Muslims in Saudi Arabia, gulf countries celebrate Eid-ul-Azha amid COVID-19 outbreak


MAKKAH ( News10) – Joy and celebrations are sweeping across Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Dubai, and other gulf countries on Friday as Muslims observe Eid-ul-Azha with religious fervour to commemorate the sacrifice of Prophet Ibrahim (AS).

Over a billion Muslims from around the world are celebrating Eid-ul-Azha, which is also known as the “Festival of the Sacrifice’.

In Saudi Arabia, Eid prayers have been offered at Masjid-e-Nabvi and the Grand Mosque in Makkah. The pilgrims, who spent the whole night in the open sky offering prayers in Muzdalifa have started moving towards Mina.

After reaching Mina, they will perform stoning at Jamarat Al-Aqba, sacrifice animals, shave their heads and then leave for Makkah to perform Tawaf Al-Ifada and Sai, two other pillars of Haj.

Eid is also being celebrated in Egypt, Kuwait, Jordan, Bahrain and Qatar. Indonesia, Iran and Malaysia are also marking the day with simplicity.

Muslims living in Turkey have offered Eid-ul-Azha prayers at Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia. It’s the first time that Eid prayers have been taken place since the iconic building was reconverted to a mosque earlier this month.

This time, just 10,000 Muslims, all resident in the Saudi Arabia, performed Hajj due to coronavirus pandemic.

Workers continuously cleaned and disinfected the holy site on, in uniforms resembling those of hospital staff.

Pilgrims had to undergo COVID-19 tests before arriving in Makkah and will be required to quarantine afterwards.

Attendees were given elaborate amenity kits that included sterilised pebbles for the ritual Stoning of the Devil, disinfectant, masks and a prayer rug, according to the hajj ministry.

Several health facilities, mobile clinics and ambulances were on hand, the ministry added, available to pilgrims who were required to wear masks and maintain social distance.

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