Chechnya prepares for the end of Ramadan
By Ruslan Isayev
CHECHNYA – Since the beginning of the final week of Ramadan many Chechens have been rushing to the republic’s numerous markets to buy food to make the special dishes for the holiday which ends the fast. It is no exaggeration to say that this day makes everyone equal – rich and poor, since everyone tries to serve up the very best, regardless of expense. The table of a poor family will be no different from that of a rich one.
The biggest problem in the month of Ramadan is the increase in the prices of staple foods. Despite a call from Chechnya’s Mufti Sultan Mirzayev not to raise them, some sellers have still increased the prices of their meat and grocery items, even though the price of Chechnya’s main staple – beef – remains 120 roubles (about 5 USD) per kilo. But when there are only one or two days left until the holiday, that price may increase steeply.
There has already been an increase in the price of chicken, which has gone up 20 roubles in the last month. An average chicken carcass now costs 170 roubles. And vendors say there may be further rises.
"The fact is that the suppliers deliberately raise their prices during this period, when Muslims have to pay way over the odds for their groceries," says Ayshat, a chicken seller at Grozny’s market. "After all, we don’t want to incur Allah’s wrath by raising the price of food during this month, but the purchase price is increasing and we have to pass the increase on," she adds.
None the less, another Ramadan is drawing to a close, and in their prayers many Chechens have been asking Allah to send them peace and tranquillity. The only thing that still remains unclear is the date on which Ramadan ends. In Chechnya some people have fixed the day as Friday, October 12, or Saturday, October 13, but the republic’s Muftiate has made no official announcement on the matter. "The exact date of the ending of Ramadan in Chechnya will not be announced until the evening of Wednesday October 10," the Mufti’s office told PW.
Imams in villages which end the fast earlier than others may share the fate of seven of their colleagues, whom the Mufti relieved of their posts for beginning the observance of Ramadan one day early.
(Translation by DM)
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