Conscience invasion in shopping

It was just a shopping experience. In fact the first official one since Jaihoon had been promoted to the position of a breadwinner. Al Hamdu Lillah.

As usual, it was a dotcom product that had priority in my TINY shopping list: a 1.5m USB cable. However, a box of chocolates was a not a bad idea to balance the list.

But that was only the beginning of the ‘thoughtful’ problem…

Strange are the times when one’s conscience invades… even without asking permission before interfering in public.

These are the days when the call of the boycott fatwas are in the air. Or at least lying in many inboxes of various email accounts. Some ask to boycott oil exports. Others call for ban on commercial imports.

And I started to search. From left to right, in breadth and height…for a decent brand of chocolate that didn’t have a mention in the boycott list. And found… nothing at all.

Fwd: fatwas

The ‘fwd:scholars’ had asked me to boycott these products. And they found their claims somewhat supported by real-life scholars as well. The point they were driving home was that by buying these products, we were actually helping the enemies’ economy.

So I turned back without buying anything from the chocolate corner.

With due respect to the learned scholars, may I say that it is not so rare nor hard to issue a fatwa asking to ban the enemies’ products. But has anyone among them envisioned the setting up of domestic industries in order to provide an alternative to such boycotted products. One thing is for sure: there is no going back from today’s level of materialistic consumerism. Take it from me for sure.

Consumers are after all human beings. They are driven by ‘wants’. And when such ‘wants’ are backed by ‘ability to pay’, then demand is born. And common sense tells us that in face of such demand, there is no use of any verdicts. It’s a buying urge that has to be satisfied. Communism failed because it failed to recognize this, among other reasons.

Just then, a woman clad in black veil and pulling a trolley, stopped by. A glance at the shopping pram revealed to me how conscious the Ummah was about those fatwas: it had large 4-in-one soft drinks, boxes of chocolates.. all of which had labels that I saw in the ‘fwd:fatwas’.

Never mind.

While walking towards the counter, I had a look at the press. An ironical headline read: ‘gold ornaments were being sent to Bethlehem and Ramalla’… as if a mass wedding ceremony was taking place there!

More meaningful would be if Uncle Sam’s pet agencies like UN send coffin boxes and burial clothes there, rather than issuing “immediate” warnings like a mother scolding her little child.

However, this videshi soon winded up the shopping with a swadeshi pickle.

Bills paid. With the receipt in hand and something else in head, I left.

Almost the entire Islamic world is on the streets protesting against the Zionist atrocities, but the enemy is not just based in the Jewish state: have a look in your fridge, bookshelf, the Idiot Box in the living room, video games… the car you drive… from morn to evening you are in his hands. Your appetite is the biggest market- both industrial and commercial. You are helping him grow more and more.

The Boomerang Dua

Driving back home, stopped for Maghrib prayer. “O Allah! Defeat our enemies and weaken those who help them”, said the Imam in the special qunoot. Before saying amen, I silently whispered within myself that the dua does not come as a boomerang on those who are praying.

All our eats and drinks were served from the enemies’ commercial powerhouses. In fact we were helping them more than anyone else…

The sun was setting. And I closed the cap of bottle-like mind.


Ya Rabb! Kya lutf anjuman ka? jab dil hi bhuj gaya ho!

April 14th 2002.