The Ramadan plight!

The Ramadan plight! | Baaghi TV

For the very first time this year in Ramadan, I am witnessing something witnessed only at Baqr-e-Eid : door-to-door visits for ‘Ramadan Goods Package.” Yesterday alone I had 10 to 12 people come knocking at my door.

The sad part was, in most cases, they were obviously not dirt poor. They were neatly turned-out men with young children or women. What we call the lower middle class. Of course, there were the maids who work in the area & former maids whose calls poured in.

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The Ramadan plight! | Baaghi TV

Ramadan Kareem greeting photo with serene mosque background with beautiful glowing lantern.

With food inflation at 42 per cent in the urban area, things are very, very tough across the board. Not just for the poor. Also, those who used to be affluent. Yes, the houses are there. The cars are there. However, one witnesses cutting back on servants. The drivers are gone. A boy living in a low lying area in the vicinity will come now to wash the cars. The full-time cooks are replaced with part-time cooks. Everyone is trying to reduce overheads.

Ramadan becomes an ordeal in these trying financial times. The sellers/vendors spike up the prices for everything. From fruits to wheat flour. The cheap wheat-flour the government was providing for Rs 650/ per10 kg bag is no longer now available. Having been replaced by Rs 1150 per 10 kg bag [Pre-Ramadan price].

The Ramadan plight! | Baaghi TV

Pictured above are Uyghur Muslims on prayer mats in the month of Ramadan, after offering the prayers.

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There is no place, including weekly vegetable or/and grocery stores, that offers discounted prices. At least in Lahore. In the cities of Islamabad & Rawalpindi, cheaper Iranian products are available. Grocery stores dedicate at least two shelves to the good quality Iranian stuff. Oil & cheese is very popular. Goods are brought in via Baluchistan-Iran border. These products were earlier available in Baluchistan & Lyari but now have found welcome markets in different cities of the country.

One thing we must look into. Due to the high cost of food items, most are making fewer dishes. Less elaborate preparation for Sehr & Iftar. But there are still people who make a heavy iftar followed by a break for prayers & an equally elaborate dinner. For Sehr, special dishes are prepared.

The Ramadan plight! | Baaghi TV

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We need to question ourselves if this is the spirit of Islam? Does fasting means, gorging ourselves on ten different dishes before and after fast? How does this brief period of not eating anything but stuffing ourselves otherwise make us feel thee hunger of a poor man? Why can we not, have simpler meals like opening fast with one simple item, after prayers have a one-dish dinner? If someone if blessed with much, should he not, keeping with the spirit of Islam use the said amount of money to feed the poor instead?

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The writer is a lawyer, academic and political analyst. She has authored a book titled ‘A Comparative Analysis of Media & Media Laws in Pakistan.’ She can be contacted at: and tweets at @yasmeen_9

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  1. Shakil Ahmed 30 March, 2023 at 13:43 Reply

    Agreed with the viewpoint of the author completely. We my mend our bad habits in this Holy month according to its true spirit. Let us distribute surplus food among needy people rather eat too many
    dishes which is not only spoil our health but wastage of money and nothing else.

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