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Eid Al-Adha brings messages of peace, COVID-19 mitigation

Eid Al-Adha brings messages of peace, COVID-19 mitigation

Friday prayer in Nurul Hikmah Grand Mosque in Bekasi , West Java. (ANTARA/Pradita Kurniawan Syah/ac.)

Muslim communities across Indonesia marked the eve of Eid Al-Adha on Monday evening with takbiran events at mosques even as a drastic surge in COVID-19 cases pummeled the country's health system.


Due to the rise in COVID-19 cases and the enforcement of emergency public activity restrictions in the islands of Java and Bali, there was a complete ban on city-wide convoys for takbiran events this year.


Therefore, takbiran was fully convened inside mosques on Monday with a limited number of participants instead of city-wide convoys, which could trigger crowds and increase the risk of the spread of the more contagious Delta variant.


Muslim communities in the Ciomas neighborhood areas of Bogor district, West Java province, for instance, attended takbiran events at mosques near their homes under the strict implementation of the health protocols.


They commenced the takbiran or "recital of Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala is Great" after performing the congregational maghrib (sunset prayer). They paused the takbiran when the isya (evening prayer) time came.


Several mosque goers continued with the takbiran for several hours after completing their isya. The takbiran was also broadcast by Radio Silaturrahim (Rasil), a popular radio station for Muslims, after Maghrib.


The Eid al-Adha or Day of Sacrifice, which marks the culmination of the rites of Hajj (pilgrimage) at Mina near the holy city of Mecca, is regarded as an important Islamic festival after Eid Al-Fitr.


This year, Eid Al-Adha is set to fall on Tuesday (July 20, 2021). Its first day will be marked by congregational prayers in the morning.


After that, Muslims will slaughter sacrificial animals, including goats, sheep, and cows, to commemorate the tests of faith of Prophet Ibrahim and his son, Prophet Ismail.


The meat of the slaughtered animals will be packed by volunteers from the sacrificial committee before distribution to eligible recipients.


Due to the observance of Eid Al-Adha amid the pandemic and the enforcement of a partial lockdown, Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan has instructed his men to ensure the absence of crowd-pulling events.


The Jakarta provincial government's agencies must actively monitor the implementation of the guidelines and rules that the Ministry for Religious Affairs and Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) have issued, he said.


The rules advise Muslims to perform the Eid prayer at home and slaughter sacrificial animals at slaughterhouses under the strict observance of the health protocols, he added.


The distribution of the packed meat of the slaughtered animals must also be conducted without crowding, Baswedan said.


Meanwhile, in connection with the Eid Al-Adha celebrations, West Papua Governor Dominggus Mandacan has urged residents across his province to maintain peace and harmony.


"I urge all religious communities in West Papua to keep practicing tolerance ahead of the Idul Adha festivity that our Muslim brothers and sisters will celebrate on July 20," he said.


The celebrations this year are taking place amid the COVID-19 pandemic, which has forced the West Papua provincial government to impose emergency public activity restrictions in Manokwari district and Sorong city, he observed.


During the enforcement of the partial lockdown amid a spike in infections, the Ministry for Religious Affairs has called on Muslim communities in Indonesia to perform the Idul Adha prayers at home.

West Papua has been struggling to flatten its COVID-19 curve amid the growing threat posed by the highly contagious Delta variant.

To help the provincial government cope with a resurgence of infections, Mandacan had announced a partial lockdown in Manokwari district and Sorong City from July 12, 2021.

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The decision to impose the partial lockdown from July 12 to July 20 was made after considering the recent surge in infections, the conditions in hospitals, and the vaccination rates in Manokwari and Sorong, he said.

The imposition of the partial lockdown has been supported by assessment level 4 criteria such as hospital bed occupancy, which has exceeded 65 percent, and a significant spike in COVID-19 cases, he informed.

Vaccination rates in the two areas, which have remained below 50 percent, have also been among the parameters considered for the lockdown, Mandacan said, adding that West Papua remains categorized as a red zone, or an area with a very high risk of infection.

People have been prohibited from outdoor activities under the partial lockdown. Essential sectors such as banking, healthcare services, energy and staple food supplies, and export-oriented industries have been exempt from the lockdown.

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Those involved in logistics, food industries, transportation, construction, disaster mitigation, nation's strategic projects, and provision of basic necessities have been allowed to operate, but in compliance with health protocols, the governor said.

Meanwhile, in his capacity as chairman of the West Papua chapter of the National Democratic Party (Nasdem), Mandacan said he has donated 80 heads of cattle to 11 districts and cities in the province.


On July 17, 2021, Mandacan had symbolically donated one cow to the Al Hijrah Borobudur Mosque manager, La Hada, in Manokwari city.


The Nasdem party's executive board members, legislators, and cadres in West Papua participated in buying the cattle for donation to show their solidarity and care for Muslim communities, he said.


The heads of cattle were meant to be donated to mosques in the districts of Manokwari, Manokwari Selatan, Teluk Wondama, Teluk Bintuni, Kaimana, Fakfak, Sorong, Sorong Selatan, Tambrauw, and Raja Ampat, as well as Sorong City, he added.

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