In Other Blogs: Shopping Woes

Javeria describes how shopping in Karachi translates into lots of headaches, especially due to tardiness of shopkeepers to open in the morning, the practice by shopkeepers of cheating customers out of every penny they can and the lack of prayer places for women which makes offering prayers almost impossible.

*note: please keep your comments relevant to the topic and refrain from abusive language and/or personal attacks. all comments not adhering to the KMB commenting policy will be edited or deleted without notice*

22 Comments so far

  1. Neena (unregistered) on October 27th, 2007 @ 11:51 am

    How about shopping between Zhur and Asar prayers?

    OK, its kind a off topic but related to Shopping what is the current fashion trends in Ladies Shalwar Kameez? Need to tailor some for my friend and she wants the latest one.

  2. Mufakkir (unregistered) on October 27th, 2007 @ 11:53 am

    Very true, specially in regards for prayer places. And if women go into some mosque to quietly pray in some corner, the moulvies scream like something ‘napak’ has entered the mosque.

    My mother did it on a Tariq Rd mosque some years ago and we ended up picking the fight with the committee of the mosque. Luckily both me & my father are bearded moulvies themselves, so we got control of the situation.

    It is to be noted that the musalla for men is also much inferior as compared to the shop, cafeteria etc. It is usually in the basement or mezanine, with poor ventilation and lighting. Seems like prayers are after all an after-thought for our building planners. At least give some respect to the praying place.

    In shopping centres abroad, there are places with sofas etc. where you can drop or the family can gather for a decision about something. Wide corridors (18 feet) and no shopkeeper uses the corridor space to put his merchandise there.

    Parking is also a huge problem.

  3. IUnknown (unregistered) on October 27th, 2007 @ 12:17 pm

    Very true, specially in regards for prayer places. And if women go into some mosque to quietly pray in some corner, the moulvies scream like something ‘napak’ has entered the mosque.

    wat is this??????????

    the policy states on taunts on any one. this comment shud be deleted immediately.

    Some foolish ppl always write abt molvis whether is shopping or wat…


  4. mansoor (unregistered) on October 27th, 2007 @ 12:41 pm

    iunknown: had it just been a generally hate comment, it would have been deleted immediately. However, its accompanied by personal experience which led to this conclusion by the commenter (who happens to be a bearded gentleman and no doubt a religiously inclined one himself), and the topic does contain a reference to women praying in masjids, this comment is valid.

    Had the comment just been about how molvis in general scream.. it would’ve been moderated.

  5. ALAM (unregistered) on October 27th, 2007 @ 1:23 pm

    >>> And if women go into some mosque to quietly pray in some corner, the moulvies scream like something ‘napak’ has entered the mosque.

    Actually, some mosques r so dirty that presence of women does not matter. I have been to Hindus mandirs, and their status is the same. I guess both Muslims and Hindus in South Asia agree on one thing: Keep the worship places as dirty as possible

  6. ShahidnUSA (unregistered) on October 27th, 2007 @ 5:35 pm

    Women should be allowed to pray in the mosques and should have separate bathrooms for wazu/cleaning.Country that has 50 % are women should have equal rights if they choose to.

    Putting up a little curtain in the middle/center can solve the issue.

  7. JayJay (unregistered) on October 27th, 2007 @ 5:52 pm

    Not decent public toilets; not unadulterated products; not a safer shopping environment; not fair prices; not satisfactory infrastructure; not sufficient car-parking. Rather all we want is a place to pray, while out shopping. That’s the way to go. At least someone has her priorities right!

  8. Zainub (unregistered) on October 27th, 2007 @ 8:18 pm

    I’ve been praying taraweeh for several years now at the Masjid-e-Farooq (opposite St. Micheal’s school). They have a whole floor for women, and its quite touching the way the Imam always mentions to have sweets distributed in the ladies section first at khatme-e-tarawi.

