Caution is the catchword while preparing to celebrate Eid al Adha even as inclement weather played spoilsport in shopping for the “festival of sacrifice’ on Thursday.
Incessant rains and thunderstorms hit several areas of Oman on Thursday causing floods, ruining crops and disrupting electricity supply and disrupting traffic in some parts of Muscat.
“The rains have dampened the business”, said Syed al Balushi, a trader at Al Wadi al Kabeer sacrificial animal market though it was packed with herds of sheep and goats.
But rather than being happy about the rains which brought respite from the scorching heat in the capital, the middle-aged businessman said he was worried about scanty sales of the day.
"It's very frustrating. We have a large number of goats and sheep. Still we expect the sales to pick up on Friday, the day before the day for the sacrifice of the animals", he said.
Muslims throughout the world offer animal sacrifices to commemorate the historic sacrifice offered by Prophet Ibrahim (PBUH) when God asked him to sacrifice his son Ismail. While Ibrahim blindfolded himself and moved the knife on his son’s throat, Allah ordered a ram from heaven to replace Ismail.
Meanwhile, shop owners in the traditional market of Muttrah said that the sales have not reached the level of expectations as many customers are reluctant to visit the markets after the rains hit the city.
“The sales used to be on peak during the last two days before Eid when families traditionally buy new clothes for themselves and their children. If rain continues, we may not be able to achieve the target”, said Bharat Desai, a garment shop owner.
A salesman at a perfume store in Ruwi said he did not receive many customers compared to what it used to be during the normal Eid shopping.
“Sales have not picked up even though there are no coronavirus related restrictions like the previous two years. Adding to the woes are the rains which have prevented people from coming out of their homes,” he said.
Muscat Municipality, represented by the department of the central market for vegetables and fruits, said different types of fruits and vegetables are available in quantities that meet the needs of the people at the Mawaleh Central Market.
“There has been a good rush of both citizens and residents to the market for the last few days. All the shops seem to have enough stocks”, said Hanees Ahmed, a vendor at the market.