Alhamdullillah, Ramadan is here again!

The “Shalwar Kameez” and ‘Topi’ are out, the masajid are full, you can smell pakora’s everywhere in the evening and every single person knows the time for Fajr and Maghrib prayers… down to the EXACT second!

Yes, Alhamdullillah, Ramadan is here again! But is it the same Ramadan that we are used to?

Correct me if I am wrong but doesn’t Ramadan feel bigger, shinier and brighter every subsequent year, as if it was the latest model of Ramadan? The lights get brighter, the sales get bigger and the Iftaar deals get pricier!

It seems that Ramadan today has become more about where you are dining for Iftaar and what you are buying for ‘Eid rather than what Ramadan is actually about ….you know, ‘ibadah, imaan, worship, etc.

Today we plan our iftaar parties even before the moon is sighted and our “darzi’s” begin spinning their wheels for our ‘Eid dresses well before the first call to Tarawih.

If you analyze this phenomenon you will realize that this is very similar to what Christmas today has become for the Christians. A shopping spree! Buy 2 get 1 free, 50% off, till stock lasts!

Go to any local shopping mall today and you will see the exact same trend. Every single shop screaming out to you to buy from them so that you can make your ‘Eid special and in this process making us forget that ‘Eid was given to us to thank Allah for helping us complete the 30 days of rigorous ‘Ibadah that we had undertaken.

I can’t help but notice that just like most of our traditions, commercialization has spun a web around Ramadan as well, leaving it all but hollow.

Many people may say that all this commercialization is harmless and may even argue that it gives a real boost to the economy. However, what about the wasted opportunity that Allah has given us to boost our Imaan? Go to your local masjid and count the number of people praying taraweeh and then go to the mall and count the number of people over there. This is not what Ramadan is meant to be!

Allah promises the believers a tremendous reward from Himself for fasting, and here we are – us believers – looking for the reward at Pizza Hut, do Dariya, Tariq road and Dolmen Mall Clifton.

What else can I say but, ‘Hurray for Commercialism! You win again!