NICOLA Sturgeon and Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar have urged Scotland's Muslim community to celebrate the end of Ramadan safely.

In a joint visit to Glasgow Central Mosque, and along with Humza Yousaf, they said it was vital to maintain restrictions on household visiting and staying two metres apart from others.

On Thursday, Muslims around the world will celebrate Eid al-Fitr, known as the festival of breaking fast, which typically celebrated at the end of the Muslim month of fasting, Ramadan.

Scotland is due to ease a number of coronavirus restrictions on Monday, including some relating to close contact with loved ones.

Wednesday’s joint visit to the mosque by rival political leaders comes ahead of the Airdrie and Shotts by-election on Thursday.

Ms Sturgeon said it was vital to stick to the Level 3 restrictions until they are lifted, as well as the “red list” quarantine rules for those arriving from places like India, Pakistan, Turkey and Nepal.

HeraldScotland: Anas Sarwar and Nicola SturgeonAnas Sarwar and Nicola Sturgeon

She said: “This is the second Eid to have taken place during the pandemic, which I know has been incredibly challenging.

“I want to thank community leaders and members for doing an amazing job keeping each other safe during this difficult period.

“I understand how disappointing it will be to have to restrict celebrations.

“However, everyone celebrating Eid must do so safely and in line with the necessary public health restrictions – unfortunately that means not visiting other people’s homes and maintaining a two-metre distance with those from outside your household at all times.”

She said the rules were particularly important given the surge in cases in Moray, as well as rising numbers in Glasgow.

Mr Sarwar added: “Scottish Muslims have made sacrifices during Ramadan.

“But they have also made big sacrifices over the last year to get through this pandemic.

“Like me, I know you are desperate to be reunited with your loved ones.

“But I would urge everyone to please follow the Covid rules closely in the coming days.

“This is to keep you and your family safe and well.

“There is hope and optimism again as the lockdown continues to ease.

“And if we follow the rules we will soon be able to see and hold our loved ones again safely.

“I wish all Scottish Muslims a happy Eid, Eid Mubarak!”

HeraldScotland:

What is Eid?

There are two Eids celebrated each year in the Islamic calendar.

On Thursday, Muslims will celebrate Eid al-Fitr, which is also known as the festival of breaking fast.

It is typically celebrated at the end of the Muslim month of fasting, called Ramadan.

The second Eid, called Eid al-Adha, which is also known as the “festival of sacrifice”, is marked around two months later at the same time when many Muslims perform the Hajj pilgrimage.

How is Eid al-Fitr celebrated?

Under normal circumstances, the day starts with a morning prayer at a mosque and is then followed by family and friends coming together to eat.

Aya Bdaiwi, 30, communications manager at Faiths Forum for London, said: “They might buy new clothes and exchange presents – especially for the younger family members.

“There’s always some sort of tradition that runs through each family.”

Eid al-Fitr typically lasts around three days.