Scottish Muslims celebrate Eid Al-Adha as restrictions ease

Lockdown in 2020 meant festivities were low key, but this year families are making up for lost time.

Thousands of Scottish Muslims are celebrating the holiest holiday in the Islamic calendar.

In 2020, lockdown meant Eid Al-Adha festivities were low key but this year, families are making up for lost time.

The recent easing of restrictions means that more people will be allowed to meet up within the current level zero Covid restrictions.

Ma’aruf Razzak, Chair of Aberdeen Mosque and Islamic Centre said: “It’s been a little bit better this year with the restrictions loosening. 

“We managed to do the Eid prayers. Families can come and go as per the regulations. I think it’s a step forward and next year hopefully it’ll be back to normal.”

Rucksana Hussain added: “Not being able to celebrate it was very difficult for us. We just have to make the most of the time now and it makes us appreciate what we didn’t have before and hold on to whatever we are able to do now.”

Also known as the Feast of Sacrifice, or ‘big Eid’, it is the second of two major Muslim celebrations.

It marks the end of the hajj period in which an animal is slaughtered to symbolise Abraham’s sacrifice to God.

Those who can afford to are expected to distribute most of the meat to the needy, neighbours and relatives. 

It’s also a time when family and friends come together, share food and gifts.

The Imam of Aberdeen Mosque and Islamic Centre, Dr Ibrahim Alwawi, explained: “It is the Eid of kindness. 

“You look after your family, your relatives, your neighbours, the vulnerable people around you and you wear the newest clothes you have and attend Eid prayer.”

Imam Hamza Khandwalla of Dundee Central Mosque added, “The meat we eat ourselves we give to family, friends. 

“We also distribute meat around the world so like myself I arranged a lot of animals in Kenya so the poor people in the villages in different countries, they all get to eat meat.”

However, with Covid disproportionately affecting black and Asian communities, prayers this Eid are particularly poignant.

Bashir Chohan, Chair of Dundee Islamic Society said, “We had to face mother, son, daughter on one day and we had to bury them. 

“We had to give them ritual, wash the bodies and it was a nightmare so we only pray to his mighty that this virus goes away and hopefully because of the vaccinations it’s helping.”

As thousands of Scottish Muslims mark Eid Al-Adha, the festival of sacrifice takes on new meaning with so many giving up so much.

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