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Sales or Supplications?

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So it's the holy month of Ramadan. It's an opportunity for self-building, reflection, and charity. It's not a time to spend wasting on the frivolous.

When even breathing and sleeping while fasting are to be rewarded in this month, imagine how much a ritual act of worship or even just listening to Qur'an while you go about your work is worth?

This month, do enjoy the festive spirit and excitement, but don't get too carried away by the food, socializing, and Eid prep. When you participate in all these things, don't go overboard. Make an intention of doing these things towards the goal of improving yourself.

Even if you were to visit some Muslim countries this month, you would find that businesses there want you to spend the holy nights in their stores instead of at the mosque. All month long, Ramadan sales are going on, stores are open until the early morning, and big hotels offer extravagant all-night-long Iftars.

Is this what Ramadan is all about?

Sure, that's convenient if you can get your grocery shopping done at night when you have more energy. And you should get new Eid clothes, which is recommended. Little Eid gifts for the kids in your family are great too. But, wherever you are in the world, if you have to go to the mall for a valid reason, you should get in, get your stuff, and get out fast. Do not linger at the mall and throw away those special hours.

Try doing your Eid shopping ahead of time, so the precious last nights of the month are not wasted.

Deals before Allah's Pleasure?

While we at Style Watch love to shop, shopping should be done with a purpose in mind. Whether it's Ramadan or any other month, it's not a good idea to just hang out at the mall for no reason.

Of course, we love the feeling of victory upon finding a Hijab-friendly piece, especially at a discount. And it does take time to find the perfect size or the exact color you are looking for. Style Watch has a habit of checking out several different stores to compare the prices and quality, so we spend wisely. But especially during the month of Ramadan, we make a concerted effort to limit our time even more at shops.

Allah is not pleased with people who give their attention to business and deals when spiritual matters are pressing. Even the Prophet (peace be upon him and his progeny) had to put up with Muslims who gave much more weight to getting deals than the Friday prayer: "And when the prayer is finished, disperse through the land and seek Allah's grace, and remember Allah greatly so that you may be felicitous. When they sight a deal or a diversion, they scatter off towards it and leave you standing! Say, 'What is with Allah is better than diversion and dealing, and Allah is the Best of Providers.'" (62:10-11)

Is this the kind of Muslim we want to be?

Ramadan and Eid Clothing

If you are lucky enough to live near an active community that holds daily enlightening programs during Ramadan, make the most of them. And when you go, dress nicely and look presentable. If you are going to come across men for some reason, make sure you are covered very modestly.

This rule isn't just for the mosque, it applies at those yummy Iftar and Eid parties too. Keep a light cardigan, shawl, or abaya to cover any tight, sheer, revealing, or overly-attractive clothing when men are around. And don't forget your socks!

And one more thing: remember that Hijab isn't just about clothing. It's about your behavior too. Be modest in any interactions you have with the opposite gender. If you don't do that at school and work too, make a start now, while you're fasting.

The holy month of Ramadan can change a person's whole life if they take the time seriously. Don't shortchange yourself by wasting this opportunity. Your supplications during Ramadan nights are worth much more than any savings you'll get at sales.

Now is that a great deal or what?

Author of this article: Aliyyah Rizvi-Bokhari
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