In her book Generation M: Young Muslims Changing the World , advertising executive and author Shelina Janmohamed notes that “In Ramadan, the suspension of ‘normal’ life in lieu of fasting alongside all other Muslim friends and family means that the volume is turned up on Muslim identity.” Janmohamed observes that a sense of community is enhanced when people get together for religious and social rituals — whether that’s visiting the mosque or sharing meals. If Ramadan and Eid shopping seems like serious business in Muslim-majority countries, the spirit is just as strong in second- and third-generation immigrant communities around the world, too. For Shamaila Khan, a 41-year-old born-and-bred Londoner who has family in Pakistan and the UK, the cost of Ramadan and Eid shopping for both yourself and others, combined with hosting Eid parties, can run into the hundreds of pounds. During Ramadan, Khan’s family gathers on the weekends for Iftars, and before Eid, her friends have a festive pre-Eid party, featuring the same elements found in the bazaars of Pakistan. Khan hosted last year, pulling out all the stops, including inviting a henna artist to paint women’s hands. Halima Aden posing for The Modist’s Ramadan campaign. On a visit to Pakistan last December, Khan picked up a bunch of new clothes that she’s going to pull out for the upcoming Ramadan social season. “I have 15 new outfits in my wardrobe that I’m going to take out for Iftars and for Eid,” she said. Ramadan and Eid outfits can often just be one-time purchases. In Gulf countries like the United Arab Emirates, abayas retain their utility after Ramadan, and kaftans might get pressed into use as daywear.
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