Archive for November, 2011

Tomorrow is Black Friday

Today is Thanksgiving and tomorrow is BLACK FRIDAY. Black Friday is when stores and malls all over have their biggest sales of the year. People stand in front of stores half the night, or even the whole night sometimes, just to get the “first 50” or “first 10” people discount. Last year, I watched the news LIVE as the news crew went to Tysons Corner Mall to show the crazed shoppers at 9pm! Another story was of a couple in some other state who camped out in front of a store 4 days before Black Friday!

For the past few years, my friend and I have been going to Black Friday as almost a ritual. We initially started going for the sales so we could save money because we are serious budget shoppers but we also had a lot of fun. I would save up about $100 or so and then splurge on everything from shirts to jeans to Bath & Body Works items. I know $100 may be not so much for people but we have been raised to believe that a $20 shirt is expensive, unless absolutely unique or gorgeous. I like that about our families; that we have been taught to save money.

The year before last year, my friend and I had two Venti Starbucks Fraps and we went high on coffee. It was freezing cold outside and we went to Tysons Corner Mall and, well, of course, we splurged. I remember back in 2007 when our other best friend came from Saudi, we planned to go to Tysons at 12:00 am for Midnight Madness, an outlandish addition to the already crazed-up situation of crazy shopping.

Our moms said no.

It was the end of the world.

We complained to each other on the phone about how unfair life was and how cruel our moms were for not letting us go to the most exciting event of the year. They kept saying we’d go at 5 am after Fajr but we didn’t wanna listen. Eventually, though, no one went.

Later, about a year ago, I came across a hadith I had heard when I was little. Here it is:


The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) said: “The most beloved places on Earth to Allah are its mosques, and the most despised places on Earth to Allah are its markets.” (Sahih Muslim) 


I realized how foolish I was to run after the dunya like that. I mean, it’s something to think about; if the standard for being a desperate shopper for a kafir is camping out and lining up in the freezing cold, then what is it for us? Is 5am crazy enough for a Muslim? Or can they get crazier?

I let my excuses get disguised as wise decisions and I let myself out into the storm. I was genuinely looking for cheap stuff but in the end, I was lying to myself that there is absolutely nothing wrong with going to Black Friday. Years earlier, my dad had explained Black Friday bargain-hunters to me as beggars. As we passed by a Comp USA store with more than 20 people already standing in line around 10:30 pm on Thursday night, he very cleverly attempted to change my mind about the idea of Black Friday. He said it was useless how people abandoned their sleep (and their kids at home) and even their conscience as they went around looking for material things. He knew and I knew that I would still go when I got the chance but at least he changed my mentality about the whole affair, with the hope that the action upon the new belief would come soon.

Now I ask myself: Is now soon enough?

I know it probably is but I still have not been able to overcome my desires. I don’t love shopping and even today, I’m going just to save money on a few items and to hang out with my best friends. I don’t have much of an exciting life and little things get me hyped up, Black Friday included. Everything about it just gives me an adrenaline rush, like waking up at 5:00 in the morning, buying Venti Fraps and going high and then having fun wandering the mall like there’s no tomorrow.

Tysons is having Midnight Madness again and so is Kohl’s but this Black Friday, my friends and I laid out some rules, just so we don’t fall in the category of those who are the first to enter the marketplace and the last to get out (I think there was a hadith that stated that Allah dislikes/curses those kinds of people and I was not about to get cursed by Allah over some new cardigans or jeans).

We agreed to go around 4 am to Kohl’s instead of 12 am and then to Tysons around 5am. It’s not much of a change but it’s an improvement. Also, since Starbucks is anti-Palestine, I’m going to McDonald’s for my McFrappe.

As for myself, I feel guilty for going, but unfortunately, I have not developed enough Taqwa and detachment from the dunya not to go.

But I have a resolution; next year, insha’Allah, I’m not gonna go at all. At all. Instead of piling in the car after Fajr, I will go back to sleep.

Here’s an explanation for the hadith I mentioned earlier:

The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) said: “The most beloved places on Earth to Allah are its mosques, and the most despised places on Earth to Allah are its markets.” (Sahih Muslim) 

From all the places on Earth, Allah loves the mosques above all else. They fulfill the most important function. They are the places where those on Earth make contact with their Creator and Sustainer. The Arabic word for prayer – salah – means to make a connection between the worshipper and his Lord.
As for the markets, they are not “the most despised places on Earth to Allah” on account of the buying and selling that goes on there. That is not the reason at all.
They are despised because of all the deception and fraud that goes on. The markets are places where false measure is given, and where every day false oaths are sworn. They are places of stinginess, avarice, wrangling, and disputation.
At the same time, we find that this hadith provides us with a very essential and important concept. By placing the market in comparison with the mosques, the hadith is acknowledging that the marketplace is an institution in Muslim society, just like the mosque is.
Life is not only about the mosque. The mosque and the marketplace are both integral parts of society.
Allah’s believing servants are people who engage in buying and selling. However, they do not let their commerce distract them from the remembrance of Allah. There is harmony between the rights of this world and the rights of the Hereafter. Allah says: “And do not forget your share of the worldly life.” (Surah al-Qasas-28: 77)

When entering the Market

لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللَّهُ وَحْدَهُ لَا شَرِيكَ لَهُ لَهُ الْمُلْكُ وَلَهُ الْحَمْدُ يُحْيِي وَيُمِيتُ وَهُوَ حَيٌّ لَا يَمُوتُ بِيَدِهِ الْخَيْرُ وَهُوَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٍ 

“There is none worthy of worship besides Allah. He is all by Himself. He has no partner. His is the Kingdom, to Him is all praise. He gives and takes life. He is all by Himself. He will not die. In His hands is all good and He has control (power) over all things”. 

It is stated in the hadith that if a person reads the above dua in the market place, Allah writes 1 million rewards for him. I wasn’t able to get the hadith Shaykh mentioned. If anyone knows, please do post, Insha Allah.


November 24, 2011 at 1:26 pm Leave a comment

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