Social Distancing, Masks and Sanitizers: Specifics of Eid al-Adha Prayer in 2020
Prior to Eid al-Adha we asked our parishioners for a few favours, including that women, children and people from risk groups (regardless of their sex) and everyone not feeeling perfecly well (regardless of their strong belief “that’s definitely not coronavirus”) would celebrate at home.
We asked those who did plan to attend to make their ablution at home, wear a mask (so that it covers both your mouth and your noses and fits tight) that doesn’t have exhalation valve, and, while greeting one another, to refrain from shaking hands and hugging, and keep the social distance. On our part, we provided no-contact thermometers and hand sanitizers. For maximum safety, the prayers were held in the open air on the premises of the mosques or in special rented open spaces.
Of course, such measures affected a decrease in the number of parishioners. For instance, at our largest Islamic centre in Kyiv there were 5 to 6 hundred people attending the eid prayer, instead of the usual crowd of 3 to 4 thousand.
Still, even such a tiny drop of quarantine restrictions brought much joy to Ukrainian Muslims who could finally get together even in such restricted format.
We pray that God gives us relief from this pandemic, and our mosque will once again be full of crowds and children’s laughter.