Off late a notion has been doing rounds on social media, it calls upon The Muslims to refrain from shopping this Eid.
Like every other notion this one too has an objective, and that being saving the money spent on Eid shopping and helping the poor and needy with the same.
Prima facie it looks like a resolute concept that is being propagated with the idea of alleviating the sufferings of millions of less privileged people who have been suffering immensely due to the ongoing global restrictions that have been imposed to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. However, as is the renowned English proverb 'appearances can be deceiving’.
Let us put this notion of boycotting Eid shopping this year that is being fervently propagated on social media to the test of sanity and intellectualism and see if it manages to survive.
Firstly, the fact that no renowned and trustworthy economist, industrial psychologist, philanthropist or religious scholar has backed this 'boycott' is a proof enough to ascertain its futility.
Now to begin with,
We're living in times when all those who have a pen are entitled to write, each one who has a keyboard has the right to type and speaking on matters beyond one's scope of comprehension is his prerogative. Irrespective of whether what has been penned is right or wrong, what has been texted is authentic or not, what has been spoken brings benefit or causes harm. Gone are the days when the learned spoke and the commoners took heed, today we're living in an age where learned are few but orators are in abundance, researchers are few but authors are plenty, scholars are few but opinionators are ample. We've reached a point where retweets, shares, likes and comments are the criterion to determine the accuracy of a concept.
Those who are championing the cause of boycotting Eid shopping this year with the intention of diverting the same money to help the people in need, we respect their intentions and deem them to be sincere. However, as is the famous principle of Islamic Jurisprudence 'a pure intention does not rectify an incorrect act', this boycott might not be able to bring about a rectification but will certainly further deteriorate the condition of medium sized enterprises, merchants and worker class people.
There is a huge cluster of businessmen who recur their annual overhead expenses by doing business in the month of Ramadan. From garment manufacturers to dry-fruit vendors, fruit merchants to milk dairy owners, restaurateurs to craftsmen and millions of people employed in these businesses who are on the verge of getting benched or even laid off from their jobs. The last thing we as Muslims and responsible civilians should do is completely cut off the already perplexing hopes of these employers and employees to salvage anything out of this season.
Charity is the filth of peoples wealth meanwhile the best provision is that which one earns from his own hands, instead of donating money let us help the affected businesses prosper by shopping while abiding by the guidelines imposed by the government. Let our fellow traders, merchants, artisans and laborers earn with self respect and dignity and not be subjected to the embarrassment of having to accept financial aid.
So, we urge those of you who can afford to say YES to shopping this Eid from the safety of your homes. Order online to support E-commerce platforms, vendors who have listed their products on these platforms, thousands of transport/courier service providers and delivery boys who are in need of your support.
Let us all have no doubt in our minds that Islam does not encourage seeking charity rather it encourages its believers to work hard and earn their own provision. Charity is the last resort and not the first option. For those less privileged in the society whose businesses and sources of provision we cannot support through buying their merchandise… the door to charity is always open.
Do give it a thought, if you still intend to refrain from shopping this Eid it is your personal choice and you are absolutely entitled to act by it, but we call upon you to be responsible and calculative before spreading posts on social media that can have severe repercussions on the lives of millions.
Faisal I. Qureshi,
Mashroo Apparels LLP