    But yes, that mosque is an exception rather than the norm (even there, regular female jamahs are only held for Isha and taraweeh prayers). I’ve written before about how women in Pakistan are often alienated from mainstream oragnised religion like this, this is not something that Islam advocates. Then again, we do so many things in the name of our religion that our religion does not it self endorse or subscribe to, so this is hardly new or surprising, but disappointing all the same.

    With reference to prayer areas for ladies in shopping malls, Gulf/Metro have a prayer area for the women just beside the prayers area for men (on the same floor where you have the lift for what use to be the Alhuda offices). I’ve prayed there on numerous occasions.

    A prayer room for ladies has also been allocated at the Millenium Mall on the third floor. I’ve prayed Asr there just this Ramadan. Also on Tariq Road, the big mosque in that area (don’t know the name), it also has a very small ladies prayer room, I’ve prayed there several years ago, don’t know if it still exists or not.

    Another mosque near a shopping area in which a prayer area for ladies exists is the mosque near the banarasi shops in Orangi town, that is pretty small too, and you don’t have a wadu facility either, but its much better than having no alternative.

    I’ve also prayed inside a jewelery shop in Saddar, a cloth shop in Continental and outside the main kitchen of the Zamzama Pizza Hut (this was last Ramadan, when me and my friends went to their aftar deal). I also prayed Maghrib this year at Nando’s in Clifton, behind their back doors, they had those mat kind of janamazes laid out and ladies and gents -quite a few of them- were all praying in the same area because of shortage of space).

    While traveling, I’ve once prayed on the grass, outside one of the rides at Disney Land California, once in the campus of Harward University and once just besides the reception at Empire State Building in downtown New York. The most amazing place to pray though, was inside a Suadi Airline flight, they had a small space alloted for it too, which even told us the direction of the kabba. It was quite some feeling to pray while being suspended in mid air.

    My point in narrating all of this, is that yes, while it would be nice to have some proper place alloted for prayers for ladies in large shopping malls and restaurants, if there isn’t one, you can always find one and create your own prayer area. For a Muslim all the world is place of worship. So I agree with the point Javeriya made in one of her comments, those who truly want to pray, they find the means and ways to do so, most shopkeepers will keep a spare janamaz with them, and even if they don’t I doubt the majority of them will be rude enough to turn down a request for some space on their shop carpet for you to pray on.

    However problems with wadu might arise, to counter this, what I try and do is to make it a point not to travel during prayer times, but of course this is easier said than done, so sometimes you do inevitably end up being in the mall during prayer times, then you just have to pray wherever you can.

    About the rest of the post, I hate spending time in bazars, I like to go to a few selected shops and get the thing I like, without making a whole lot of fuss over the price. I’m not good at bargaining, so yeah, I suppose this means I frequently get ripped off, but alhumdulillah Allah has given me enough resources, so I’d rather be ripped off than go through the entire cumbersome procedure of bargaining. Besides I shop less, so over a period of time, it would probably just even out with the amount ladies who do bargain spend on their shopping.

    Lastly, about the timing issue, too right Javeriya was. Lack of punctuality is a plague that has gripped the entirety of Pakistani society, from the shop owners, business men to our weddings, events and festivals, we’re a country that takes great pride in being fashionably late. I wish this wasn’t the case and we realised how much this bad habit costs us in terms of time, money and resources. I wish.

  9. llama (unregistered) on October 28th, 2007 @ 12:12 am

    i’m not complaing about the lack of prayer places while shopping. what i want is a place to breastfeed while shopping!! different strokes for different folks i guess!

    oh and 100% agreed on the tardiness issue! they are such lazy bums! and its not like they stay open till late either to justify the late mornings.

  10. ALAM (unregistered) on October 28th, 2007 @ 2:39 am


    >>what i want is a place to breastfeed while shopping!!

    on which end of breastfeeding u want to be?

  11. nuzhat (unregistered) on October 28th, 2007 @ 4:26 am

    I agree with you JayJay. I am not sure when praying in public became a barometer of one’s piety. Are we implying that all Pakistani-Muslims before the onslaught of public display of religosity were not Muslim enough! Oh I miss my old Pakistan!

