The holy Eid-ul-Azha, the second biggest religious festival of the Muslims, is being celebrated across the country today with due solemnity and religious fervor.
The Eid-ul-Azha is celebrated on the 10th day of Zilhajj month of the Hizri calendar as Hazrat Ibrahim (AS), on this day, offered to sacrifice his beloved son Hazrat Ismail (AS) who willingly submitted to the will of his father to please Almighty Allah some 4,500 years back.
But the Almighty in His benign mercy spared Hazrat Ismail (AS) and instead sent a ram to be sacrificed.
To commemorate this historic event, Muslims across the world offer prayers in congregations and sacrifice animals in the name of Almighty Allah on the day. They also offer munajat seeking divine blessings for peace, progress, prosperity and welfare of the Muslim Ummah.
Like other Muslim countries, the Muslim devotees of Bangladesh is celebrating the religious festival tomorrow as per the lunar calendar.
Considering the COVID-19 pandemic, the Muslim devotees of the country are set to celebrate the Eid festival maintaining the health guidelines and social distancing strictly.
The festival appeared very unlikely to resemble that of previous years as Muslims around the world are celebrating the festival with millions under strict health guidelines to stem the coronavirus outbreak.
The Bangladesh government has urged people to avoid any kind of social gathering and use face masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The government has declared three days of official holiday—on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday marking the Eid-ul-Azha. The government officials and employees have, however, been asked to stay at their respective work stations during the Eid holidays.
Meanwhile, the Religious Affairs Ministry on July 13 issued a notification urging all authorities concerned to take measures for holding the Eid congregations following the directives issued by the Cabinet Division and maintaining the health guidelines.
The ministry in the notification said the authorities after consulting with local administrations, public representatives and dignitaries can hold the Eid congregations at Mosques, Eidgahs or open places maintaining the health guidelines issued by the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS).
According to the notification, carpets should not be laid on mosques’ floors while the mosques should be disinfectant before prayers.
The devotes have been urged to bring their own prayer mats and come to Eidgahs after making ablution at their respective homes and wash hands for 20 seconds.
Hand sanitizer or soap and water must be kept for washing hands at mosques and Eidgahs before entering there. Everyone must wear masks and refrain from using prayer mats and caps reserved in the mosques.
The devotees should maintain social distancing and health protocols while standing in queues for offering prayers and stand at the queue one after another keeping one line gap.
Children, elderly and ailing people, and those engaged in the nursing ailing people have been discouraged to participate in the Eid congregations.
Directives issued by health services division, local administrations and law enforcement agencies to stem the coronavirus must be followed.
The people should avoid shaking hands and embracing each other after Eid prayers which is a common scenario in the Eidgahs during normal times.
All people have been urged to recite the Holy Quran and seek apology to Almighty Allah for getting rid of the global pandemic coronavirus.
Khatibs, Imams, and mosque and Eidgah management committees and local administration will ensure the enforcement of the guidelines.
Local administrations and law enforcement agencies will take legal actions against those who will breach the guidelines, said the notification.
Marking the Eid-ul Azha, five congregations will be held at the Baitul Mukarram National Mosque in the city on July 21.
The first Eid Jammat was held at 7am while the second, third and fourth Eid Jammat was held at 8am, 9am and 10 am respectively. The fifth and last Eid Jammat was held at 10:45am.
Adequate security measures have been taken for peaceful and smooth celebration of the holy Eid-ul-Azha. The law enforcement agencies were also asked to ensure smooth movement of vehicles on highways, waterways and train routes.
State-run Bangladesh Television and Bangladesh Betar as well as other TV channels and radio stations would broadcast special programmes on the occasion of the Eid-ul-Azha.
On the day, improved diets will be served to inmates of government hospitals, prisons, orphanages, safe homes and shelter centers.