By Mohammed Abdul Jawad
Oh, who knows how well one has spent Ramadan so far? But, Ramadan is about to conclude its journey, with its beauteous phase of last ten days on-the-move.
Indeed, the last ten days of Ramadan have a special virtue over any other (set of days), in which one should increase in obedience and acts of worship, such as prayer, making dhikr (remembrance of God) and reciting the Qur’an (the revelation from God and central religious text of Islam)
These ten days are the last part of the Ramadan and a person’s actions are based on his last ones. So probably, he will encounter the blessed ‘Laylatul Qadr (Night of Decree)’ in any of the last 10 nights of Ramadan, while standing in prayer for Allah, and thus have all his past sins forgiven. Shouldn’t we increase our worship and devotion during this period?
Alas! During the last days of Ramadan, Muslims instead of persuading their families to perform acts of worship spend their time in shopping spree, in a hurried tempo, to match their needs with the best available Ramadan shopping offers.
It’s like, last days of Ramadan, are reserved for buying clothes, accessories, gifts and then special ingredients for the Eid (festival) day cuisine, feasts and enjoyment.
What a shopping frenzy in the last days of Ramadan! There’s a sudden boost to the energies of Muslims who get influenced by those fliers and ads that announce special Ramadan discounts, commodities at reduced prices or chances to buy and win through raffle draws. Even while fasting, people have guts to take tiresome shopping chores, and in the nights, they are even more spirited to move around from one mall to another.
Ramadan, on the whole, is the month of fasting, worship and perseverance. How can one neglect the virtues of last ten days by not being in the mosque, but making a presence in the malls and shops?
O, of course, Ramadan events, Ramadan promos, Ramadan discounts, in abundance, seem wonderful and attractive. Shoppers clustered at every shop and stores empty their wallets and purses to buy for Eid (festival) requirements and Eid (festival) holidays celebrations. Soon, we witness, a drop in attendance by worshippers in the mosques. On the streets, we find busy traffic, either people returning from frenzied shopping or heading toward markets to do quick or exhaustive purchases.
It’s like life in the nighttime. No…it’s even more! With glittering malls with decorations, colorful shopping extravaganza, stretching traffic, busy streets, everywhere you will find crowd of Ramadan shoppers and big spenders.
Paradoxically, Muslims who were much alive in the beginning and mid-Ramadan, soon desert mosques and move around in the humming malls and markets.
What a transformation! Is there any wisdom in missing the blissful rewards of the last ten days, and on the contrary, make planned visits to Ramadan shopping festivals?
The last days of Ramadan are precious for businesses to focus and flourish, and they would do all publicity stunts and apply promo ideas to influence the shoppers. Should we turn toward the markets, then it’s profitable chance for the businesses, and should we turn toward mosques, then it’s boon for us, with tremendous rewards. Shouldn’t we think right away now to make a worthy decision?
In fact, it’s far better to opt for nightly prayers and remembrance than to get out for midnight shopping and pastime.
At last, I would like to quote a hadith (tradition or saying) from Sahih Muslim: “Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him ) reported that the Messenger of Allah Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him ) said: ‘The parts of land dearest to Allah are its masaajid (mosques), and the parts most hateful to Allah are markets’.”(Source: Sahih Muslim, the highly acclaimed and most authentic collection of traditions)
This truth gives us food for thought and to examine ourselves. In what manner are we spending the last ten days of Ramadan? The answers are left to the reader.