Lucknow: Eid-ul-Fitr, marking the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan, was Saturday celebrated with traditional enthusiasm here with Muslims holding special prayers for communal harmony and peace ahead of the Ram Janmbhoomi-Babri title suit verdict Sep 24.
"We prayed for communal harmony and prosperity of the country. Special prayers were offered for strengthening the bonding between Hindus and Muslims as we want that the judgment in any case should not affect the unity," Maulana Khalid Rasheed Firangi Mahli, a prominent Sunni cleric who heads Lucknow`s oldest Islamic seminary, told reporters here.
The main function was held at the Aisbagh Eidgah, the biggest prayer ground in the city, where special prayers were offered. Amid heavy security arrangements, Chief Minister Mayawati arrived at the Eidgah to greet Muslims on the occasion.
Intermittent rain in parts of Lucknow failed to dampen the festive spirit as Muslims congregated at various mosques to offer the namaz.
On the occasion, clerics exhorted Muslims to continue pious deeds even after Ramadan and abide by the Quran.
After the prayers, Muslims exchanged pleasantries with relatives and friends.
Donning new clothes and skull caps, members of the community exchanged greetings and sweets. They also visited homes of their relatives, where they were treated to sheer korma, a sweet dish prepared with vermicelli and garnished with dry fruits.
In other towns and cities of Uttar Pradesh, the festival was celebrated with great enthusiasm. Huge gatherings were seen in major cities, including Kanpur, Agra, Varanasi and Allahabad.
Meanwhile, police have stepped up security in and around the city to avoid any untoward incident.