Eid al Adha is being celebrated around the world despite coronavirus restrictions (Pictures: EPA/Getty)

Muslims across the world have been pictured celebrating the first day of Eid-al-Adha, with social distancing measures in place to keep worshippers safe.

Eid is traditionally marked by large crowds gathering in prayer and sharing food, but people have been forced to keep their distance and wear face masks this year.

Many Muslim-majority countries, including Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates and Algeria have announced restrictions on public gatherings as the coronavirus crisis continues.

Celebrations began in most countries yesterday evening and will continue over the weekend until Monday.

The festival, also known as Eid ul Adha, Eid Qurban or the ‘festival of the sacrifice’, commemorates Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son for God.

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He was about to go ahead with the sacrifice when Allah replaced his son with a lamb, in turn, sparing his life and revealing that it had been a test.

Many Muslims mark the occasion with the slaughter of a lamb, sheep or goat, which is then divided into three parts to be shared among the poor, within homes and given to relatives.


ISTANBUL, TURKEY - JULY 31: People perform Eid al-Adha prayer while keeping social distance due to coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic at Camlica Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey on July 31, 2020. (Photo by Serhat Cagdas/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Prayers at Camlica Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey (Picture: Getty)

ISTANBUL, TURKEY - JULY 31: Muslims perform Eid al-Adha prayer while keeping social distance due to coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic at Hagia Sophia Grand Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey on July 31, 2020. (Photo by Ahmet Bolat/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Worshippers kept apart at Hagia Sophia Grand Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey (Picture: Getty)

GAZA CITY, GAZA - JULY 31: Palestinians arrive to perform Eid al-Adha prayer in Palestine Mosque in Gaza City, Gaza on July 31, 2020. (Photo by Mustafa Hassona/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Palestinians arrive to perform Eid al-Adha prayer in Palestine Mosque in Gaza City (Picture: Getty)

PEKANBARU, INDONESIA - JULY 31, 2020: Muslims in Indonesia perform praying Eid al- Adha using face masks and maintaining physical distance amid coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak at An-Nur Grand Mosque in Pekanbaru, Riau Province, Indonesia on July 31, 2020. (Photo by DEDY SUTISNA/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Muslims cover their faces at the An-Nur Grand Mosque in Pekanbaru, Riau Province (Picture: Getty)

ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA - JULY 31: Ethiopian Muslims perform Eid al-Adha prayer at the Grand Anwar Mosque in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on July 31, 2020. (Photo by Minasse Wondimu Hailu/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Ethiopian Muslims perform Eid al-Adha prayer at the Grand Anwar Mosque in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (Picture: Getty)

epa08575872 A Palestinian boy looks on during an Eid al-Adha prayer service at Nablus Stadium, in Nablus, the West Bank, 31 July 2020. Eid al-Adha is the holiest of the two Muslims holidays celebrated each year, it marks the yearly Muslim pilgrimage (Hajj) to visit Mecca, the holiest place in Islam. Muslims slaughter a sacrificial animal and split the meat into three parts, one for the family, one for friends and relatives, and one for the poor and needy. EPA/ALAA BADARNEH
A Palestinian boy looks on during an Eid al-Adha prayer service at Nablus Stadium in the West Bank (Picture: EPA)

Eid marks the end of the Hajj, when 2.5 million pilgrims from around the world usually descend on the cities of Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia.

This year, the number of people allowed to take part was limited to 10,000, all of whom must already live in the kingdom.

Saudi Arabia has had 270,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 2,866 deaths since the pandemic started.

In Britain, the first day of Eid coincided with new measures introduced to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

People in Greater Manchester, parts of East Lancashire and West Yorkshire were been banned from meeting members of different households indoors at midnight, with only two hours warning from the government.

Muslim leaders have slammed Boris Johnson’s cabinet for the ‘shockingly short notice’, saying it was akin to ‘cancelling Christmas.’

When asked on BBC’s Today programme whether the measures were announced late on Thursday night to stop Eid celebrations from taking place, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: ‘No, my heart goes out to the Muslim communities in these areas because I know how important the Eid celebrations are.

‘I’m very grateful to the local Muslim leaders, the imams in fact, across the country who’ve been working so hard to find a way to have Covid-secure celebrations.

‘For instance celebrating Eid in parks where there’s more space available and of course outdoors is safer than indoors.’


Worshippers observe social distancing as they arrive at the Bradford Grand Mosque in Bradford, West Yorkshire, on the first day of Eid (Picture: PA)

A mosque elder wearing PPE observes social distancing at the Bradford Central Mosque on the first day of Eid, in Bradford, West Yorkshire (Picture: PA)

Clergymen wearing face masks attend a prayer marking the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Moscow's grand mosque in Russia July 31, 2020. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov
Clergymen wearing face masks in Moscow’s grand mosque in Russia (Picture: Reuters)

SKOPJE, NORTH MACEDONIA - JULY 31: Muslims perform Eid al-Adha prayer at Mustafa Pasha Mosque in Skopje, North Macedonia on July 31, 2020. (Photo by Furkan Abdula/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
A man prays at Mustafa Pasha Mosque in Skopje, North Macedonia (Picture: Getty)

epa08575948 Two men pose for a photo after performing Eid al-Adha prayers at the Ali bin Ali Mosque in Doha, Qatar, 31 July 2020. Eid al-Adha is the holiest of the two Muslims holidays celebrated each year, it marks the yearly Muslim pilgrimage (Hajj) to visit Mecca, the holiest place in Islam. Muslims slaughter a sacrificial animal and split the meat into three parts, one for the family, one for friends and relatives, and one for the poor and needy. EPA/NOUSHAD THEKKAYIL
Two men pose for a photo after performing Eid al-Adha prayers at the Ali bin Ali Mosque in Doha, Qatar (Picture: EPA)

Afghan Muslims greet each other after offering Eid al-Adha prayers in Kabul, Afghanistan, Friday, July 31, 2020. During the Eid al-Adha, or Feast of Sacrifice, Muslims slaughter sheep or cattle and distribute portions of the meat to the poor. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)
Afghan Muslims greet each other after offering Eid al-Adha prayers in Kabul, Afghanistan (Picture: AP)

In Ireland, Eid prayers were held at Dublin’s 82,000 seater Croke Park sports stadium so worshippers would have enough space to social distance.

The event saw around 200 people wearing face masks roll out prayer mats on a manicured grass pitch which is usually used to host major Gaelic football matches.

Shaykh Dr Umar Al-Qadri, from the Irish Muslim Peace and Integration Council, delivered part of his speech in Irish and paid tribute to Ireland’s tradition of welcome and inclusivity.

He said: ‘This pandemic has brought with it some blessings. If not for this pandemic we probably would not have been here. If it was not for this pandemic our communities would not have been united.

‘We understand as humans we are in this together and we are having the same challenges.’

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Source: Metro