In pictures: Muslims across the world celebrate Eidul Azha amid pandemic

Muslims around the world began marking a sombre Eidul Azha on Tuesday in the shadow of the pandemic and amid growing concerns about the highly infectious Delta variant of novel coronavirus. Eidul Azha or the “Feast of Sacrifice” commemorates the Quranic tale of the Prophet Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience to Allah, before the Almighty replaced the son with a ram to be sacrificed instead. It marks the end of an annual Hajj, or pilgrimage to Makkah, which is one of the five pillars of Islam, and should be undertaken by every Muslim who can afford to do so. Read more: Masked Hajj pilgrims on Mount Arafat pray for Covid-free world But only a limited number of mask-clad pilgrims hurled pebbles at a wall in a symbolic renunciation of the devil on Tuesday. Before the pandemic, the annual Hajj rite typically drew more than two million Muslim faithful from around the world. For the second year running Saudi Arabia has banned worshippers from abroad and has allowed only 60,000 citizens and residents to participate in the Hajj. With coronavirus the main concern, authorities have restricted access to pilgrims aged 18 to 65, who have either been fully vaccinated or have recovered for the virus and do not suffer from chronic diseases. Worshippers will return to Jamarat over the next two days before continuing onto Makkah to pray at the Grand Mosque at the end of Hajj. This aerial picture taken on July 20, 2021 shows Muslims attending prayers to mark the Eidul Azhar festival at the Baiturrahman Grand Mosque in Banda Aceh, Indonesia. PHOTO: AFP Muslims gather on the road to pray outside a mosque to mark Eidul Azha, the annual celebration known as the Festival of Sacrifice, in Ungaran, Central Java on July 20, 2021. PHOTO: AFP Muslim believers pray at a mosque near Pristina, Kosovo, on July 20, 2021, during the sacrificial Eidul Azha. PHOTO: AFP Filipino Muslims offer prayers to mark Eidul Azha outside a mosque in Manila City, suburban Manila on July 20, 2021. PHOTO: AFP Muslims gather to pray at the Islamic Centre Mosque to mark Eidul Azha, the annual celebration known as the Festival of Sacrifice, in Lhokseumawe, Aceh on July 20, 2021. PHOTO: AFP Russian Muslims gather in the Sobornaya mosque, Moscow Cathedral Mosque on July 20, 2021, during celebrations of Eidul Azha. PHOTO: AFP An Afghan security personnel frisks a devotee at the entrance of a mosque during the Eidul Azha prayers in Kabul on July 20, 2021. PHOTO: AFP Russian Muslims gather in the Sobornaya mosque, Moscow Cathedral Mosque on July 20, 2021, during celebrations of Eidul Azha. PHOTO: AFP Iraqi worshippers perform the Eidul Azha feast prayers on the first day of the feast celebrated by Muslims worldwide, at the Mohammed Alamine mosque in the northern city of Mosul, on July 20, 2021. PHOTO: AFP A handout picture released by the official Facebook page of the Syrian Presidency shows President Bashar al-Assad (C) performing Eidul Azha prayer at Khaled bin al-Walid mosque in Homs on July 20, 2021. PHOTO: AFP Palestinian youths look into the Al-Aqsa mosque on the first day of the Eidul Azha feast celebrated by Muslims worldwide, on July 20, 2021, through windows which were shattered two days earlier in renewed clashes between Palestinians and Israeli police at the Al-Aqsa complex in Jerusalems old city. PHOTO: AFP Sheep lie down in the straw in front of a mosque near Pristina, Kosovo, on July 20, 2021, during the sacrificial Eidul Azha. PHOTO: AFP Afghan Muslim devotees offer their Eidul Azha prayers inside a mosque in Kabul on July 20, 2021. PHOTO: AFP Iraqi worshippers perform the Eidul Azha prayers on the first day of the feast celebrated by Muslims worldwide, at the Mohammed Alamine mosque in the northern city of Mosul, on July 20, 2021. PHOTO: AFP A Muslim boy takes pictures during the Eidul Azha prayers on the first day of the feast celebrated by Muslims worldwide, at the Millennium Square in Hawassa, Ethiopia, on July 20, 2021. PHOTO: AFP (With input from Reuters and AFP)

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