International columnist, political analyst and senior journalist Ahmed Mohiuddin Siddiqui’s articles are published across Asia, Africa and Europe. He writes for The Moroccan Times, The Tunis Times, India Tomorrow, Kohram News, The Etemaad Urdu Daily and for news papers published from Muscat, Sultanate of Oman. You can follow him on Twitter at: @journopolana[/symple_box]
The blessed and bountiful month of Ramadan offers the Muslim Ummah an opportunity to revisit their priorities in life and make a new beginning. It provides an opportunity to us to share our wealth and care for the not so financially privileged people. The prayers and the fasting refresh our faith and strengthen our resolve to atone for our sins and seek forgiveness from the Lord Almighty. For some people, the noble message of Ramadan is lost on them. They do compete for piety (Taqwa) but vie with each other to show off their wealth and riches in foreign lands and they shop for Ramdan till they drop! Compassion, sharing and caring hardly matter for them. Even the simple dates taken at the time of Iftar are sought after from Armani the designer.
[symple_box color=”white”] Allah does not like the spendthrifts. We need to introspect ourselves and think of the deprived millions of our brethren for whom daily existence and subsistence is continuing struggle. [/symple_box]
Many million Muslims are leading the life of refugees in different parts of the world. This was not the situation even at the time of World War II. The majority of the refugees belong to Syria, Iraq, Palestine – all from the Middle East- and thousands of refugees and displaced people are Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar and Afghanistan. The plight of many of these suffering people is that they do not even have dates to break their fast.
Our ancestors (Aslaaf) showed us the way by setting shining examples of charity. The noble companions of Prohet Muhammed (PBUH) – Syedna Othman bib Affan and Syedna Abdur Rahman bin Ouf (May Allah be Pleased with them) were the richest among the Sahaba (companions) but they gave away huge amounts of money in charity to the poor and led very simple and humble lives themselves. Do we belong to the same Ummah? Where has our historical Arab generosity gone?
London has become the favourite place for Ramadan shopping for the super rich Arabs from the Arabian Gulf. The much sought after shopping places are the Westend, Harrods, Selfridges, Harvey Nichols, Marks and Spencer and the like. The Arab shoppers from Qatar, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates (U. A. E) and Saudi Arabia are splurging money like never before. The Qatari shoppers spend an average 1,432 British Pounds per transaction closely followed by shoppers from the U. A. E who spend 1, 120 Pounds. The Mid East shoppers account for 32 per cent of the total international outlays to date this year. The shoppers hunt for designer clothes, perfumes, dates, chocolates and gifts for family and friends.
Many posh London streets including the Mayfair are witnessing huge rush of Arab shoppers who zoom past the residential areas even up to 3 a. m in the morning. The residents are complaining of sleep deprivation in some areas. The wrong parking bills are mounting by the day. The London roads have become a sort of car exhibition where the Bentleys, Baggutis, Lambhorhinis, Rolls Royce and other super luxury cars draw huge crowd of youngsters who capture the ‘richness of others’ in their mobile cameras. The Lambhoghini is available for a daily rent of about 2,000 Pounds. Many shoppers are shipping their own luxury cars from the Middle East by paying return shipping charges of 12,000 Pounds. Some shoppers even take loans for the London extravaganza.
Allah does not like the spendthrifts. We need to introspect ourselves and think of the deprived millions of our brethren for whom daily existence and subsistence is continuing struggle. Some of the Syrian refugees were very rich before their destinies changed for the worse. Riches like age would not stay forever. What we need to consider is how to please our Lord Almighty. We can save a portion of our material wealth for the refugees and try to put a morsel of food in their hungry mouths. The nearest way to Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala is through the poor and the needy. The essence of Ramadan is gaining acceptance of our deeds from our Creator. The deal is very profitable. What one spends for the poor and the needy in this world will be rewarded 70 times more during Ramadan and will be paid back on the doomsday. What are you waiting for? Prayers and charity go together!
[symple_box]Please Note that the views expressed in all opinions on The Moroccan Times are the authors’s own and do not reflect The Moroccan Times editorial policy.[/symple_box]