Salford worshippers can celebrate Eid with family and friends this year after the festival took place during an unexpected lockdown in 2020.
Eid al-Fitr festivities begin after sighting the lunar crescent which determines the day of the festival. This year Eid celebrations may begin on May 13 evening and continue for the next three days.
Eid, in Arabic, means “Feast, or Festival”. After a month of fasting, in which Muslims abstain from eating and drinking from dawn to dusk to respect the month that the Muslim holy book was revealed to their prophet.
Muhammed Allaum, caretaker of Eccles Mosque, said: “I’m spending my Eid with my close family in the house like many others, we have to keep people safe.”
This year, Eccles mosque are running three prayer sessions to help Salford worshippers comply with social distancing.
Muhammed added: ” We have to run three morning sessions from six thirty in the morning until nine.
“Now mosques are allowed to open we hope to have about 100 people inside all socially distanced to read prayer.
“It is difficult to read prayer in congregation and keep socially distanced but it has to be done. Rules are rules.”
Salford worshippers have also had to reduce their time in the mosque to limit the amount of people in a close proximity.
During the Islamic Holy month, followers dedicate their time to prayer and practicing the five pillars of Islam.
Muhammed said: “Ramadan this year was nice, it was really nice and quiet.”
During the month of Ramadan, as well as prayer and practicing self-discipline it is important for Muslims all across the world to pay Zakkat- which is charity. This is one of the five pillar of Islam which is taken very seriously.
“At Eccles mosque we take donations and contributions for the mosque to help with expenses for people to come and pray.”
Muslims in the west may follow Saudi Arabia’s moonsighting or their closest Muslim country- which for those living in the United Kingdom would be Morocco.
“Eccles Mosque follows Saudi Arabia so we are hoping Eid will fall on Thursday, we have to wait and see,” said Muhammed.
Like other festivals, Eid al-Fitr celebration involves beautiful traditions, reconnecting with friends and relatives, praying and feasting together as well as giving gifts known as ‘Eidi’.
Muslims across the country get dressed in their finest clothes and spend time with loved ones.
Muslims from around the UK, will differ to last years celebrations when it was announced the night before that households were unable to mix leaving families unable to honor the festivities.
Muhammed added: “Last year we were unable to perform Eid prayer, I am relieved this time will be different.
“Although we are unable to have celebrations in the mosque to restrictions we still have our morning prayers.”
The Mosque often hosts a communal meal for individuals of all faiths and a guided tour of the mosque. Due to current restrictions indoor dinning is unable to go ahead.
Each year, Muslims are able to celebrate Eid twice, Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha. Eid al-Adha is usually two months after the month of Ramadan and is celebrated after many Muslims perform the Pilgrimage of Hajj.
Here are the current Mosques in Salford hosting Eid prayers:
credit: Thomas Dibb