Muslims celebrate Eid in the UK and Europe
n Great Britain, Ramazan 2022 started on April 2 for some and on April 3 for others. However, Eid al-Fitr was mostly celebrated on the same day, on May 2.
A majority of mosques in the UK celebrate Eid following the Saudi calendar. However, a few mosques, mostly serving Shiite believers, didn’t celebrate Eid on the same day. They celebrated Eid in UK and Europe on May 3.
As Eid coincided with Bank Holiday, the community was thrilled to have free and plentiful parking around mosques and other Eid prayer venues, which has always been a concern around the feast. Additionally, bank workers were spared the need to take day off for Eid.
On the eve of Eid (Chand Raat), there were great gatherings in many markets as most of the community went shopping for traditional Eid necessities. Many ladies adorned their hands with henna stains in floral patterns.
For the ease of worshipers, impressive arrangements were made at the mosques and parks where thousands of Muslims prayed for the prosperity of the Muslim Ummah and liberation of occupied Kashmir and Palestine. Multiple prayer sessions were organised at some places for the convenience of the worshipers.
On the eve of Eid, the British Pakistanis met their relatives and extended invitations to eat traditional food.
On Eid, Prime Minister Boris Johnson congratulated Muslims, stating that all minorities, including Muslims, were an integral part of the country. He praised the pivotal role the Muslim community was playing in the country. “I’d like to wish a joyous and blessed Eid al-Fitr to Muslims here in the UK and around the world gathering with friends, families and neighbours to mark the end of Ramazan,” he said.
Opposition leader Sir Keir Starmer also appreciated the role of the Muslim community, a part of a diverse society in the UK. “As Muslims around the world gather with loved ones this Eid, the Labour Party wishes you a happy Eid,“ said Keir Starmer.
On the day of Eid, when the Pakistani community was celebrating in the UK, former prime minister Nawaz Sharif was also in the spotlight. The former premier, who offered Eid prayers in Central London, met the Muslim League workers and local leaders. Apart from the Muslim League workers, British Pakistanis also met with Sharif. Ishaq Dar, Hassan Nawaz, Hussain Nawaz, Ansar Chaudhry, Ali Dar, Nasir Janjua, Abid Sher Ali, Nasir Butt, Imran Daultana, Zubair Gul, Ejaz Gul and other leaders were also present on the occasion.
Nawaz Sharif seemed to be in a good mood. Talking to party workers, the former premier said that Pakistan faced extraordinary challenges in the economic and security sectors. “Pakistan has to move back to the path of prosperity, economic growth and development,” Nawaz Sharif said.
He praised the efforts the new coalition government was making and urged Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif to provide whatever relief was possible to the people of Pakistan. “The coalition government has ended load shedding from the country as per its promise,” he noted.
He urged the party workers to continue playing a positive role in the development and prosperity of the country.
On the day of Eid, clerics from all over the UK delivered speeches that said the Muslim Ummah had a great responsibility to establish peace and stability in the world.
In a resolution adopted by Jamia Islamia Ghousia, Luton, the recent incident in Medina was condemned in strong terms.
“On the holy occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr we resolve that we will fight together and systematically for the integrity, survival and stability of Pakistan, keeping the territory of the Islamic Republic safe from terrorism and civil war,” the resolution pledged. “We will not hesitate to make any sacrifice to achieve the fundamental goals of Pakistan. Pakistan is our refuge. Anti-Islam and anti-Pakistan forces’ designs to mislead the Pakistani youngsters will be foiled,” it stated.
On Eid day, an unfortunate incident took place in the city of Bradford, where a 22-year-old man who had come to perform Eid prayers at the Grand Mosque attacked a 20-year-old.
The assault came when worshippers was embracing one another following the Eid prayers. The assailant stabbed the youth and seriously injured him. The injured was rushed to a nearby hospital.
Other worshipers apprehended the assailant and handed him over to the police. Police have since raided his house and arrested three more family members and started an investigation into the incident. According to hospital sources, the condition of the injured man is critical.
The writer is a correspondent for Geo News, daily Jang and The News in London