Prominent Muslim clerics advise no hugs, no handshakes this Eid

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BY MOHAMMAD SUAIB KHAN
New Delhi, May 16 (IANS)
Prominent Muslim clerics on Saturday advised the community members not to hug each other and shake hands on Eid on May 26 and maintain social distancing and other norms while celebrating the festival in view of the coronavirus scare across the country.
“Eid comes again and again but this is not the case with coronavirus. Since the entire world is at present battling coronavirus, the happiness of Eid is in not hugging each other and not shaking hands this time over,” said Dr Imam Umer Ahmed Ilyasi, Chief Imam of All India Imam Organisation.
He pointed out that the ritual of hugging each other was to mend fences with ones whom we may not be on cordial terms with earlier on.
“But now, if we are to harm someone, we should hug them. If we want to love them, we have to maintain distance. If we greet each other from a distance we not only save ourselves but others also. Eid is related to life and happiness and we have to give the same,” the cleric said.
Jama Masjid Shahi Imam Ahmed Bukhari said there was need to take all precautions since coronavirus cases were increasing in the country. He said conveying Eid greetings through phones would be fine in the given situation.
Bukhari said that we all need to adhere to the guidelines issued by the World Health Organisation and medical experts to save ourselves, our kith and kin, and fellow countrymen.
Islamic Centre of India Chair and Lucknow Idgah Imam Maulana Khalid Rashid Firangi Mahali also appealed to the community members to observe social distancing on Eid while greeting each other. He called on the Muslims to donate money to the poor and needy so that they too could celebrate Eid.
Agra Jama Masjid Imam Irfanullah Nizam also emphasised the need to observe all health precautions on Eid.
(Mohammad Suaib Khan can be contacted at mohammad.k@ians.in)