Hypocrisy on play even during the month of Ramadan

Image: Xinhua

During this Ramadan – a catastrophe is unfolding. Someone has blundered extraordinarily bad and many good, decent, honest, hardworking, Allah-fearing, Allah-loving Muslims will suffer horrendously as a consequence this Ramadan.

Unbelievably, it’s happened again.

Seemingly, the wrong memo was delivered to traders and suppliers throughout Bangladesh. The official blue-headed memo clearly states the price of essential food items are to be sold at low prices during Ramadan, in abeyance with Islamic principles, but it was the red-headed memo that was widely circulated!

The red memo demands the prices of essential items to be sold at the highest prices possible to benefit traders and suppliers more. It was a simple clerical error, no doubt, but it will have catastrophic results on the family’s Ramadan budget. People are experiencing untold suffering as it is, because they cannot afford to buy nourishing food.

If the price hikes were justified and were to occur at another time in the year, one might grumble, find sympathy, and accept… but never during Ramadan – the holy month! That’s preposterous!

Ramadan is of significant historical and spiritual importance for Muslims, as it marks the month when the first verses of the Holy Qur’an were revealed to Prophet Mohammad (PBUH).

It’s sacred. It’s the holy month when all like-thinking Muslims allegedly aspire to do what’s right and pray in an atmosphere of being one big happy holy family. Just as cleanliness is next to Godliness so, too, is prayer – a family that prays together; stays together.

Brotherly love

During Ramadan people of Islamic persuasion pray fervently, fast, share, enjoy, and openly show brotherly love to each other as their Father in heaven would wish.

It’s the Islamic season of goodwill, purification, and empathy with the poor and low-paid brethren among us. It’s a foregone conclusion the price of essential food items would be at their lowest this time of year to help compliment the mission of Allah.

This would permit His entire beloved – not just a few with cash – to participate in the beautiful annual event joyfully and get to share the rich bounty He lovingly provided.

The giving of food to others – symbolic of giving life – is one of the founding principles on which the religion was built and one of its golden rules. It’s a demonstration of pure love, life, and family values that help to set Islam apart from other religions.

The Prophet of Islam encouraged his followers to provide Iftar to Muslims during Ramadan and commanded them to give Fitra to feed the poor on Eid ul Fitr. He said sharing food is a way of taking care of the vulnerable and bringing the community together, embracing all in oneness.

Many people this year in Bangladesh, however, face the embarrassment of not being able to give food. With the recent outrageous escalation in food costs, low-income earners and poor people especially are suffering. They cannot share what they don’t have. They’re struggling to put food on their own tables.

If those in control of the food chain cannot show compassion and extend a helping hand to their downtrodden brothers and sisters during the month of Ramadan – the holiest of the holy – what hope is there for Bangladesh? What examples are we setting for our children? Read what the Qur’an says, but do what you like as long as it makes money?


There are hypocrites in all religions worldwide who are prepared to get involved in heated arguments defending their religion… engage in physical fights for it… even die for it. But all that Allah asks in the Qur’an (His spiritual manual to righteous living) is to live the Islamic religion, show kindness, compassion and let others live likewise. To some, however, that’s asking a bit too much.

Ramadan is a time when the heavenly spirit of the Almighty permeates the air and acts of compassion, kindness, peace and goodwill to all, should be forefront in everyone’s thoughts and actions. Every effort should be made and no stone should be left unturned to behave righteously and act in accordance with the Islamic teachings.

One would think those privileged to control the food chain would welcome the opportunity of putting Islamic principles into practice during Ramadan to please Allah. To do what’s right, would be the right thing to do – what Allah would want all his creations to do.

I would imagine Allah thinks along the lines… ‘We do not love our children because they are good, but we want them to be good because we love them’. Doing good is an offering of respect to Allah and a visual silent prayer in hope He would respond with blessings.

Everyone’s asking how can the price hikes be justified? It’s not as if petrol/transportation/manpower costs have spiraled uncontrollably. Most likely, the vegetables that were plucked this week came from the same patch of ground that sold for considerably less last week. Similarly, the chickens and their eggs came from the same chicken farm.

The price hikes are man-made, therefore, man controlled. They’re seemingly a blatant attempt to extract the highest prices possible to feed an insatiable thirst for greed.

Because Ramadan is the holiest month on the Islamic calendar, dedicated to serving Allah, and offering the opportunity to all to reflect and right their wrongs, the price hikes are even more abhorrent and intolerable. Ramadan should be a no price hike zone.

It doesn’t help to keep prices down, however, when organized criminal gangs – the modern-day Dick Turpin type highwaymen – stop the trucks loaded with farm produce en route – not once, but several times – and extract toll payments to pass. These unscrupulous characters don’t even wear masks – there’s no need. They’re protected (if not organized) by local authority figures and that must end.

It’s incomprehensible to think that those responsible for the price hikes (including the highwaymen) will actually bow down at the mosques and beg Allah to shower blessings upon them, when the same people are depriving food from hungry mouths. Imams ought to address the price hike issue in their homilies to help end the sordid practice.


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