Skip to main content

Ramadan is not just about colourful bazaars

Ramadan bazaars sprout up like mushrooms during the fasting month. They seem to get bigger and busier with each passing year. It will be no different this year.

Ipoh, the capital city of Perak, is gearing itself to be the best state in Malaysia in terms of providing Ramadan bazaars to Muslims in the city. Apparently, the Ipoh City Council will provide "five-star services" to visitors and traders at some Ramadan bazaars in the city in a project known as the Ibu Bazar Ramadan or Mother of all Ramadan Bazaars.

Five areas -- Perak Stadium, Medan Gopeng, Taman Perpaduan, Taman Tasek Indera and Taman Desa Aman -- will launch the experiment today, the first day of fasting.

There will be a special marquee for donation seekers and tithe collectors, in addition to the colourful spread of local favourites in stalls dotting the premises of these bazaars. Prayer spaces for women and men complete with ablution facilities are also available. In other words, the Council wants to make these Ramadan food centres in Ipoh the most talked about in Malaysia.

I have no quarrel with the Council's plan. Indeed, Ramadan bazaars have become a major feature of the fasting month in all states throughout Malaysia that draw visitors to local events specially set up for the holy month and give us the opportunity to explain our culture.

However, Muslims need to remind each other that the month of Ramadan is more about renewing oneself spiritually to face the challenges of the future on Earth  and preparing for life after death than making plans to visit the various bazaars.

Many appear to focus on preparation to greet the month of Syawal including making cakes and cookies, cleaning the house, buying new curtains and furniture as well as shopping for new clothes for the whole family.

We tend to overlook the significance of Ramadan which offers us extraordinary possibilities to engage in activities -- fasting, paying zakat and night prayers, among others -- that will enhance our connection with Allah SWT. Are we prepared to make Ramadan this year better than last year's? We must try hard to achieve that goal,

Ramadan Kareem to Muslim readers of this blog!



Bazaars appear suddenly and in large numbers during Ramadan in Malaysia




Comments

Popular Posts

My year at The Rakyat Post

Dec 31, 2014, the last day of the year and the end of my one year stint at The Rakyat Post , an online news portal.
Educational is the best way to sum up my year at The Rakyat Post.
Leaving your comfort zone is intimidating at first; it has a steep learning curve. But now I wish I had done it sooner and the whole exercise reaffirms my motto: “learn, learn, learn”.
Einstein was spot on when he said, “Learning is not a product of schooling but the lifelong attempt to acquire it”.
When I left theNew Straits Times to join The Rakyat Post on Jan 3, 2014, I didn’t know what to expect.
Nelson Fernandez, also known was Mohd Ridzwan Abdullah, had invited me to join him at the website this time last year.



He was charged with assembling a team to provide content for the portal. And I am glad I said yes.
Switching from traditional journalism to online journalism is challenging, as anyone who had made that transition will tell you.
Editorial content is disseminated by way of the internet as opposed to pub…

In the waiting room

People are always waiting for something.

They could be waiting for the train, an opportunity, promises to be fulfilled or the return of a loved one.

But "what does waiting mean in our lives and what is life without waiting?"


That question was posed by Danny Castillones Sillada in his article "What is Life without Waiting?" (The Metaphysics of Waiting).

The passing of the old year demands another round of gloomy introspection and Sillada's article came at the right time, given the value of waiting in our lives.

"Waiting," he explains, is "an emotional and mental state, which is preconditioned to anticipate someone or something to arrive at a particular time and place".

Sillada tells us that there are two types of waiting: empirical and metaphysical.

The empirical form of waiting is "where the certainty of the waited and the occurrence of event are tangibly expected to happen within a particular time and place of the waiter".

But wh…

Why Shamsul Amri dislikes Facebook

People who do not use Facebook fall into three broad categories.

The first group is completely indifferent to it, the second finds it mildly irritating and the third dislikes it intensely.

Malaysia's prominent sociologist Professor Shamsul Amri Baharuddin is of the last type.

I made the mistake of asking Shamsul, who is director of the Institute of Ethnic Studies at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, if he was on Facebook, the social network which was hatched up in the dormitories of Harvard six years ago.

"I have a face and I keep thousands of books. Why do I need Facebook?"

How do you react to that reply?

I didn't. I meekly invited him to elaborate on his reasons.

"Facebook will take away my soul and I won't allow that to happen because I am a believer," says Shamsul fiercely, who launched into a tirade of accusations against Facebook.

Ninety per cent of the things you read on Facebook are either petty, bitter, rude or offensive.

"I refuse to rea…