Mumbai: Muslims to shun extravagance, reach out to the needy with help | Mumbai News

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MUMBAI: Clerics, community leaders, civil society members have called for a simple Eid which will be celebrated on Sunday or Monday depending on sighting of the new crescent moon.
Coming amid the coronavirus-induced lockdown and resultant hardships, this Eid will be without usual gaiety, elaborate delicacies and joyous greetings. Instead of splurging on clothes and food, the prosperous in the community are being told to use the money to buy food, pay rent, utility bills or school fees of those families which have lost jobs, businesses and are cash-starved.
In its 11-point guidelines the progressive Muslims’ group Indian Muslims for Progress and Reforms (IMPAR) has asked the community members to donate the money saved to the suffering people irrespective of caste and creed. “We must shun all extravagant spending this Eid and use that money to help the needy in this crisis as this is the essence of paying zakat,” said IMPAR central committee member and noted industrialist Saeed Shervani. One of the five pillars of Islam (other four are shahada, namaz, fasting and haj), zakat is 2.5 % of the annual savings Muslims give in charity. Though zakat can be given anytime through the year, most Muslims give it in Ramzan because it is believed that any good deed done in this month fetches divine blessings 72 times more than done in any other month.
In a video message Iqbal Memon Officer, president, All India Memon Jamaat Federation, called upon the community members not to buy new clothes for themselves and their children but buy essentials for the poor. “At the Federation we have decided to stop building new houses for the community members for sometimes and direct the funds to help the poor and the needy. The rich should not spend money on buying clothes for their children but use that money to buy food and clothes for those who have lost their jobs and means of survival. The rich must not show off their wealth and take care of the poor,” said officer.
Many have reached out to the needy with Eid kits containing dry fruits, seviyan (vermicelli), sugar, milk and other items needed for cooking sheer khurma, a special dish on Eid. “Many families are finding it difficult to meet two square meals. To ensure such families are not deprived of the essentials to cook at least one sweet dish on Eid, we are giving out these Eid kits. So far we have distributed around 5000 such kits,” said Bandra-based activist Shadaab Patel.
Since Eid is known for generating a lot of enthusiasm, bonhomie and physical contacts to greet people, consultant endocrinologist and diabetologist Dr Altamash Shaikh has counselled physical distancing during celebrations. “Greetings can be exchanged by flying handshakes, flying hugs, flying kisses, bown down or touching ones heart to show gratitude,” said Dr Shaikh. He added that we will have to live with the new norms even post-lockdown since the pandemic is not going away so soon and we must prepare ourselves to live with it.
Non-Muslims too have stepped in with help to Muslim families and enable them to celebrate the festival. Sabir Syed who has coordinated with celebrity chef Vikash Khanna and Haji Ali and Mahim Dargahs to distribute Eid kits said the purpose is to make the poor not feel depressed on a day which is for celebrations. “Under the guidance of Mahim Dargah’s managing trustee and trustee at Haji Ali Dargah Sohail Khandwani, Vikas Khanna-initiated 5000 Eid kits carrying around 20 items were delivered to the doorsteps of the needy. The poor should not feel so deprived on Eid,” said Syed.



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