Thursday, December 1, 2011

Confessions of a non-Shopaholic

 I really don’t like shopping; I think I have mentioned this before. I’m not saying that I don’t enjoy buying the stuff I need. Alhamdullillah (All Praise is for Allah) I really do like going out and getting the stuff that I need, and stuff that I want as well. But I could never understand how people could spend hours and hours walking around in a shopping mall, going in and out of every single store. It’s madness in my opinion. Not that I haven’t fallen victim to this type of crazy shopping myself, to be honest I also have my moments of ‘shopaholism’. I remember when we my family and I went to Egypt a few years ago, it was so great to see fashionable Islamic clothing that we just went mad. My brothers were extremely irritated when we spent like about 4 to 5 hours in one particular shop. On a regular basis however, if I can avoid shopping then I do, and when I do have to go shopping I always try and make sure it’s on a week day when the shopping mall is quiet.
This is why I was particularly shocked when I watched a news clip the other evening about how crazy shopping can get over the Christmas period. I think it was Sky News that we were watching and they showed how people were going crazy shopping in America. One woman pepper-sprayed a whole crowd of people to get what she wanted; there were also mini stampedes in some supermarkets. Just watching the video clips on how people were “losing it” to get good shopping deals, disturbed me. I mean really, all the commotion over “stuff”, and “discounts”. Now, I know that people are doing Christmas shopping and they have a lot of gifts to buy for their loved ones, but it still is just material things and losing your dignity to get those things doesn’t make any sense at all.

Then a few days ago there was a bomb scare at the shopping mall new my home. They still don’t know what the motive was but there was a bag found with some explosive material or whatever it was, the police were very cryptic, they were obviously trying to reduce the panic. Fortunately nothing happened, some shop keepers saw the bag, became curious and alerted the police. Although the reason for this is not known, it seems that it could’ve been so that the place could be robbed or whatever it is. How crazy is that? Once again, it’s all about material things.

All this shopping hype makes me wonder about things. Year after year, month after month, week after week, people still continue to shop and shop. The world is in economic depression, but still the shopping centres are always full. New things get introduced on a regular basis, and of course people have to have the new things, and if you don’t have money for all the things, it’s okay, because there’s this nice little plastic thing, called a credit card.

The ploy at getting people to buy things is reaching all time highs. Previously when a store wanted you to take out an account with them they’d send you a letter telling you about all the benefits of opening an account with them. Nowadays they send you the letter with a personalised card. All you have to do is go into the store and “buy” something and the card will get activated. You don’t even need to fill out forms so they can check your credit status. The cards they send are beautiful, with lovely designs and colours on it, but the best thing about it is Your Own Name, printed perfectly on the beautiful card. Who wouldn’t be tempted to go into the store and use this? Especially when you see all the nice things that are displayed in their shop windows, naturally you’ll be itching to just go in there and use the card, right- telling yourself that you’ll be able to pay it off in small amounts so it’s no big deal. This is why I cut up those lovely cards as soon as I get them-temptation is a really bad thing, you know.

But anyway, there are many ways to get people to keep shopping; this is not the only method. Sales and discounts, brilliant advertising, free vouchers... I’m sure you’re already thinking of things you can add to this list.

So as far as shopping is concerned, it seems that as long as people are alive, people will continue to shop. Sometimes I think that perhaps this is just a part of life, and then I look back at history and find that people didn’t shop for things. They had simple lives, where they made what they needed, looked after animals, from which they further got their needs, made their own bread, etc, etc.... SO shopping then is a distinct feature of modern day society, and while I have to admit that everything is very easy and much less time consuming, I still can’t help feeling that way too much time and energy goes into shopping. That’s me though- I am a self-confessed “non-shopaholic” after all, so I guess you can expect these types of thoughts from me.

Image from here


  1. Sister, Your confession is a sweet reminder and we should certainly control our shopping habits so that something is left for our own rainy days and for other less fortunate ones.

  2. I'm just like you, Zarina -- I hate shopping. My heart just feel unhappy going into a crowded mall and seeing everybody getting into a frenzy, buying everything that they may not necessarily need or use actually. Just because it's a sale, they buy all kinds of stuff. I thought I was weird to hate shopping. Good to know that there are others like me too!

    Have a great weekend!

