[Over a lakh Muslims gathered for Eid prayers at Malegaon Camp Eid-gah on Thursday July 7, 2016 (ummid.com photo)]
New Delhi/Mumbai/Hyderabad/Ahmedabad/Bhopal: Attired in their best, hundred of thousands of Muslims in Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Assam, West Bengal, Karnataka, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Rajashthan, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and other Indian states including the national capital New Delhi Thursday participated in Special prayers, feasts and greetings in Eid-ul-Fitr celebrations.
At many places in the country, special provisions were also made where women worshippers too joined their male counterparts to offer two rakats of Special Eid Prayers offered in the morning after the sunrise.
Eid ul-Fitr marks the end of Ramadan - the holy month of fasting and one of the five pillars of Islam.
While Turkey, Egypt and some other neighbouring countries celebrated Eid ul-Fitr on Tuesday, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar and other Gulf States celebrated the annual festival on Wednesday. Along with the Arab States, Muslims in Pakistan, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan, New Zealand, Australia and European countries too celebrated Eid ul-Fitr on Wednesday.
Though Muslims in Kerala, Jammu & Kashmir, Udipi, Bhatkal and parts of Coastal Karnataka celebrated Eid on Wednesday, Muslims in majority of Indian States, and also in Bangladesh, observed the Eid ul-Fitr prayers on Thursday.
Earlier, greetings of "Eid Mubarak" and "Chaand Mubarak" poured in with the sighting of the thin crescent Shawaal moon on Wednesday evening. Social media, especially WhatsApp, was also abuzz with Eid greetings.
In Delhi, prayers were held at the historic Jama Masjid, Hazrat Nizamuddin, Fatehpuri Masjid and other mosques whereas in Lucknow, the city of Nawabs, the main prayers were held at the Eidgah in Aishbagh. In a first, women were allowed to offer namaz at the Aishbagh Eidgah, albeit separately.
In Kolkata, West Bengal, Muslims congregated at the city's principal mosque, Nakhoda Masjid, since dawn to offer prayers and best wishes for friends and family. With the sun shining in all its might, the Red Road in central Kolkata saw over 40,000 devotees on rugs to offer namaaz.
Shahi Imam of Tipu Sultan Mosque, Mohd Nurur Rehman Barkati called for harmony and brotherhood while extending wishes and greetings to all.
"Islam never supports killing of people. Such killers have no religion. Those killing people in the name of Islam are basically goondas," Barkati said.
"Islam is for peace and amity and not for killing," he said and condemned the explosion near an Eid prayer gathering in Kishoreganj district in Bangladesh that claimed three lives.
In Rajasthan, Muslims performed Eid Namaaz or Salatul Eid across the state. Thousands gathered in Jaipur for the prayers held at Eid-gah on the outskirts of the city.
"About 4-5 lakh people offered Namaaz at Eid-gah today. We offered prayers for peace and prosperity," Khalid Usmani, President of All India Darul Qazat (AIDQ), told IANS here.
Usmani also said he also took this opportunity to ask Muslims to stand up against terrorism.
Like Kolkata and Jaipur, clerics in their Eid sermon almost everywhere condemned the brutal killing in Bangaldesh, the blasts near the Prophet Mosque in Madinah and acts of terrorism by ISIS (Daesh) and other terror groups in various parts of the world.
"Islam has nothing to do with terrorism or any act of violence", Abu Rizwan Muhammadi said in his Eid sermon delivered at Mohammadiya Eid-gah in Malegaon, North Maharashtra.
"Groups like ISIS (Daesh), Al-Qaeda and the likes have Muslim sounding names, but they are not Muslims. They are Kharjees and they were slammed by Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)", he added.
Eid celebrations were also witnessed in Mumbai and other Muslim pockets of Thane, Palghar, Ratnagiri, Raigad, Aurangabad, Pune, Nashik, Beed and other areas of Maharashtra.
Muslims came out early morning dressed in their finery to offer the special Eid congregational prayers at mosques in Mumbai beacause of the rain.
In Telangana, major congregations were witnessed at the historic Mir Alam Eid-gah, Hyderabad and other eidgahs at Masab Tank, Military Grounds, Mehdipatnam, Golconda, Secunderabad, Santosh Nagar and Malakpet, among others.
Similarly, Eid was celebrated in Madhya Pradesh too with fervour and conviviality despite heavy monsoon rains across the state.
Special namaz prayers were offered at the Idgah in Madhya Pradesh capital Bhopal. Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan visited the Idgah and greeted the devout on Eid. Tajul Masjid, Jama Masjid, Moti Masjid and other mosques in the city were also overflowing with the devouts.
In Gujarat, thousands of Muslims gathered at Jama Masjid at Teen Darwaza in the old city area of Ahmedabad to offer the Eid namaaz, large number of people also turned up at Eidgah near Kankaria lake. Historic Sarkhej Roza mosque also saw good number of Muslims congregating to offer prayers.
After offering the Eid 'namaaz', it was time for the celebrations with family, friends, neighbours and community people, savouring and serving each other the festival special dish of "sheer-korma", a sweet preparation of milk, vermicelli and dry fruits. At majority of places, non-Muslim friends also joined in to add diversity to the celebrations.
In terms of fashion, women made a beeline for the 'Mastani' lehengas this year, made popular by actress Deepika Padukone in "Bajirao Mastani".
Traditional fetes sprung up in different city pockets where men, women and children shopped for knick knacks and treats.
Women gathered around in henna stalls to adorn themselves with the art while children received money from elders.