PERRYSBURG, Ohio —
Today marks the Islamic holiday of Eid!
This year, due to the pandemic, things looked a bit different.
During Eid al-Adha, many Islamic members in our community would traditionally gather to the mosque early in the morning and pray. In order to help stop the spread of the coronavirus, this year's prayer was done virtually.
"We wanted to ensure our community is safe and our city is safe, so we decided not to have an Eid prayer at the actual mosque, because usually we get a thousand-plus (participants)... So that's a recipe for disaster,” explained Ahmad Deeb, Imam of The Islamic Center of Greater Toledo.
Many joined in on Eid prayer from the comfort of their own home and listened to the sermon after. But you may be wondering... Just what is this holiday all about?
"On Eid Al-adha, it is the completion of the pilgrimage. And we give to those who are less fortunate, for those who may not have, in order for us to all celebrate. Not just a few of us who may be blessed with wealth and status, and in blessings, really,” said Deeb.
For the little ones in the family, The Islamic Center gave a special treat to those who stopped by.
"We also have this beautiful drive-through where our community members can come and take some goody bags. So, this is a drive-through Eid, where people can come with their families to take a goody bag and, you know, hopefully still maintain that spirit,” added Deeb.
The Imam mentioned another big way that Muslims felt the impact of COVID-19 on the how the holiday is celebrated traditionally. Millions of Muslims from across the world make the pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia each year as part of the holiday.
But due to COVID-19, only a limited amount of people were able to attend. Saudi Arabia enforced social distancing and temperature checks during the Hajj pilgrimage and limited those who were able to visit Mecca in general, along with the strict restrictions on travel to the country.
With determination, the Muslim community still found a way to celebrate a scaled-down version of the holiday, honoring the importance of their faith during trying times.