30 Days of Ramadan, getting caught up: Don’t shop till you drop

18822263_s(Note: During the busy days of Ramadan time sure can get away from you! We’re catching up with some missed posts…)

As Ramadan nears its last 10 days, there has been an increase in attendance at local masjids. The number of men and women that remain until the end of Taraweeh has doubled Mashallah, and I predict a doubling of that number as well, as the day of the Khatmal-Quran draws closer.

However salah is not the only reason the number of attendees has been increasing – Eid is upon us and the shopping has begun. Before Ramadan started I had already seen shared posts on my Facebook page on how Eid shopping should get done before Ramadan, that way it’s not a distraction during the holy month.

But let’s be honest, who actually does their shopping before Ramadan even begins?

If that were the case then the last 10 days would not be jam-packed with Eid sales and wardrobe showcases. And this is not exclusive to this year; every year there is a surge of Eid gifts promotion as Ramadan comes to a close. I think it’s safe to surmise that most of us don’t actually start our preparations for Eid until at least halfway through Ramadan.

In the beginning we’re hyper-focused on our goals and attendance at masjid events. In the middle we hit that lull that we have to force ourselves out of by catching up on our sleep.

Then the end begins to draw near and we get two to three hits of adrenaline from making it to Taraweeh every day, fitting in all the last minute iftar parties, and of course, figuring out what we’re going to wear for Eid-ul-Fitr.

And since most of us have put off our Eid shopping until now, we’re scuffling – which can impair our judgment.

Here are a few quick tips for this year’s purchases.

1) Don’t rush.

I cannot begin to express the importance of this. When we rush we make hasty decisions, usually settling for something that doesn’t feel very satisfying. Then when we come across something better, we regret our decision with no avail – the budget has been drained. Speaking of budget:

2) Don’t drain your account on your Eid purchases!

Yes, it is tempting to buy the newest fashions and the most expensive Eid gifts, but that’s borderline gluttony and pride – characteristics we should be working to change during Ramadan, not characteristics we should be indulging in. When you don’t rush and you take your time, you are able to scout out the best wears for the best prices. Remember, a Muslim’s life is all about balance. Balance your budget with your buying.

3) Be economical.

Don’t buy one-time use gifts or outfits. If you’re going to purchase Eid-anythings make sure they are long lasting. You don’t want to spend money and time on a purchase that will be discarded after one use.

4) Look in your own closet first.

A lot of the time with the allure of new purchases, we forgot all the wonderful items we’ve already got in storage. Pick through your boxes of merchandise first to see what you can use to avoid splurging when the time for shopping arrives.

5) Give it some real thought.

What do you really need, and what can you really do without? What should you really give, and what gifts can be saved for another occasion? We don’t have to break out all the stops in one go.

Bonus tip: While spending all this moo-lah on yourself and loved ones, don’t forget the people who are not as lucky. Donate a few outfits and toys to the needy if you can. Is there an iftar fund in your masjid? Drop a few singles in there with a Bismillah. It’s all about doing more this month, so do more.

Safe shopping everyone!

The 30 Days of Ramadan series is written by Sobia Siddiqui, CAIR-TX Communications Intern. Enjoy more of her writing on her personal blog, Religion in the Melting Pot.

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