Muslims across the world will be celebrating Eid Al-Fitr tomorrow to mark the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.
Ramadan is the ninth month in the Islamic calendar during which many Muslims fast between dawn and sunset.
The purpose of the holy month is to allow them to devote themselves to their faith.
Since the UK went into lockdown on March 23, Muslims have been observing Ramadan at home and have been advised to celebrate Eid there too.
Traditionally the day is started with congregational prayers in mosques and parks followed by parties amongst friends and families.
However due to the coronavirus things will be a lot different this year.
StokeonTrentLive spoke with the Muslim community in the city about how this year’s Eid celebrations will be different.
Fahmida Rahman is the founder and chair of Stepping Stones Community Organisation in Hanley.
The 43-year-old mum-of-seven said: “I will not be able to see my mother and family on Eid which will be hard, I haven’t seen my mother since February.
“Eid is a time to thank the creator for everything and to offer your complete gratitude, it’s also a time where family and friends usually come together.
“My advice is to celebrate Eid in happiness with your household. Although the mosque is closed, we can still offer our prayers at home together.
“Most importantly stay home and stay safe. These are difficult times but we will all get through it.”
Hasan Iqbal, the director of Al Madina Stores, in Normacot said: “At Al-Madina superstore, when we think of Eid we automatically think of family, friends and good food. It’s a day where everyone’s differences are put aside and we come together to enjoy a joyous celebration.
“This year will be very different for the Muslim community. Nevertheless we’re using this time to be grateful and with all the uncertainty around us, we are going to appreciate those who matter the most to us.
“We know how hard this Eid will be for many Muslims but we need to ensure we are taking precautions and following government guidelines in order to overcome this.
“We need to ensure our health and our families’ health comes first so that in the future they can enjoy many Eid celebrations with us.”
Places of worship have been closed due to government guidelines so the congregational prayers won’t be possible.
Instead Muslims have been encouraged to pray at home and connect with their loved ones virtually through video calls.
Partner and solicitor at MH Solicitors, Farhan Malik, aged 33, said: “Eid is a festival which has been gifted to us from God. Therefore, it is a day in which we are told to celebrate, rejoice, buy new clothes and men and women are told to attend the Eid Prayer.
“Everyone will be staying at home, praying at home and probably just cooking nice meals for themselves and whoever lives with them in the house, which is the total opposite of what usually happens.
“It is going to be quite a sad and emotional day, as we really look forward to this time of the year.
“The Muslim community has done so well to make the most of the month of Ramadan from home and I know personally how much I have utilised video calls with family and friends to keep spirits up and to maintain contact with everyone.
“I now advise them to continue moving forward with this same responsible attitude by celebrating Eid at home. I know it is difficult, believe me, I know how much Ramadan and Eid means to me.
“But staying at home will save lives, which takes precedence in our faith.
Want a free daily bulletin – plus breaking news alerts direct to your inbox? Then sign up to our email newsletter service!
All you need to do is type your email address into the ‘sign up to free daily alerts’ box. It’s at the top of this article.
It’s also on any stories on the website – simply click ‘subscribe’ and you can expect your first newsletter at the next release.
Want to know more before you sign up? Click here.
Decide later that you no longer wish to receive the emails? No problem – you can just follow the unsubscribe link.
“Let us look out for ourselves, our families, our friends and our communities and let’s save lives by celebrating Eid at home.”
Abi Brown, leader of Stoke-on-Trent City Council, said: “This crisis has coincided with the month of Ramadan, and we know that Eid is a very important time for Muslims.
“I think Muslim community leaders in the city have done very well in letting people know how they can stay safe while still observing their faith.”