Nagpur: The Holy month of Ramadan will end on Thursday. More than 1.6 billion Muslims fasted for past 29 days waited worriedly on Tuesday for it to be ‘chand raat’.
The cloudy sky in the city and surrounding areas put to rest all speculations about Eid-ul-Fitr being celebrated on Wednesday.
“We also check the panchang or the Hindu almanac and since Amavasya ended at 4pm on Tuesday, the chances of sighting the moon were slim,” said Altaf Ahmad, president of Jama Masjid, Kutchi Memon Jamaat in Sadar.
Vermicelli cooked in milk and loaded with dry fruits best defines Eid-ul-Fitr.
The Eid prayers will be offered at Idgah on Thursday, Ahmad said, “We are hoping to perform the morning namaz there but if it rains then prayers will be offered in masjid.” Around 2,000 people will gathered at the Sadar Idgah.
Nearly 20,000-strong congregation would be offering Eid prayers at the Idgah in Mominpura. “Eid prayers are always offered at the Idgah. We will continue there even if it rains,” said Mufti Qadir.
Namaz will be offered by around 12,000 muslims at Jama Masjid at Mominpura. “It is the biggest and oldest mosque in the city. Extensive arrangements are made here as the congregation extends right up to the entrance,” said Qari Khaleeque Ahmad, the Imam of Jama Masjid at Mominpura.
“I am praying that it doesn’t rain today evening as it did on Monday. The crowds are coming in to shop in big numbers,” said Sajid Ahmad, who runs an imitation jewellery shop.
It’s not just Muslims but people from other communities too are now flocking to these areas for shopping. “The perceptions are changing and people are more open to shop here as they can bargain hard and during Eid we stock up high fashion clothes,” says Imran Javed of Noori Collections, a garment showroom. “But, the sales are a bit low as Muslims don’t wait for Eid to buy clothes anymore,” he says.
There is some relief for the buyers as the prices of dry fruits have declined. “Almonds and chironji are cheaper this year,” says Mohd Imtiyaz.
“Sheer khurma is prepared in huge quantities as it is offered to everybody who visits us,” says Asma Ahmad, a teacher who begins preparing for Eid days in advance. “But more important than shopping or food is zakat which is 2 ½% of our total wealth and fitr which means contributing same percentage of food which is consumed per head by the family for poor,” she says.