Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Shopping Rush Begins as Ramadan Nears

“What happened??” AdventureMan asks me on the phone from a nearby roundabout. “All of a sudden, it is traffic madness!”

I laughed.

The day before, Saturday, a day off coupled with a dust storm – the roads were empty, I found “rock star parking” at the Souq al Waqif, and breezed around town doing my errands in record time.

“I think it has to do with Ramadan coming,” I said. Ramadan will start on or about August 20, and the beginning of the month is payday for many people. My best guess is that a lot of people are beginning to prepare now.


Sure enough, today’s Peninsula is saying the same thing:

Ramadan shopping rush begins
Web posted at: 8/3/2009 2:54:31

People crowd at Souq Waqif for buying provisions and other things yesterday. ABDUL BASIT
DOHA: Despite the spiralling prices of basic commodities as the Ramadan season nears sales in shops selling essential food items are brisk as people prepare for the coming Holy Month, The Peninsula has learnt.

The long strip of shops in Souq Waqif selling spices, pulses and rice were yesterday abuzz with shoppers filling their shopping bags with basic food items in anticipation for the 30-day fasting period.

“Definitely there had been an increase in some food items specially spices and pulses,” said Mohammad Robel, one of the shopkeepers in the traditional souq.

Robel said price increase between 30 to 40 percent was recently witnessed, though he claimed the rise in prices varies from one company supplier to another.

“The company determines the increase in prices but fluctuation in the price rise from one company to another is not that significant,” he maintained.

Cardamom, which is popularly used here as spice for sweet dishes and traditional flavouring for coffee and tea, is currently priced at QR380 per five kilos.

“Previously five kilos of cardamom was QR290,” Robel said.

In the same way price of beans has increased from QR96 to QR115 per five kilos. A 20-kilo sack of staple food Indian basmati rice costs QR150.

Rice, beans, curry, sugar and salt are among the items in great demand these days and prices of these and other items are expected to increase further with just less than three weeks before Ramadan commences.

For those of you who don’t know what Ramadan is, it is the holy month celebrated by Moslems as the time during which the Qu’ran was related to the Prophet Mohammad. The rules are strictly enforced in Qatar – no eating, drinking, smoking or physical contact with the opposite sex from dawn to sunset. There are heavy fines – even prison time – for violators.

Non-Moslem women and men are being reminded to wear modest clothing that does not reveal the shape of your body, to avoid distracting those focused on religious thoughts.

Although a period of fasting, it is also a time of feasting, as the fast is broken when the sun goes down, and every night for the lunar month of Ramadan, special dishes are served, and parties are held. It is a month of religious contemplation, and also a month of religious celebration.

Here is what it says at Islam101:

Ramadan -a month of obligatory daily fasting in Islam is the ninth month in the Islamic lunar calendar. Daily fasts begin at dawn and end with sunset. Special nightly prayers called, Taraweeh prayers are held. The entire Quran is recited in these prayers in Mosques all around the world. This month provides an opportunity for Muslims to get closer to God. This is a month when a Muslim should try to:

See not what displeases Allah
Speak no evil
Hear no evil
Do no evil
Look to Allah with fear and hope
“O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become God-fearing.” (The Quran, 2:183)

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: Whoever fasts during Ramadan with faith and seeking his reward from Allah will have his past sins forgiven. Whoever prays during the nights in Ramadan with faith and seeking his reward from Allah will have his past sins forgiven. And he who passes Lailat al-Qadr in prayer with faith and seeking his reward from Allah will have his past sins forgiven (Bukhari, Muslim).

Ramadan ends with a day long celebration known as Eidul-Fitr. Eidul-Fitr begins with a special morning prayer in grand Mosques and open grounds of towns and cities of the world. the prayer is attended by men, women and children with their new or best clothes. A special charity, known as Zakatul-Fitr is given out prior to the prayer. The rest of the day is spent in visiting relatives and friends, giving gifts to children and eating.

August 3, 2009 - Posted by | Community, Cooking, Cross Cultural, Doha, ExPat Life, Living Conditions, Qatar, Ramadan, Shopping, Social Issues, Spiritual


  1. I liked reading your post. Having lived in Muslim countries, I know about Ramadan. What did strike me as funny was this:


    Of course I know the food is for after the fast each evening, but it did catch my attention.

    The photo is beautiful. Did you take it?

    Miss Footloose

    Comment by Miss Footloose | August 4, 2009 | Reply

  2. Oops, I realize that my pasted-in quote didn’t make it in the final comment. This is what I quoted:


    Comment by Miss Footloose | August 4, 2009 | Reply

  3. It’s the darn thingies in front, not intended to be HTML code…

    One more time. Sorry sorry:

    quote shoppers filling their shopping bags with basic food items in participation for the 30-day fasting period. end quote.

    Comment by Miss Footloose | August 4, 2009 | Reply

  4. LOL, Miss Footloose! That quote caught my eye, too. I am also reminded of our Christmas season – all the buying and preparing and social time distracts us from the true meaning of the season.

    Comment by intlxpatr | August 4, 2009 | Reply

  5. […] This post was Twitted by sugarbreaknews […]

    Pingback by Twitted by sugarbreaknews | August 4, 2009 | Reply

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