LUCKNOW: With the Tablighi Jamaat facing the heat for being responsible for the spike in coronavirus cases in Uttar Pradesh, Muslim clerics are leaving nothing to chance in urging devotees to stay indoors and follow the rituals of fasting during the upcoming holy month of Ramzan which is set to begin from April 25 or April 26, depending on the moon sighting.
In a novel way to fight the novel coronavirus infection while observing Ramzan during the lockdown, the Islamic Centre of India has resorted to a public announcement system to take its advisory to Muslims.
Four vehicles with a loudspeaker mounted on each have started going around the state capital, especially in Muslim-dominated old city areas, to play the recorded message from Maulana Khalid Rasheed Firangi Mahali, the prominent Sunni cleric exhorting people to follow lockdown norms during Ramzan.
“The four vehicles will go around the city till April 24, asking people to pray at home during Ramzan,” said the head of the Islamic Centre of India Maulana Khalid Rasheed.
“Our Ramzan helplines have been launched at 9415023970, 9335929670, 9415102947, 7007705774 and 9140427677,” he added. “People from across the state who want to get any clarification over the rituals related to Ramzan can call us on those numbers,” said a Muslim religious leader.
Dargah Shahmina Shah has cancelled the taraweeh held on its premises every Ramzan, with Sajjada Nasheed Sheikh Rashid Ali Minai asking people to stay indoors. City Qazi Mufti Abul Irfan Firangimaheli and Imam Council of UP chief Maulana Sufyan Nizami also asked Muslims to follow the lockdown norms during Ramzan.
UP Minority Affairs Minister Mohsin Raza has also issued an appeal to devotees to follow the norms of social distancing during Ramzan. He appealed to Muslims to make use of technology to perform all the rituals like taraweeh during Ramzan through video conferencing, Skype and other means.
Meanwhile, the manufacture of the traditional Eid dessert sewainyan has taken a beating due to the lockdown. The production of sewainyan usually commences at least three months prior to Ramzan. But this year, owing to the lockdown, the manufacturers have just 25 per cent of the total demand of the dessert in the processing line.
They are clueless about how to deliver even this 25% to the retailers in Lucknow and neighbouring districts. They also complain of a collapse in the supply chain and closure of units, affecting at least 1,500 people in the state capital alone. Godowns are locked, labourers have gone home and work has come to a grinding halt, making the scenario gloomy for many at this festival time.