Tag archive for ‘eid-ul-fitr’
Eid Shopping in Old Hyderabad, India
By Mohammed Shafeeq for FacenFacts
Hyderabad: During Ramadan, shopping for Eid in the walled quarter of Hyderabad does not end with the night.
In fact, it picks up at night with the centuries-old markets doing business round-the-clock.
As such, with only a couple of days left for Eid-ul-Fitr, marking the culmination of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, all roads in the city are now leading to shops, hotels, roadside eateries and the ubiquitous vendors around Charminar, the symbol of Hyderabad and the hub of Eid shopping.
In fact, the old city and some Muslim-majority areas in the central part of the city never sleep during the holy month.
While the faithful spend the holy nights in prayers, other men, women and children throng the markets for Eid shopping.
As one crosses the Musi river to enter the old city, the aroma of haleem (a Ramadan dish of meat, wheat flour, spices and ghee) wafts in.
The numerous hotels at Madina Junction and on the High Court Road do brisk business selling haleem, said to have come to Hyderabad via Iran and Afghanistan during the Mughal period.
The Madina-Charminar road, notorious for its traffic chaos throughout the day, is witnessing jams throughout the night these days, with vendors occupying the footpaths and selling from garments to hairpin.
Madina, Patthargatti, Patel Market, Gulzar Houz and Laad Bazar — famous for readymade garments, textiles, footwear, jewellery, pearls, bangles, ‘attar’ (natural perfumes) and crockery, cutlery, upholstery – teem with thousands of buyers.
The city authorities may be planning to open a night bazaar around Charminar for long, but every year during Ramadan, the area by itself turns into a night bazaar, especially in the last 10 days of Ramadan.
Those fasting, including women, take a break from shopping to end their fast in the lawns of the historic Mecca Masjid.
After tasting haleem, dahi bade and other delicacies at nearby eateries, they resume the shopping with fresh energy and this goes on till late into the night.
The price hike has not dampened the spirits of Eid.
“We may have to spend a few bucks more, but we can’t do without shopping for our families, especially as the occasion comes once a year,” said Syed Yousuf, who works in a private company.
The prices of readymade garments have gone up by over 30 percent this year and the traders attribute it mainly to rising transport costs.
“Last year, I bought a dress for Rs.5,000 but this year, it cost me Rs.7,000,” said Shaheda Parveen, a student.
While many glittering and sprawling shopping malls have come up in the city in the last few years, the area around Charminar remains the hot favourite for Eid shopping.
Shoppers from neighbouring districts and even from Maharashtra and Karnataka pour in for shopping.
Almost all the families buy new clothes, footwear and bangles for the occasion. What makes these markets so special is the fact that they cater to all sections of society.
With well-to-do families paying ‘zakat’ (Islamic wealth tax of 2.5 percent on their cash and other valuables) and every man who fasts paying ‘fitra’ (fixed this year at Rs.60), the poor also join the festivities by buying clothes, ‘sweyian’, dry fruits and other items for ‘sheer khorma’ — a sweet dish prepared in almost every houshold on Eid.
The Eid shopping is the climax of unprecedented month-long economic activity.
Truckloads of dates, preferred for breaking fasts, and fruits are sold every day.
The meat supply goes up drastically to meet the demand from hotels preparing haleem.
With Muslims accounting for 40 percent of the city’s seven million population, every commodity associated with the festivities opens up huge business opportunities.
The volumes of business, mostly in the unorganised sector, are beyond anybody’s guess.
The business covering eatables, garments and footwear is estimated to be over Rs.2,000 crore.
The Meaning of Eid
Eid means “recurring happiness” or “festivity”. There are two such Eid in Islam.
The first is called Eid al-Fitr (the Festival of Fast Breaking). It falls on the first day of Shawwaal, the tenth month of the Muslim year, following the month of Ramadan in which the Glorious Qur’an was revealed and which is the month of fasting.
The second is called Eid al-Adhaa (the Festival of sacrifice). It falls on the tenth day of Zulhijjah, the final month of the Muslim year. The Islamic Eid are unique in every way. To them there can be nothing similar in any other religion or any other sociopolitical system. Besides their highly spiritual and moral characteristics, they have matchless qualities.
Each Eid is a wholesome celebration of a remarkable achievement of the individual Muslim in the service of Allah SWT. The first Eid comes after an entire month of ‘absolute’ fasting during the days of the month. The second Eid marks the completion of Hajj to Makkah, a course in which the Muslim handsomely demonstrates his renouncement of the mundane concerns and hearkens only to the eternal voice of Allah SWT.
Each Eid is a thanksgiving day where Muslims assemble in a brotherly and joyful atmosphere to offer their gratitude to Allah SWT for helping them to fulfill their spiritual obligations prior to the Eid. This form of thanksgiving is not confined to spiritual devotion and verbal expressions. It goes far beyond that to manifest itself in a handsome shape of social and humanitarian spirit. The Muslims who have completed the fasting of Ramadhaan express their thanks to Allah SWT by means of distributing alms among the poor and needy on the first Eid before the prayer.
Eid also is a day of remembrance. Even in their most joyful times the Muslims make a flesh stall of the day by a plural session of worship to Allah SWT. They pray to Him and glorify His name to demonstrate their remembrance of His favors. Along with that course, they remember the deceased by praying for their souls, the needy by extending a hand of help, the grieved by showing them sympathy and consolation, the sick by cheerful visits and utterances of good wishes, the absentees by cordial greetings and sincere considerateness. Thus, the meaning of remembrance on the day transcends all limits and expands over far-reaching dimensions of human life.
Most of the imams when delivering the Eid khutbah will mention that Eid is a day of victory. The individual who succeeds in securing his spiritual rights and growth receives the Eid with a victorious spirit. The individual who faithfully observes the duties, which are associated with the Eid, is a triumphant one. He proves that he holds a strong command over his desires, exercises a sound self-control and enjoys the taste of disciplinary life.
Once a person acquires these qualities, he has achieved his greatest victory because the person who knows how to control himself and discipline his desires is free from sin and wrong, from fear and cowardice, from vice and indecency, from jealousy and greed, from humiliation and all other causes of enslavement.
Therefore, when he receives the Eid, which marks the achievement of this freedom, he is in fact celebrating his victory, and the Eid thus becomes a day of victory.
This is the proper meaning of an Islamic Eid. It is a day of thanksgiving, a day of festive remembrance and a day of moral victory. An Islamic Eid is all this and is much more because it is a day of Islam, a day of Allah SWT. Celebrate this coming Eid with the true imaan and taqwa. InshaaAllah, besides having enjoyment, we will be blessed by Allah SWT.