Ramadan Business Has The Muslim Holy Month Become Too Commercial?

Huff Post: by Javeed Kaleem.

In Mecca, the growth of five-star hotels and expensive travel packages for Muslims performing pilgrimage (umrah) during Ramadan has added to discussions of excess in a faith that emphasizes simplicity and accessibility.

Growing up in a mostly Christian neighborhood in southern Virginia in the 1970s and 1980s, Raana Smith remembers feeling “lacking” around the holidays. While friends frolicked at Easter Egg hunts and got giddy over the presents under their Christmas trees each December, her Muslim family’s traditions didn’t translate well into toys or games that other kids could understand.

Now 39 and a mother to a three-year-old, Smith is trying to help fill what she sees as a commercial hole for Muslim families raising kids in the United States. Ahead of Tuesday’s first day of Ramadan, the Islamic month when Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset, her Islamic gifts and stationery business, Silver Envelope, has prepared hundreds of Ramadan wares for shipping. They range from an $8.50 Ramadan cookie decorating package to a $15 “Rockets ‘n’ Robots” Ramadan countdown kit (the concept is similar to that of an Advent Calendar) and, for the ambitious, a $69.95 “moon-sighting party” bundle (the holiday period begins and ends with the viewing of the new moon).


Categories: Americas, Ramadan

1 reply

  1. by the grace of Allah I have been able to visit Makkah five times, 2 times for Hajj and 3 times for Umrah. The nicest time was when I reached for Hajj at short notice, without any booking. While sitting in the agent’s office in Makkah where he contemplated what to do with me and my family one Saudi Airlines employee felt sorry for me and said that he will ask his father-in-law whether he would make an exception and take us in. It was a simple room in an old house on a hill, but it was ‘GENUINE MAKKAH’. The best possible alternative that any hajji could have. The family shared their ‘simple’ meals with us. Of course the ‘simple meals’ were much more than we needed but very welcome when arriving back at the accomodation very tired. Alhamdolillah. May Allah bless our hosts of long ago.

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