“We should boycott shopping from this brand as it has labelled our holy day as “Black Friday.”
“Shopping on Black Friday is Haraam.”
“Black Friday is an anti-Islam event”
“When you shop on Black Friday, you participate in the non-muslim events and promote their religion.”
“Calling Friday black is a sin.”
You probably have heard a lot of statements like these when you plan to shop on Black Friday. But have you ever researched before forbidding it?
The term ‘Black Friday’ was first used on 24th Sept, 1869. It started when two investors Jay Gould and Jim Fisk increased the price of Gold and witnessed the 20% decline in the trade. The farmers also suffered a 50% fall in wheat and corn harvest value.
Since this, all happened on Friday, the day became Black Friday and disseminated all over the world.
In another event, Philadelphia police used the “Black Friday” to refer to the day between Thanksgiving and the Army-Navy game. Vast crowds of shoppers and tourists went to the city that Friday and cops had to work long hours to cover the crowds and traffic. The chaos made them unable to relax and work without break on Friday so they named it as “Black Friday.”
Although merchants in the area tried to change the name to “Big Friday,” but the alternative name never caught on.
By the late 1980s, “Black Friday” had spread nationally with the more positive “red to black” backstory which says that the retailers and businesses used to record their profits in black and losses in red.
It’s celebrated after the fourth Thursday of the November and huge discounts and sales are offered on this day.
This history states that the event has no religious affiliations and neither is an anti-muslim event. It’s the marketing strategy which has been adopted widely including Pakistan.
The term ‘Black Friday’ irked the people of Pakistan a lot as they say Friday can’t be black because black is the color of grief.
So, they renamed this marketing campaign as Blessed Friday, White Friday, Big Friday, Best Friday, Holy Friday, Tech Friday, and many more.
But the name doesn’t matter unless your actions resonate with what we are being commanded in our religion.
إِنَّمَا الْأَعْمَالُ بِالنِّيَّاتِ
“Actions are dependent upon their Intentions”
A few businesses don’t give the correct discounts. They increase the prices and cut it half to display discounts but in reality, the prices remain the same.
Similarly, buyers are also sucked into a frenzy of buying everything.
Just because something is on sale does not mean you should buy it.
And in another verse in Surah Isra, as in many other surahs, we see that Allah Almighty is saying do not squander your wealth wastefully:
The extravagant are brethren of the devils, and the devil is ever ungrateful to his Lord. (17:27)
So, the problem isn’t in the name but in your actions. You should act wisely because if the name is bothering you but you’re still spending a lot in shopping, missing prayers, rushing in the crowd then that’s inappropriate.
On the other hand, there are people who wait for the year-end sales to buy things for their living which they can’t afford at regular prices. So, if the sales are benefiting the needy then what’s the harm in it? How can it be Haraam?
Also, there are businesses who try to cover their losses for the whole year by giving discounts on bulk sales. They can call it 11.11, Black Friday, Cyber Monday or any other name. The aim is to achieve their annual target and close the year in profit.
You can help them by purchasing their products. Or if your friend has just launched his business and is offering a Black Friday deal, instead of making him guilty about it, how about helping him in the initial phase of his business?
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As a Muslim, we need to expand our horizons about Islam. It’s a peaceful and a complete religion which has always commanded us to work for the betterment of other human beings. We shouldn’t criticize anyone based on the little knowledge we have.
Plus, its time to rethink on our actions.
- Are we buying what we don’t need?
- Are we missing our prayers while shopping?
- Are we hurting others through our words, hands or intentions?
- Are we shopping all day?
We need to review our habits and be careful about it.
Plus, there are a lot of issues bigger than Black Friday. We should be concerned more about them.