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 the New 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. Nelson Fernandez at his office at The Rakyat Post 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

Prostitution in Iran

When a card came out of the blue ...

This post is prompted by a remark made by my good friend Wei Lin. She saw me reading a card I had received from a friend recently and said: "Traditional cards are so old-fashioned." I wondered if that was true and decided to probe into the issue. A Google search revealed numerous articles on the debate between traditional paper-based cards and e-cards. Tracey Grady's examination of the pros and cons of each type is informative. In my opinion, e-cards are not substitutes for the real (traditional) ones and they shouldn't be. I treat e-card e-mails with suspicion because spammers could be using them to download viruses and software onto my computer. I have never sent anyone an e-card and I don't plan to; I dislike the cold impersonality of conveying greetings electronically. I have always liked sending and receiving cards the traditional way. The ritual of going to a bookshop, browsing at the card section, picking a suitable one for the recipient and then walki