NEW YORK, Aug 01 (APP):Muslims across the United states Friday offered Eid al-Adha prayers, while maintaining social distance and wearing masks amid the coronavirus pandemic, with mosques at reduced capacity and some praying in the open air. “This year’s Eid al-Adha was very different from previous years because we needed to follow health protocols as we performed prayers, like maintaining social distancing,” a Pakistan-American who was at a New York’s mosque said.
He said they had to bring their own prayer mats, with markers on the ground to show where they should be laid. Morning rains in some parts of the US prevented the holding of prayers in open spaces.
Special prayers were offered for the urgent need for Muslim unity and peace in the Islamic world as well as for inter-faith harmony, according to reports received here. There were no Eid get-togethers as organized in the pre-Covid era. Most Muslims stayed indoors.
In a message on the occasion, US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo wished all Muslims a blessed Eid al-Adha.
“As with religious observances of many faith communities during this pandemic, Eid al-Adha and Hajj will be unusual this year, he said. “We applaud the efforts and devotion of Muslims around the world to stop the pandemic’s spread and serve those in need while maintaining physical distancing.
“The United States will continue to advocate for the unalienable rights of all people, including the right to religious freedom, and we call upon all countries to respect and uphold these universal rights.”