Eid amidst lockdown: Permission sought for Itikaf prayers in mosques

Jamia Nizamia, Darul Uloom Firangi Mahal issues fatwa on Eid prayers


The Gujarat Chand Committee on Thursday, appealed to the state government to allow Muslims to offer namaz in mosques on the last Friday of Ramzan and on the day of Eid-ul-Fitr, The Times of India reported.

The Pesh Imam of Ahmedabad, the President of the Committee, Mufti Shabbir Ahmed wrote to Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani asking for permission for the same. After an order by the Gujarat High Court, the mass offering of prayers has been prohibited in religious places since March after the lockdown was announced.

The Pesh Imam said that the mosques have been diligently following the lockdown norms and they have repeatedly appealed to Muslims to pray in their homes. In the mosques, namaz takes place with only three to four people as permitted by the government.

In Karnataka, Senior Congress leader CM Ibrahim too urged the state’s CM BS Yediyurappa to allow prayer assemblies till 1 PM on the occasion of Eid-Ul-Fitr. His letter read, “I would suggest that the Government may take a decision by having due consultation with the medical experts to grant permission for Muslims on the day of Eid to offer prayers in the Idgah Maidans or Masjids from morning till 1 PM with all precautionary measures and safety norms.”

Jamia Nizamia issues fatwa on Eid prayers

One of the oldest Islamic seminaries in India, the Jamia Nizamia, has issued a fatwa on itikaf (secluding oneself in a mosque for a long period of time in order to pray) and Eid-Ul-Fitr prayers in light of the lockdown, the Deccan Chronicle reported. The fatwa suggests that one person from the locality should perform the Itikaf in the local mosque should be enough. However, doing it at home is not permissible, the fatwa said.

The fatwa was issued with the signature of Jamia Nizamia chief Mufti Moulana Mufti Mohammed Azeemuddin says that to keep the tradition alive, there must be a few people in every community who perform Itikaf in every masjid every year to keep the tradition alive. For men, the Itikaf must be in a mosque but for women, the place where they normally pray is acceptable.

The fatwa contended that if one person living in a particular area in which a masjid is situated, performs Itikaf, then the Sunnah is fulfilled on behalf of all people in that area. However, the liability of not doing so will fall on all the members, if nobody performs the Itikaf.

The fatwa said that men can’t do Itikaf at home, so even if one faithful is secluded in a mosque, then the Sunnah need not be performed by other Muslims. Since it is not possible to arrange for congregation prayers during the lockdown, that one person from each area performs the Eid prayer in a neighbourhood mosque – then the prayer is deemed to have been performed or else the members have to pray two ‘rakats’ of thanksgiving at home.

The Sunnah of Itikaf is one of the standout rituals of the last 10 days of Ramzan. It is a practice of secluding oneself in a mosque doing continual prayer during the month of Ramzan. It starts from the 21st night of the month of Ramzan and continues till the sighting of the Eid moon.

Lucknow’s Darul Uloom Firangi Mahal issues fatwa to pray from home

The Lucknow based Darul Uloom Firangi Mahal too issued a fatwa making it mandatory for people to offer Eid namaz as well as Alvida Juma namaz (last Friday of Ramzan) at their homes, if the third phase of the lockdown is extended beyond May 17 and congregation in mosques is off limits. The fatwa also said that there will not be any Eid hugs or handshakes to mark the occasion except with family members at home, The Times of India reported.

After the body that could issue fatwas, Darul Ifta, received queries from Lucknow residents seeking answers on Eid namaaz, clothes and other celebrations, the fatwa was issued by four clerics, Maulana Khalid Rasheed Farangimahli, Maulana Nasrullah, Maulana Naeem-Ur-Rahman Siddiqui and Maulana Mohammad Mushtaq, which stated that among other things that buying new clothes for Eid is not mandatory and that if the lockdown is extended, the Eid namaz prayers should be offered at home.

Maulana Khalid Rasheed said, “For Alvida and Eid namaz, the Imam and muezzin (person who gives out the azaan) of the mosque and only three other people, should perform the prayers in the mosque. This count should not exceed beyond five people following social distancing norms.”

Shia cleric and Senior Vice-President of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board, Maulana Kalbe Sadiq said, “Eid should be celebrated with utmost simplicity this year and people should stay safe at their homes and not go outside. The budget maintained for Eid should be cut down and the money be donated to poor who are suffering because of this pandemic.”

Muslims around the world are facing a peculiar situation with not being able to offer prayers during the pandemic. Various Islamic seminaries and other Islamic organizations had ordered advisories to people asking them to strictly follow lockdown rules which the community has been following religiously since the lockdown came into force.


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