With Covid-19 pandemic not over as yet, it is a reminder that contemporary times people live are surreal. For the fourth Eid in succession, the run-up to the festival in Jammu and Kashmir has been low key, overshadowed by the ongoing epidemic. For many, the festival will be marked by grief for the absence of loved ones who died due to the infection. Scores of families will be praying for their loved ones still battling the contagion.
The 2nd wave of the pandemic was least bothered about by those who meant to be cogent given predicted peaks witnessed in some countries. People on their turn remained complacent and its consequences stand in front of all of us as covid-19. Of late, the covid-19 trajectory has come down after what happened in May with 1625 Covid-19 deaths, accounting for around 40% of the total toll since the start of the pandemic in March last year. The situation has started to get better since and continues to be so as days progressed.
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-Adha, celebrated in honour of the willingness of Hazrat Ibrahim (AS) to sacrifice his son Hazrat Ismael as an act of obedience to God’s command.
Like past three Eid festivals, this will be different celebrations.
It is important for one and all to understand that 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 (SAW).
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 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 to confront the disaster.