On Eid Muslims prayed for the end of the COVID-19 pandemic
by Sumon Corraya

Over 147 million Muslims marked the end of the holy month of fasting and prayer. The mosques were open, but worshippers kept a distance. Community celebrations were banned, but thoughts were for the sick and the dead. Card Patrick D’Rozario expressed wishes for “abundant blessings, unity, peace, and happiness to families.”

Dhaka (AsiaNews) – More than147 million Muslims in Bangladesh gathered in mosques today to pray and celebrate Eid al-Fitr, the holiday that marks the end of Ramadan. However, the government banned group meetings and street celebrations in order to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Muslims came together across the country, from the Baitul Mukarram, the National Mosque of Bangladesh, to the smaller mosques, whilst keeping social distancing, to pray for an end to the world health emergency.

Nimul Islam, a Muslim from Dhaka, said he “took part in the prayer in the mosque" where we called for “the end of the pandemic all over the world,” and prayed “for the healing of sick people and the eternal peace of those who died".

Another Muslim named Liton Rahaman said that he never saw such a modest Eid in his 40 years, bemoaning the fact that “we couldn't even go back to our village and celebrate [the holiday] in our home.”

Card Patrick D'Rozario, archbishop of Dhaka and president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Bangladesh, addressed a message to our “beloved Muslim brothers" who had to celebrate "among many limitations after the month of Ramadan.”

“We are with you in prayer and affection,” the prelate said, expressing the hope that Eid "will bring abundant blessings, unity, peace, and happiness to families.”

For Bishop Bejoy N. D’Cruze of Sylhet, who also heads the Episcopal Commission for Christian Unity and Interreligious Dialogue, Eid is an occasion for "unity, peace, harmony, support and collaboration".

It is his hope that "people of different faiths can take responsibility to care for our common home on this day of Eid” by establishing a "balanced" relationship with creation.

Yesterday the Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina addressed the nation, calling for compliance with the measures taken to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes avoiding gatherings in which the virus can spread.

Ms Hasina also called on Bangladeshis to show solidarity and closeness with each other, in particular with the poorest and most disadvantaged members of society.