The pandemic has pushed millions of people around the world closer to the brink of poverty, making it harder for many to fulfill the religious tradition of purchasing livestock.In Somalia, the price of meat has slightly increased.
Abdishakur Dahir, a civil servant in Mogadishu, said that for the first time he won't be able to afford goat for Eid because of the impact of the virus on work.
"I could hardly buy food for my family," Dahir said. "We are just surviving for now. Life is getting tougher by the day." In some parts of West Africa, the price for a ram has doubled.Livestock sellers, used to do brisk business in the days before the holiday, say sales have dwindled.
There the pilgrims cast pebbles at three large columns. It is here where Muslims believe the devil tried to talk the Prophet Ibrahim, or Abraham, out of submitting to God's will.Muslims commemorate Ibrahim's test of faith by slaughtering livestock and animals and distributing the meat to the poor. During the last days of hajj, male pilgrims shave their heads and remove the terrycloth white garments worn during the pilgrimage. Women cut off a small lock of hair in a sign of spiritual rebirth and renewal. The hajj, both physically and spiritually demanding, intends to bring about greater humility and unity and is required of all Muslims to perform once in a lifetime. Sheikh Abdullah al-Manea, member of the Supreme Council of Senior Scholars of Saudi Arabia, used the hajj sermon Friday to praise the kingdom for limiting the number of pilgrims and protect human life.
"We thank the positive role of Muslims around the world that have complied with the regulations of the country to protect them from the spread of this virus, which leads to the protection of Mecca and Medina," the sheikh said.Around the world, Muslims gathered with relatives or remained at home to mark the start of Eid. In Baghdad, streets were largely empty due to a 10-day coronavirus lockdown imposed by authorities. Eid prayers in mosques were canceled. "We had hoped that the curfew would be lifted during the Eid period. ... We were surprised that the lockdown period included the Eid holiday and more," cafe owner Marwan Madhat said. "This will cause losses." Kosovo and the United Arab Emirates have also closed mosques to limit the spread of the virus.
In Lebanon, worshippers prayed in mosques under tight security, despite a partial lockdown imposed on Thursday that will continue through Aug. 10. Worshippers at the Mohammad al-Amin Mosque in Beirut, spilled outside onto the street to maintain social distancing.
In Indonesia, home to the world's largest population of Muslims, people attended Eid prayers in mosques under strict guidelines, including that they bring their own prayer mats and pray several feet apart from one another. Worshippers had to wear masks and were not allowed to shake hands or hug.Authorities also ordered that meat be delivered door-to-door to the poor to avoid long lines. "This outbreak has not only changed our tradition entirely, but has also made more and more people fall into poverty," said Agus Supriatna, an Indonesian factory worker laid off this year because of the pandemic.
"Eid is a time to celebrate and be with the community," she continued. "It does feel a little sad." Ahead of the holiday, Alioune Ndong, a tailor in Mbour, Senegal, said he did not know how he'd afford an Eid feast and urged the government to help struggling families.