    I for one would like to have clean washrooms and shopkeepers who are professional in their dealings.

  12. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on October 28th, 2007 @ 12:33 pm

    Nuzhat, you might not have idea about Islam’s bascis and I forgive you for that.We shouldn’t consider every soul in Pakistan MUSLIM either.

    Muslims are asked to pray 5 times a day and every prayer have a time frame to offer namaz otherwise it’s called Qaza Namaz. Prayers like Asr and Maghrib have very short period of time and this is the time when most of women go out for shopping. I am not talking about Ba’jamat namaz(Congregational Prayers). I didn’t include Isha because it has longest time period to offer and one could offer even at 12’O clock at night.

    If one can display his lust for music by listening music in loud voices in cars and girls can show off themselves by wearing modern outfits then why one can’t display his/her religious association by praying in public places when there is a genuine reason as well.

    Bring some tolerance in yourself before you curse those whom you consider intolerant because they practice a religion rather use its tag for sake of society. Nobody asked you to pray, you are free to have some fun at the time other women are busy in praying.

    Those who are worried about public toilets etc should come out of their closets and do something practically rather whining about it from bedrooms.

  13. Denver (unregistered) on October 29th, 2007 @ 10:36 am

    *comment moderated*

  14. Original-Anon (unregistered) on October 29th, 2007 @ 6:13 pm

    Off topic alert : Mansoor, instead of working so hard on moderating comments, why don’t you all try to write some interesting and original posts? With about 15 bloggers on KMB who are supposed to write 2-3 posts a week, you guys are putting out maybe 2 a day and those too are mostly links to newspaper stories or something from other blogs.
    On topic, this is a truly annoying blog post.

  15. Balma (unregistered) on October 29th, 2007 @ 6:53 pm

    *Zainub wrote:

    However problems with wadu might arise?


    What is wadu?

  16. Balma (unregistered) on October 29th, 2007 @ 6:56 pm

    * Zainub wrote:
    Also on Tariq Road, the big mosque in that area (don’t know the name),

    You mean the one built ‘illegaly’ on the spot where a park existed, right next to the building that houses (or used to) AG Sindh office?

  17. mansoor (unregistered) on October 29th, 2007 @ 7:14 pm

    original-anon: the frequency has slowed down, i guess probably due to the fact that karachi has been quite quiet in the aftermath of BB.

    still, posts are on their way.. do not worry :D

  18. Original-Anon (unregistered) on October 29th, 2007 @ 7:53 pm

    @Balma – ‘Wadu’ is what you do before you offer ‘Salah’ :)

  19. Balma (unregistered) on October 29th, 2007 @ 10:44 pm


    ‘Wadu’ is what you do before you offer ‘Salah’ :)


    Strange. I usually do some thinking before I offer ‘Salah’ or ‘Mashvarah’ to someone.

    Now, I am totally confused. May be Zainub can explain what she meant????

  20. ORIGINAL-ANON (unregistered) on October 29th, 2007 @ 11:19 pm

    Oops – I meant ‘salat’ (namaz to the un-enlightened), but forgive me since I’m only just learning these true Islamic words.
    Anyhow,one should know ‘wadu’ is ‘fard’ on the ‘Ummah’ before ‘salat’!

  21. Allknowing (unregistered) on October 30th, 2007 @ 6:04 am

    @Balma: Wudu is a new way to spell voodoo.

    And ‘Salah’ is brother-in-law in Urdu/Hindustani.

    Where will it end? Mimicking Arabs is Islam in this new world.

  22. Balma (unregistered) on October 30th, 2007 @ 6:40 pm

    All Knowing: brother in law is saalaa, salah could be Islah’s younger brother:-)

    I am afraid, allah-nah-khwastah, hum sub kee Urdu-Panjabi bilkul tabah ho jaayae gee, too much Arabic accent bohut mudir hae!

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