Jamaat-e-Islami and SIO lead by example, provide cash, essentials and Eid delicacies to poor

Mumbai: Leaders of the Muslim community have urged the believers to extend a helping hand to those affected by the lockdown for COVID-19, instead of splurging on shopping for the Eid-ul-Fitr festival on Monday.

Representatives of various organisations and Islamic schools of thought asked the members of the community to ensure that the poor in the city don’t miss out on the festivities of Eid, which marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan, due to the humanitarian crisis caused by the Coronavirus pandemic and the lockdown. They have also asked Muslims to follow the norms of lockdown by celebrating Eid indoors, maintaining social distance, and wearing masks in public.

“Ramadan has taught us God-consciousness as well as sympathy for other human beings and the need to share in their joys and sorrows. We need to remember these lessons on Eid as well,” said Rizwan-ur-Rahman Khan, president, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH) Maharashtra. “It shouldn’t be the case that while one is celebrating, his neighbours and the lakhs of migrant labourers who built this city are forced to sleep hungry. We should take care of them, as this the essence of Eid,” added Salman Ahmad, zonal president, Students Islamic Organisation of India (SIO) South Maharashtra.

The fasting month of Ramadan and Eid-ul-Fitr are characterised by the large sums of money spent on charities by Muslims around the world. Islam requires believers to spend 2.5% of their annual savings, known as zakat on the poor and the needy, which most of them give in the month of Ramadan. Right before Eid, they are also required to provide food grains or money, known as fitra, to the poor.

JIH and SIO are leading by example, as they provide cash, groceries and Eid delicacies to the poor in the entire Maharashtra. They have already provided around Rs 6 crore worth of assistance in the form of cash, medicines and groceries to people across the state during the entire duration of lockdown. Recently, 3,500 packets containing dry fruits, ghee, sugar and vermicelli – all ingredients for the quintessential Eid sweet sheer khurma – were given in various areas of Mumbai Metropolitan Region, including Kurla, Govandi, Malvani, Mumbra and Bhiwandi. On Monday, SIO and JIH units in Malvani and Mumbra will distribute sheer khurma to over 3,000 poor people.

“While the poor usually get help every Eid, this year the situation is worse for them. As one won’t be shopping this year, they should spend a part of their money on the needy, so that, despite remaining confined to their homes, they can still celebrate the festival,” said Shia scholar Maulana Faiyaz Baqir. Bohra community leader Hakeemuddin said, “This Ramadan proved to be a testing time for many, who struggled to even get essentials of life. Eid is a festival of happiness and no one should be deprived of this happiness.”

Community leaders also urged believers to spend prudently to take care of their health during the festival. “Refrain from non-essential shopping and save, as the situation may escalate further and you may need this money in the future,” said Barelvi scholar Maulana Afroz Aleemi. Maulana Mehmood Daryabadi, president, Ulema Council, added, “The entire world, including our country, is affected by Coronavirus, with hundreds of new cases coming up every day. We request you to follow the lockdown, stay indoors and not venture out for shopping,” said Maulana Mehmood Daryabadi, president, Ulema Council.