Black Friday or Jummah Mubarak

(Umber Ejaz, Lahore)

With Oven-Roasted Turkey, “Thanksgiving” Is Being Celebrated In U.S To Pay Gratitude For The Ripe Crops And For Everything That Was Blessed To Them In The Previous Year. It Was Celebrated On Different Dates Throughout History. In December 1941, A Resolution Was Passed By 32nd President Of The United States To Observe National Thanksgiving On The Fourth Thursday Of November. Hence, This Year It Is Celebrated Today I.E. 24th Of November 2016. And It Marks The Start Of A “Holiday Season” For Americans.

The Day After Thanksgiving Is Called “Black Friday”, Which For Many States In America Is Also An Official Holiday Making A Four-Day Long Weekend. Shops Open During Overnight Hours And Massive Discounts Are Offered To The Customers. U.S Media Gives Quite Hype To Black Friday Shopping And Affect It Has On Commercial Success Of Christmas Shopping Season.

Such Media Has Stormed Into The “ISLAMIC (Caps Intended) State Of Pakistan”. Not Just The Media Many Big Brands Are Promoting Their Black Friday Sale Through Social Media Like Facebook And Instagram. Not To Mention The Billboards And Television. With The Background Explained, It Is Purely For Those Who Are To Celebrate Christmas. Gulf Countries Provide Such Discounts During Ramadhan And For “Eid-Ul-Azha” As The Celebration Is For Everyone And Everyone Has A Right To Enjoy It.

The Question Is. Is The Whole Pakistan Going To Celebrate Christmas This Year? The Day Which Is Considered Sacred For Muslims All Over The World Is Now Termed As “Black” (Though For One Day) Which Depicts The Day For Any Misfortune. Why Such Sales And Promotion Is Not Offered Before Our Religious Occasions In Pakistan? Why Not Such A Day With A Unique Name Which Becomes A Part Of Pakistan’s Culture? Like Last Year, One Website Introduced Same Sales And Promotion By The Name Of “White Friday”. Why Not Such A Tradition Which Australians Follow, Like “Boxing Day”. At Least They Have Their Self-Respect In Not Following Others.

But The Main Question Which Arises Is That Whether Such Nation Who Falls On Even PKR 40 For A “Bara Shwarma” Will Avail Such Discount Or Not? Ironically, For Me The Question Is “Yes”. That’s Because, We As A Nation Are The Ones Who Wait For All Kind Of Sales To Buy Cheap Things And From Brands Because We All Are “Brand Conscious”. So, That The Standard Which We Have Set For Is Maintained. I Hope And Pray That We As Muslims Don’t Forget Our Cultural And Religious Values Following West. Otherwise, As The Urdu Idiom Says “Kawwa Chala Hans Ki Chaal Aur Apni Chaal Hi Bhool Gaya”

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