Jammu and Kashmir like any other part of the globe continues to be in the grip of adverse conditions thrown by novel coronavirus pandemic.
The number of virus cases has seen a surge recently. In little over a fortnight, a whopping 10000 people have been infected while 211 people become victims of the pestilence. On July 11, the case count was 10156 while overall toll was 171. As of July 31, the number of covid-19 cases stands at 20359 and deaths at 382.
There are two ways to look at these disturbing numbers. On one side, it is alarming as it shows that the disease has truly made its way in. The other way of looking at it would be that the people are finding it hard to relinquish the inherent nature of socializing even at times fraught with dangers. Amid this situation, comes what is regarded as one of the few festivals of immense importance in Muslim calendar: Eid-ul-Azha commemorating the sacrifice offered by the Prophet Abraham and is regarded as a true gift to the believers by Almighty Allah.
However this will be a different festival. For most people, it will be within the confines of their home and deprived of the usual pleasure of seeing many friends and loved ones on account of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
It is important for one and all to understand that the faith thrives in adversity. As has been pointed out rightly, Islam itself has been founded on the idea that the best way to live is modestly, if not in austerity, as exemplified by the life of the Prophet.
There is no sin greater than an extravagant display of wealth and power, and just like any revolutionary faith, Islam is eternally concerned with the plight of the poor and the downtrodden.
So, celebrating the Eid modestly this year not only makes religious sense but can also help in the fight against COVID-19. People need to religiously follow the social distancing and other norms. Wearing face masks has been made mandatory. This occasion also warrants an improved pledge to serve and support the community better and come together as a people fighting the worst odds one could imagine. For the frontline workers and many others who would be working round the clock even during Eid holiday, there is a need to express deepest gratitude and respect.