifice of residents had paid off.

The Health Secretary has denied that the new Covid-19 restrictions imposed in parts of northern England are aimed at curtailing Eid celebrations.

Matt Hancock announced on Thursday evening that “immediate action” was needed across Greater Manchester and parts of east Lancashire and West Yorkshire to keep people safe.

He has been accused of making the announcement “at the last minute” as it came mere hours before the Islamic festival of Eid al-Adha began today.

Asked on BBC’s Today programme whether the measures were announced late on Thursday night to stop Eid celebrations from taking place, Mr Hancock said: “No, my heart goes out to the Muslim communities in these areas because I know how important the Eid celebrations are.

“I’m very grateful to the local Muslim leaders, the imams in fact, across the country who’ve been working so hard to find a way to have Covid-secure celebrations.

“For instance celebrating Eid in parks where there’s more space available and of course outdoors is safer than indoors.”

The new rules, which came into effect from midnight, bans people in the restricted areas from meeting each other inside their homes or in gardens following a spike in virus cases.

Saima Afzal, a community inclusion activist and Blackburn councillor, said: “Why did the Government leave it so late? Two hours before Eid, giving them little time to reconfigure. The issue for me is the timing, it’s really unfortunate. Why weren’t areas told in advance? They knew where the data was going.

“The lack of clarity for every community, not just Muslims, it’s so last minute. It’s going to be hard, with any celebration where people are coming together and share food, we will miss our loved ones more.”

Muslim worshippers offer Eid al-Adha prayer at a park in Jaffa, near Tel Aviv, Israel, on Friday, July 31.

Mosques in the city are limited to just ten people following the government’s measures to help stop the spread of coronavirus,

This is the first Feast of Sacrifice since the onset of the global coronavirus pandemic.

The major Muslim holiday, at the end of the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca, is observed around the world by believers and commemorates prophet Abraham’s pledge to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience to God.

People attend Eid al-Adha prayers outside the Hagia Sophia Grand Mosque on July 31, 2020 in Istanbul, Turkey.

Coming on the 10th day of the final month, Dhu al-Hijjah, it marks devotion and obedience to Allah as was shown by the prophet Ibahim with his willingness to sacrifice his own son.

Sandwell council officials are asking people to make sure they stick to Covid-19 guidelines during the Eid al-Adha celebrations.

The borough, within the Black Country, is among England’s top hotspots for coronavirus – and now has its own test and trace service after the number of cases rose tenfold within a week.

The council has issued a list of five rules to follow during the Eid festivities – read more here

Councillor Maria Crompton, deputy leader of Sandwell Council, said: “We have all made huge sacrifices in the past few months and I know how hard it has been for you and your families.

“We must not reverse all this good work and it’s important we continue to keep our distance from those we do not live with. Stay alert this Eid when you attend prayers and while spending time celebrating with family and friends.

“I hope that this time next year we will be able to celebrate as we normally do. In the meantime please stay safe and Eid Mubarak.”

Timed prayer slots have been made available at Green Lane Masjid and Community Centre (GLMCC) in Small Heath, Birmingham.

The mosque is usually one of the key organisers of the Eid in the Park festivities in Small Heath Park, which attract around 60,000 people a year. But that has been cancelled amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic as large public gatherings are still not permitted.

Those attending the mosque have to register for a prayer session and bring their own prayer mats and face masks.

GLMCC chief executive Kamran Hussain said: “Our normal Covid precautions will remain in place, such as social distancing in the mosque, facemasks, individuals bringing their own prayer mats, a one way system, minimal periods spent in the mosque, no hugs and handshakes etc.

“We have also advised for children under 12 to remain at home, along with those who may be ill or vulnerable.”

