Canada, US Muslims attend 'drive-thru' Eid prayers

Drive thru prayers? This is how Muslims in Canada, US celebrated Eid amid coronavirus restrictions
2 min read
25 May, 2020
As the coronavirus pandemic continues to see lockdown measures across the world, Muslims in the US and Canada celebrated Eid in a very unique way.
The global coronavirus pandemic has imposed restrictions on Muslims celebrating Eid [Getty]
Muslims in Canada and the US embellished their cars with colourful decorations for Eid al-Fitr and attended prayers from the parked vehicles in an effort to capture the holiday spirit this weekend despite strict coronavirus restrictions. 

In Canada's Ottawa, a mosque held its first-ever drive-in prayer to celebrate Eid Al-Fitr, after finalising the decision last minute on Saturday.

According to local outlet Ottawa Citizen, hundreds of cars filled a parking lot behind the mosque just hours after the announcement. Staying inside their cars, worshippers tuned to a radio station while Imam Muhammad Sulaiman led the Eid prayer.

Similar events were held in the US, with videos emerging on social media showing rows of cars parked side-by-side to replicate the traditional positions of Muslim worshippers standing in line to pray.

Families inside the cars were connected to the Imam via popular video messaging app Zoom, where a lecture was being held prior to the official prayers.

The three-day holiday is usually a time of travel, family get-togethers and lavish daytime feasts after weeks of dawn-to-dusk fasting. But this year many can only celebrate at home with immediate family, with coronavirus fears dampening the holiday spirit.

Many countries have tightened restrictions on movement for Eid Al-Fitr, one of the most important dates in the Islamic calendar, despite having eased curfews earlier this month.

Also in the US on Sunday, New York's Empire State Building was lit in green to celebrate the Eid Al-Fitr holiday that marks the end of the holy Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.

Read also: In pictures: Muslims celebrate Eid amid curfews and fears over rising coronavirus cases

"Celebrating Eid al-Fitr with an all-green heartbeat this evening!" the official landmark's account wrote on Twitter.

The privately-owned 102-story skyscraper, which usually recieves upwards of 3.8 million visitors annually, is currently closed to visitors due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The building regularly shines colours to mark many religious holidays throught the year. Otherwise, it is illuminated in white every night.

"Beautiful, right? It’s good to see that NY can continue to hold together with love and mutual respect for all of our people. It’s what makes this one of the greatest cities in the world," one person wrote in response.

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