  3. Ibn Hanif

    This is true, we need to learn about control, due to credit cards and things like that, people in today's time don't know about control and tend to go overboard. Also, giving to others is so important as you've said, the less unnecessary things we buy, the more we'll have to help others. May Almighty Allah be our guide Inshaa-Allah.

    Inspiring Always

    ;-) It is good to find others who share your views, and I know exactly what you're talking about. The feeling of going into a busy shopping mall is just too negative, it somehow leaves you feeling drained. It's not surprising though, after all, Our Beloved Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) did say that something to the effect that the marketplace is the most hated place, there has to be good reason for this.

    You have a great weekend too.

  4. How I love reading you, it makes me feel better about me, because I definitely don't like shopping, busy malls and plenty of bags. When I have to go, I try to be ready early morning and if I have to face the crowd, I try to have a pre-determined plan, where to go and what to buy.

    Every Christmas, it's the same, the streets are busy and people buy buy buy. But when you read the news you see that half the population can't afford extras, as they just have the minimum to live. So there is something I don't get or people live far above what they can and prefer to reduce what is necessary to indulge in what is not.

    However this week-end I will have to make an exception and please my sister, cause she is a shopping girl and as I don't see her often, I will make a huge effort to wander Paris busy streets.
    When the best for me is a chat, a cup of warm tea and a nice cake!

    Have a lovely week-end Zarina!

  5. hello Zarina..I also hate shopping..not because I don't have a budget or so hahaha..but I dislike being on a crowded area and I have never been an impulsive buyer. I go to the mall just for groceries and for my kids to play. Oh my spraying a pepper spray tsk tsk..

    passing by Zarina form sis Marie site..hehehe..loved your reply Zarina..I left a comment too but it was not published yet ;)

  6. Marie

    Yes, having plan always helps. I also agree with you that people live far above their means and most of the time end up spending money on unnecessary things. It would definitely be better to share with poorer people.

    Sometimes we have to make exceptions for those we love, but we can't live selfishly either, we have to consider what others like to do. I hope that you manage to get through your shopping weekend, at least you'll be spending time with your sister, which is great. Make the best of it ;-)


    Nice to hear from you- yes, pepper spray can you imagine that, its rather extreme don't you think?

    Thanks for the positive feedback, the best thing to do is always fight negativity with positivity, hopefully that will help change people's opinions.

  7. Asalamu Alaykom,

    I actually like shopping. I grew up in The States with a mom who hated it so I never got to enjoy that time like other girls. Later, when I was older, I would go alone and found it very mediatative and calming to be quietly searching. I would see the other shoppers and people watch. Because I didn't grow up with a lot of money, I wasn't shopping to be materialistic. I was shopping places like thrift stores. Shopping was a way of being a primal gatherer---like our female ancestors in the stone age. I felt that and embraced it. When I found something really wonderful on the rack for $2.98, it did fill me with joy. Those thrift store finds are something I enjoyed when I went back to America this summer.

    In Egypt, I have to shop the regular stores. I don't love that. It really is a hassle of people. Alhumdulillah my husband is fine to go shopping with me. He helps me so much, mashallah. We went to Hyper last week and it was a total crush of people. I enjoyed the experience as a one time thing but I can't believe women go there every week.

    Thanks for writing about a topic I wouldn't have thought of.

  8. Yosra

    Thanks for your comment. Yeah I think that at times shopping can be calming, but for me that only happens when the shops are quiet and there's not a big rush for things. Otherwise its just crazy. Masha'Allah you are fortunate that your husband helps you with shopping, I'm sure that makes things a lot easier. I actually enjoyed shopping in Egypt, I think it was because everything is Islamic, I live in Johannesburg, South Africa which is basically very westernized and so shopping in Egypt was a completely different experience for me, I have to admit that I really enjoyed it.

  9. Hi I am reading your blog first time. I am getting a feel that you like to romanticise the past like everything in earlier periods was good and modern life is not so good.
    Many a times we humans have tendency to put nostalgia in our lives in such a way that past seems always better.
    Personally I like shopping and that too when there are discounts. But here in India most people come out after 5pm to Malls and I make it a point to be a early bird like 2pm. That gives me space and time to shop. But may be I don't have kids and in laws and can afford individual plan. Many families take their kids after they had afternoon nap so for them 5 pm seems good!!

  10. Anonymous

    Thanks for your comment. For me it really is better to shop on your own time and space, but I suppose that its a personal preference. Many people don't mind shopping and they even enjoy it.