Eid al-Adha: Muslims Around the World Mark Holiday Amid Covid-19

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  • Bloomberg Quicktake: Now published this video item, entitled “Eid al-Adha: Muslims Around the World Mark Holiday Amid Covid-19” – below is their description.

    Muslims around the world celebrated the Eid al-Adha Islamic holiday with prayers and wishes in the shadow of the coronavirus pandemic and amid growing concerns about the highly infectious delta variant of Covid-19.

    Eid al-Adha, or the “Feast of Sacrifice,” is typically marked by communal prayers, large social gatherings, slaughtering of livestock and distributing meat to the needy. This year, the holiday comes as many countries battle the delta variant first identified in India, prompting some to impose new restrictions or appeal for people to avoid congregating and follow safety protocols.

    The pandemic has already taken a toll for the second year on a sacred mainstay of Islam, the hajj, whose last days coincide with Eid al-Adha. Once drawing some 2.5 million Muslims from across the globe to the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia, the pilgrimage has been dramatically scaled back due to the virus.

    This year’s hajj has been limited to 60,000 vaccinated Saudi citizens or residents of Saudi Arabia. Pilgrims wearing masks and maintaining social distancing performed the symbolic stoning of the devil in the valley area of Mina — using sterilized pebbles they received ahead of time.

    Muslims in Egypt celebrated Eid al-Adha with prayers at Cairo’s Al-Azhar Mosque

    In Jerusalem, crowds of Muslim worshippers gathered at the Al-Aqsa compound early Tuesday to take part in prayers marking the start of Eid al-Adha, or the “Feast of Sacrifice”.

    Eid al-Adha recalls the Quranic tale of Prophet Ibrahim’s test of faith and his willingness to sacrifice his son as an act of submission to God.

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    The Hajj is an annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, the holiest city for Muslims. Hajj is a mandatory religious duty for Muslims, who visit the Kaaba, a cubic structure at the centre of the Grand Mosque.

    Because the Islamic calendar is lunar and the Islamic year is about eleven days shorter than the Gregorian year, the Gregorian date of Hajj changes from year to year. In 2020 AD (1441 AH), Dhu al-Hijjah extends from 22 July to 19 August.

    According to the official published statistics between 2000 and 2019, the average number of attendees is 2,269,145 per year, in which 1,564,710 come from outside Saudi Arabia and 671,983 are local.

    In June 2020, while not cancelling the Hajj outright, the Saudi Government announced that they would only welcome “very limited numbers” of pilgrims who are residents of Saudi Arabia due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.

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