Pakistanis celebrate Eidul Azha under pandemic shadow
President Arif Alvi and others offering Eid prayers.
Pakistanis celebrated Eidul Azha on Wednesday (today) with religious fervour to commemorate the great sacrifice of Hazrat Ibrahim and Hazrat Ismael (AS).
The day dawned with special prayers in mosques for well-being of the Ummah and progress, prosperity and security of the nation.
Congregational prayers were offered across the country to mark the religious festival, along with sermons highlighting the significance of the event and the philosophy behind the sacrifice.
Prayers were also offered for the end to the coronavirus and the prosperity of Pakistan. People were told to ensure precautionary measures such as wearing facemasks and maintaining social distancing.
President Arif Alvi and Prime Minister Imran Khan prayed for the growth and success of the country and encouraged people to follow coronavirus SOPs while performing their religious obligations.
“On this auspicious occasion of Eidul Azha, I congratulate the entire Pakistani nation and the world of Islam. And I pray to God Almighty to accept the worships and sacrifices of the Pakistani nation and the entire Islamic nation. Amen,” the PM said.
He added that sacrifice is not just the name of slaughtering an animal but sacrificing one’s own desires for the attainment of lofty goals. It does not allow one to deviate from the right path even in difficult situations.
President Alvi, on the other hand, tweeted: “May Allah forgive us, may He unite us, and may He rid us of Covid.”
Eid Mubarak to all of you my brothers & sisters who read this message & through you to every person I can reach. May Allah forgive us, may He unite us & may He rid us of Covid. May He make Pakistan strong & prosperous. May we sacrifice for others in the spirit of Ibrahim AS Ameen— The President of Pakistan (@PresOfPakistan) July 21, 2021
Security arrangements had been beefed up across the country during the occasion.
Prime Minister Imran Khan offered Eid prayers at Nathia Gali.
Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar offered Eidul Azha prayers at GOR.
Men prepare to slaughter a bull during the Eidul Azha or the 'Festival of Sacrifice’, in Islamabad.–AFP
Covid SOPs on Eid
Health experts across the country have warned that violations of coronavirus SOPs can take the country towards the fourth wave of infections.
Big cities across the country such as Karachi and Lahore have reported cases of the deadly Delta variant. The new strain, which was first detected in India, is highly transmissible.
According to Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Health Dr Faisal Sultan, the best way to defeat the virus is vaccination. Pakistan is inoculating over 500,000 people every day.
The NCOC has closed immunisation centres on the first day of Eid, Wednesday. Vaccination will resume on Thursday.
Here are the Eidul Azha SOPs announced by the National Command and Operation Centre:
*Religious leaders told to encourage collective qurbani
*Administration to ensure effective management for waste disposal
*Provinces to initiate awareness campaigns to educate masses on the spread of the virus during meat distribution
*Skin/hide of sacrificed animals not to be given to banned organisations
*No qurbani allowed at home/residential areas
*Minimum persons allowed at the qurbani site