Kolkata: The namaz for Eid-ul-Fitr on Red Road has been offered at 9am on Saturday. Qari Fazlur Rahman, the imam, who has been leading the prayers every year started his sermon at 8am. Close to 2 lakh people were on Red Road to congregate here like every year to listen to the sermon and offer their prayers.
The namaz on Red Road is one of the biggest Eid congregations anywhere in the country. People who stay in far flung areas arrive at chand raat(the night when the crescent moon to celebrate Eid is sighted). Many people start from their homes early in the morning.
I was present in the Eid congregation at Red Road today and exchanged greetings with all.
— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) June 16, 2018
“May this Eid bring happiness and endless blessings from the Almighty. Eid Mubarak,” chief minister Mamata Banerjee wrote on her Twitter handle.
Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi said: “May this joyous festival provide an opportunity to reaffirm our faith in the country’s cultural heritage, spirit of friendship and fraternity among all sections of society.”
Like every year Mamata Banerjee arrived and wished the community after the namaz is over. “She has confirmed her presence,” said a member of Khilafat Committee that organises the Red Road namaz.
“There are several mosques in our locality but we always go to Red Road to offer our prayers,” said Irfan Ali, a teacher at Kamarhati.
Almost all mosques in the city have been decorated for the festival of Eid. Tipu Sultan Mosque in Esplanade has been decorated with bright lights. “This is the biggest festival of Muslims in the whole world. Tipu Sultan Mosque provides a slice of history and we have several people from the city as well as tourists coming here on the festival,” said Prince Anwar Ali Shah, a descendant of Tipu Sultan and the mutwali of the mosque. Nakhoda Mosque in Zakaria Street is also wearing a festive look. More than 10,000 people were expected to offer their namaz, which was scheduled at 6.30am. “Every year the message of peace and brotherhood is given out from the mosque during the Eid prayers. Eid is a festival when we must extend a helping hand towards those who do not have access to resources like us,” said Nasser Ebrahim, the trustee of Nakhoda Mosque.
“Home of the eldest member of the family is the epicentre of celebrations. Everybody assembles there to wish each other the best for the festival,” said Mohammad Shamim Akhtar, a Park Circus resident .