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Devouts begin holy month with prayers at home in Telangana

Devouts begin holy month with prayers at home in Telangana
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An illuminated view of one of the minarets of Jama masjid on Saturday
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Second time since 1908 floods, Hyderabad experiencing low-key affair

Hyderabad: The biggest festival for Muslims Ramadan began amid strict lockdown conditions following the spread of coronavirus. Following the instructions of the Government, prayers were offered avoiding congregation at mosques.

While this will be the second time in the history that Ramadan will be a low-key affair in Hyderabad, it will be the first time in the State that mosques and markets wear a deserted look.

In 1908 about 112 years back when the Musi flood devasted Hyderabad, Ramadan had lost its festive spirit as many had lost their near and dear ones.

As people remained indoors, streets of Charminar and Mecca Masjid wore a deserted look. Only police and GHMC employees were seen on the roads.

As a preventive measure, the government had asked all the religious heads to suspend religious meetings and prayers in all masjids. Only the local mosque head and three member staff were allowed to stay inside the religious places.

All masjids, including the historical Mecca Masjid and famous religious places in Karimnagar, Nalgonda and Warangal wore a deserted look.

Lockdown restrictions, did cause problem for those who were observing fast on the first day of Ramadan were seen struggling to buy essentials required for Iftar in the evening as the shops were closed by afternoon in many areas in Hyderabad and major towns in the districts.

Muslims living in villages harped on local authorities to buy the goods mainly fruits, chicken and eggs to prepare a staple meal after iftar.

Basheer Ahmed, a senior citizen and retired government servant, noted, "In my entire life of 80 years I haven't seen a single Ramzan like this wherein the mosques are deserted and there is no joy amongst anybody.

On the very first day of Ramzan, our family members could be seen rushing from pillar to post to make so many arrangements for sehri (meal during dawn) and iftar (meal after dusk), but all of them lacked the enthusiasm and every face wore a depressed look, due to the pandemic.

But, we are hopeful that Allah will answer our prayers and this disease will be eradicated from this planet."

Afreen, a housewife noted, "When I went to purchase fruits from the market, I could not find any vendor/ hawker. So I entered a super market and there were hardly any fresh fruits."

This kind of air wasn't witnessed by anyone on the day one of Ramzan in the past. However, all devout Muslims are fasting as usual but it is more of a lonely affair for the community.

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