Prayers, feasts and love - India celebrates Eid with fervour (Roundup)September 21st, 2009 - 7:35 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Sep 21 (IANS) From Srinagar to Thiruvananthapuram and Mumbai to Kolkata, India celebrated Eid Monday with millions of Muslims congregating at prayer grounds and mosques to bow down as one before Allah, greeting each other with the traditional embrace and gathering at homes for the festive feast.
From the common person to the film star, Eid was celebrated with equal fervour by all. Celebrated on the first day of the Islamic month of Shawwal, Eid-ul-Fitr — Eid is an Arabic word meaning “festivity” while Fitr means “charity” — marks the end of the period of fasting during the holy month of Ramzan. Hindus, too, joined in the fun while observing the nine-day navratri, which culminates in Dussehra Sep 28.
In Jammu and Kashmir, thousands gathered at grounds and mosques to offer a prayer for peace. Srinagar’s famed Hazratbal shrine, the polo grounds and the Jamia mosque saw the largest number of devotees.
Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and his father, union minister Farooq Abdullah, offered prayers at the Hazratbal shrine.
At many places in the city, paramilitary troopers were seen greeting the locals and children as a goodwill gesture.
“I have been manning this picket for so many months now that I recognise most of the residents in this area. It is nice to see people enjoying life today,” said a trooper in Srinagar.
The narrow lanes of old Delhi in the national capital were abuzz with activity right from morning. After their prayers, people visited each other’s homes, exchanging gifts and sweets while enjoying delicacies like kebabs, biryani and specially made sevian, or vermicelli.
In Madhya Pradesh, clerics stressed on communal harmony and the need to root out terrorism in their sermons.
Prayers were held at the main Namaz Eidgah in Bhopal, where Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan also visited to greet devotees. Shara Qazi Amirullah Khan, who led the prayers, said: “May Allah give us strength to fight out terrorism.”
In Mumbai, children and adults met their Hindu friends and hugged each other with wishes of ‘Eid mubarak’.
Attired in traditional finery, Muslims thronged mosques for the Eid namaz. They then shared sweets like “sheer-korma”- a dish prepared from vermicelli, garnished with dry fruits.
Similar festivities were seen in Pune, Nashik, Malegaon, Aurangabad and Osmanabad districts of Maharashtra.
In Kolkata, Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee made it a point to walk across to Muslim dominated pockets like Topsia, Park Circus and Kaurya in the eastern part of the city and greet people.
The Trinamool Congress supremo also visited the family of Rizwanur Rahman, a Muslim youth who was mysteriously found dead by the railway tracks exactly two years ago.
The body of the 30-year-old graphic designer, was found nearly a month after he married industrialist Ashok Todi’s daughter Priyanka.
Clerics in Uttar Pradesh had a noble cause in mind in their sermons — to help eradicate polio.
“Soon after the congregational prayers were over at Aishbagh Eidgah (the biggest prayer ground in the city), I asked them (Muslims) to take a pledge to eradicate polio… The resistance among Muslims towards anti-polio drops has come down as a result of our efforts,” Maulana Khalid Rasheed, a prominent Sunni cleric who heads Lucknow’s oldest seminary, told IANS.
Down south, while Hyderabad exuded the warmth of Eid through prayers, greetings and charity, Kerala saw people attending prayers in droves with even superstars joining in.
Around 300,000 men and children gathered at the historic Mir Alam Eidgah in Hyderabad. Similar congregations were held at the Mecca Masjid, Public Garden mosque, the Eidgah Hockey Ground and the Military Grounds.
Before offering prayers Muslim families paid ‘fitra’ or charity on behalf of each member as per Islamic rules to enable the poor to also celebrate the festival.
In Kerala, superstar Mammootty joined thousands in the festivities by praying at an Eidgah in Kochi.
Dressed in a white dhoti and shirt and sporting the traditional Muslim cap, the actor sat through the morning prayers.
Eid celebrations were more visible and elaborate in the Muslim-dominated districts of Malappuram, Kozhikode, Kannur and Kasargode in north Kerala.
Orissa’s coastal town of Bhadrak, where half the population is Muslim, a grand prayer meeting was held that was attended by more than 10,000 people.
- Prayers for peace as Andhra celebrates Eid - Aug 20, 2012
- Hindus join Muslims in celebrating Eid in Odisha - Aug 20, 2012
- Eid-ul-Fitr celebrated with fervour in Lucknow - Aug 31, 2011
- Gaiety marks Eid in Andhra Pradesh - Aug 31, 2011
- Eid celebrated with prayers for peace, feasting (Roundup) - Aug 20, 2012
- Eid celebrated in Meghalaya - Aug 31, 2011
- Peaceful Eid prayers held across Kashmir - Nov 07, 2011
- Stray incident apart, Eid prayers offered peacefully in Kashmir - Aug 20, 2012
- India celebrates Eid -- from Kashmir to down south (Roundup) - Aug 31, 2011
- Eid celebrated in Kerala - Aug 19, 2012
- Eid celebrated with traditional fervour in Lucknow - Sep 11, 2010
- Delhi celebrates Eid with feasting and fervour - Aug 20, 2012
- Thousands offer Eid prayers in Kashmir peacefully - Aug 31, 2011
- Prayers, sacrifice on Eid-ul-Zuha in Andhra Pradesh - Nov 07, 2011
- In Hyderabad, faithful throng Mir Alam Eidgah, Mecca Masjid - Nov 17, 2010
Tags: arabic word, biryani, common person, communal harmony, eid ul fitr, exchanging gifts, farooq abdullah, festive feast, festivity, goodwill gesture, jamia mosque, jammu and kashmir, kolkata india, month of ramzan, navratri, old delhi, polo grounds, prayer for peace, srinagar, vermicelli