|“Ramadan is the most fruitful month for the business of dates,” Shaikh told OnIslam.net.|
A flurry of potential buyers throngs the center to get a taste of season’s biggest fruit draw: dates. With the holy month of Ramadan on the doorstep, dates sell like hotcakes.
“Dates are the lifeblood of Ramadan,” Shaikh told OnIslam.net.
“Since the Ramadan fasts are usually broken with dates, there is no Ramadan without dates.”
In Ramadan, adult Muslims, save the sick and those traveling, abstain from food, drink, smoking and sex between dawn and sunset.
Most dedicate their time during the holy month to become closer to Allah through self-restraint, good deeds and prayer.
Fast-breaking with dates is the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) and therefore given prominence in Indian subcontinent especially in Ramadan.
Abu Osama, an accountant, believes that since breaking the fast with dates is Sunnah it is an act of virtue during Ramadan.
“I am going to buy the dates tomorrow,” he told OnIslam.
“I enjoy dates when mixed with watermelon. It tastes delicious.”
Shaikh, the dates’ retailer, has been busy preparing for this season.
“We have stocked all kinds of dates for the holy month,” he explains.
“Ramadan is the most fruitful month for the business of dates.”
His father Najmuddin, a former mayor of the town and the biggest dealer as well as retailer, notes that date-sale skyrockets during Ramadan.
“In Ramadan alone, 40 tons (equal to 40000 kgs) dates are imported in Malegaon alone from different Arab countries,” he told OnIslam.net.
He compares that to minimal date-sale in normal days. “In Ramadan, date sells ten times more.”
With Ramadan on the doorstep, even street vendors have put up temporary stalls which do quick business.
“Dates are the most sold out fruit in Ramadan. It makes business sense to sell dates,” Imran Ahmed, a street vendor on Malegaon’s Kidwai road, told OnIslam.
Ahmed sells fruits like bananas and watermelon in usual days but switches to dates in Ramadan.
He earns up to 1000 rupees now and hopes that his earning will go up as Ramadan starts.
“I rush to date shops to fill my cart. The big shop owners always cooperate with us though we are competitors.”
Malegaon’s dealers offer almost all types of dates including popular Mabroom, Ajwah and Anbarah.
Prices of dates range from 25 rupees to 300 rupees per kilogram.
This, according to Abu Osama, is a double blessing.
“Dates are cheaper as compared to other fruits and therefore even poor Muslims can afford it,” he explains.
“The wide range of variety offers convenient choices. From poor to rich, everybody can afford dates depending upon one’s economic condition.”
OnIslam.net August 11, 2010