Distanced by virus, bound by faith

Muscat: Homes replaced mosques as places of worship as the Sultanate celebrated Eid al Adha – the festival of sacrifice — on Friday.

The second socially distanced Eid of the year passed off in the same fashion as Eid al Fitr – without the usual congregational prayers, hugs and grand lunch with family and friends.

Yet, people were able to stand together to chant the ‘takbeer’, listen to sermons and wished ‘Eid Mubarak’ through  apps and social media.

“It is again a different Eid this year with prayers held at homes, lunch limited to just within the family and online meetings replacing family visits”, said Faizal Ahmed al Balushi in Ruwi.

“We live in unprecedented times and like every other aspect of our daily lives had to be adjusted because of the coronavirus. Thank God that technology has helped us see and wish each other on this auspicious day”, said Ali Javed from Jordan.

From early morning, people were busy with their mobile phones or tablets using different apps to exchange Eid greetings and share the joy of the day.

“We arranged a Zoom call in the morning with our other family members back home in India. We put on our new Eid outfits and sat before the dishes while talking to each member of the family. This made us closer”, said Elias Ahmed.

Celebrating the holiday virtually also created a special bond between other members of the community apart from the extended family members.

“Yes, thanks to the Internet, we reached out to almost every single person in our family and other people, too. That brought almost everything together”, said Mustafa Ali from Egypt.