Muslims in The Gambia and around the world yesterday began observing the holy month of Ramadan. The fast entails abstaining from eating food, drinking and indulging in Bacchanalian pleasures from dawn to dusk.
It is a month in which Muslims undergo intense worship of God, the Almighty, and as such it is considered a sacred, serene month. The spiritual atmosphere is heightened and believers assiduously endeavour to enhance their spirituality.
Muslims are expected to be more charitable and also more tolerant as fights and quarrels are frowned upon. It is therefore desirable that those who observe the fast forgive and forget the mistakes of others so that the atmosphere of peace will be maintained.
When people break their fast in the evenings (iftar), varieties of foods are prepared and readily shared with neighbours and others. This makes it necessary to buy a lot of food items from the markets in order to prepare these dishes.
For this reason, sometimes businessmen and women tend to increase the prices of these basic commodities. It is hoped that these unscrupulous businessmen and women will not try to take advantage of the the hike in demand to hike prices. Profiteering in such a manner goes against the whole purpose of fasting. In Ramadan, as it is true in all other months, it should be, Allah before Shekel!