Two days Eid in UP: Shias celebrating it today, Sunni to do it tomorrow

Lucknow : Eid will be celebrated in Uttar Pradesh for two days starting from today. While the Shia community are celebrating the Eid today in the entire country, the Sunni would do the same tomorrow even as the moon was not sighted yesterday in the city. The Shia community offered namaz at Bara Imam Bara and other places this morning and wished each other on the occasion, which concides with the end of the one month long fast. Shia cleric Maulana Kalbe Sadiq said here today that the decision to celebrate the Eid today was taken at around 3 am after receiving a fatwa issued by Ayatullah Sistani from Najaf in Iraq. Shia Markazi Chand Committee president Maulana Saif Abbas also said that as per the directions of Ayatullah Sistani, Shias will celebrate Eid today in the entire country.

Earlier, the Committee had announced last night that since moon was not sighted, Eid will be held on Thursday. However, Shia clerics here received communication from Iraq at around 2.45 am on Wednesday following which fresh announcement was made at around 3pm. There are around 2.5 lakh Shia population in Lucknow besides its population in the country was about 22 per cent of the total muslim population. Meanwhile, in another first, Eidgah Aishbagh in the state capital, for the first time, will have a dedicated section for women at the Eid-ul-Fitr namaz to be held tomorrow morning. The move comes at a time when instances of women being denied entry to Haji Ali Durgah and sanctum sanctorum at Shani temple in Maharashtra have made headlines with women organisations demanding equal rights on access to places of worship at par with their male counterparts.

"This is the first time a separate enclosure exclusively for women namazis is being put in place for the EId-ul-Fitr namaz in Taiyab Hall of Eidgah," said Eidgah Imam Maulana Khalid Rasheed Farangi Mahli. "We are making special arrangements so that they (women devout) are not forced to jostle through the crowd to reach to the enclosure," he said. As such, arrangements are being made for the first time and the enclosure will be big enough to accommodate 500 women. "If we find the turnout of women larger than our estimate, we will make arrangements accordingly in future too," he said. Decision of the clerics at Eidgah has been hailed by women activists who described the development as "better late than never".

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