He added: “As with Eid Al-Fitr, this will be a very different Eid. Eid is a time for celebration, family and worship. We want everyone to enjoy themselves on the day and have tried to make things as easy as possible for everyone but we need to ensure we take the necessary precautions to protect everybody. “

For details about Eid greetings and wishes, what they mean and how to reply, read more here

Eid al-Adha 2020 is widely agreed to be on Friday, July 31 and that is when mosques are holding prayers.

However, Islamic dates technically run from sunset to sunset so Eid actually began tonight, as the sun went down on Thursday, July 30.

And it isn’t over in one day. For details about Eid dates, how they are decided and how long the festivities go on, read more here.

A man brings his cattle to a livestock market in Boyolali, Indonesia, ahead of Eid al-Adha – which translates as ‘festival of the sacrifice.’

During the religious festival, Muslims worldwide commemorate the Prophet Ibrahim’s readiness to sacrifice his son as a sign of his obedience to God.

Ibrahim was given a ram to slaughter instead and during Eid al-Adha the event is honoured by eating a sacrificed animal, generally a goat, sheep or cow. The meat is split three ways – between family; friends and relatives; and the poor and needy.

Eid al-Adha is also known as Salty Eid because there are far more savoury dishes than the earlier Eid al-Fitr, which in contrast is nicknamed Sweet Eid because of its large variety of sugary treats.

Popular dishes during Eid al-Adha are said to include kebab, haleem (a stew) and biryani, usually followed by sweet desserts.

I want to wish Muslims here in the UK and around the world the very best for Eid al-Adha. #EidMubarak

Boris Johnson thanked people for their “heroic efforts” as lockdown restrictions have already had a huge impact on Ramadan, the Hajj and Eid al-Fitr.

He said people had saved lives through social distancing, giving generously to others and looking after the vulnerable.

And he went on to urge people to “keep up the excellent work” for Eid al-Adha.

Mr Johnson also thanked key workers from the Muslim community for their role on the frontline during the pandemic.

A new kiswa, or covering, is placed atop Islam’s holiest site, the Kaaba, in Mecca on July 29, 2020.

The gold-stitched black covering is changed each year during the Hajj pilgrimage ahead of the Eid al-Adha celebrations.

This year’s Hajj was dramatically scaled down from 2.5 million pilgrims to as few as 1,000 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Eid al-Adha comes at the end of the Hajj, a pilgrimage to Mecca that all able-bodied Muslims must perform at least once in their lifetime.

But the Hajj has been very different this year, because of coronavirus restrictions. Only 1,000 people have been allowed to attend – and no one from outside Saudi Arabia could fly in to take part.

The reopening of mosques at the start of July means congregational prayers are allowed for Eid al-Adha – but with strict social distancing in place. That means no hugs or handshakes, and worshippers have to bring their own prayer mats and face coverings.

A worker wearing protective clothing and spraying disinfectant is a stark reminder of how Eid al-Adha festivities will be different this year, during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

On the eve of the Islamic festival, the municipality worker was pictured disinfecting walkways in the historic Sultanahmet district of Istanbul.

The major Muslim holiday, at the end of the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca, is observed around the world by believers and commemorates the devotion shown to Allah (God) by the prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) as he prepared to sacrifice even his own son as an act of obedience.

He was given a ram to kill instead and, in acknowledgement of that, the slaughter of a domestic animal is a central part of this religious festival.

Eid events in the Islamic calendar usually mean massive gatherings in Birmingham that attract people from all over the world.

These ‘Eid in the Park’ events have become an annual tradition, both for Eid al-Fitr and for Eid al-Adha.

The prayers and festivities in Small Heath Park, Birmingham, are now the biggest Eid events in Europe.

For Eid al-Fitr, worshippers had to stay in their own homes as mosques and parks were all completely closed.

Mosques have now reopened – with strict health and safety rules to control Covid-19 – so there can be congregational (but socially distant) prayers for Eid al-Adha. How will you be celebrating this year?


Eid Mubarak

World news – FI – Recap: Eid al-Adha 2020 news, pictures, updates from Birmingham and around world

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