Shopping Woes for women in Karachi

Shopping Woes!!!??? are you surprised?? for women shopping and woes don’t go together! or do they?? Don’t women love to shop? don’t they love to follow the “shop till you drop trend”??

Well at least I don’t especially here in Karachi…and here is why!

Shopping takes (read wastes) a lot of time!

Shopping here in Karachi is not straight forward. Go to Gulf, Ashiana, Uzma, Rabi center or Tariq Road, Saddar or any other place…its the same story. There is soo much cheating and so much bargaining that you get a headache. Prices are never fixed and the shopkeeper will tell you the prices based on their own whims and desires…if you don’t look in atleast 6/7 different shops.. you will definitely get rippped off.

Then there is a lot of cheating in cloth and material available…they appear to be same but in fact are of different qualities and prices and the shopkeeper will make you belive its the best quality and charge you accordingly.. where as infact its just a cheap copy!

Then there is a great possibility that the shopkeeper will give you defected cloth or less cloth then what you paid for…if you are not on high alert and if you do not check each and everything properly…then it is most likely you are buying defected stuff or less cloth!

Shop opening timings are horrible!

The best thing i loved about England was that all their shops and malls opened up dot at 9 o clock in the morning. Where as here in Karachi, shopping centers are deserted until noon and then only you start seeing some activity. You may ask .. so what? they stay open till 9:00 at night…

let me tell you why these timings are horrible.

First Casualty of Shopping is prayer (Namaz)

Because of the unwise rulings of the molvies, there are no mosques for women, and no places for women to pray. They have so blindly followed the hadith that it is better for a women to pray in the nook and corner of the house then an open area..they they refused to make places for women to pray!

Do they think it is better not to pray at all then pray in a masjid?.. well it seems like they do.. go anywhere in Karachi ( except a few exception i will mention later) there are Alhamdullih masjids for men, so when the Adhaan is announced men get up and go for prayers. What do women do? either they go pray in public open spaces like parks if they are in the state of wudu.. or they completely miss the prayers.

With no facility for prayer areas for women, shop opening timings make it even worse.

If shops opened at 9 and if you started shopping at 9:00 you would most prob be done by 12 or 1 or max 3 …if not… then your feet must start screaming by then and you would want to head home. With this scenario, you would not miss your Zuhr Prayer.

But since in this country of lazy people shops open after 12:00. So if you start by 12 30 you again miss your zuhr prayer.

If you prefer to start shopping after lunch and Zuhr prayer, you will reach the shops by 2:30 .. 3 ..but then you miss you asr prayer and if you dont rush home before 6, you will miss maghrib too!

Those who say.. oh just simply combine the prayers… well Shopping is a terrible excuse for combining prayers! What will you tell Allah Tala, shopping was more important then the fard prayers?? Think Again!

For those who say just go to park towers or forum or these new malls, their prices are fixed – but their prices of dresses are Sky High! How in the world can i spend 10,000 Rs or more on a single dress!? it is outrageous and on top of that every person will have to answer to Allah tala on the day of Judegement that how they earned their money and where they spent it! Some stuff is nice and affordable in these malls which is fine.. but its much better to get your own cloth and get it stitched!

Places for women to pray

One good thing about Park Towers is that they do have a proper prayer and wudu area for women. Gulf Shopping mall also has a tiny room for women to pray in, though it is not that tidy. I think forum does too.

I don’t know about Rabi Center or Tariq Road, but yes there is a small masjid with place for women next to Daruusslam Book Shop on Tariq Road! If anyone know of any more places for women to pray please do let me know!

Masjids with prayer areas for women open throughout the year

1) Quran Academy on Sea View

2) Ayesha Masjid on Khayaban e Ittehad near Creek Club

3) Masjid e Shafqat – next to the cemetary in Phase IV, D.H.A

Masjids open for women only for tarawihs

1) Masjid e Ibrahim in Phase IV, DHA in commercial area

2) Sultan Masjid in D.H.A


12 thoughts on “Shopping Woes for women in Karachi

  1. Love shopping is non-sense. Woman in bazaar is another. If really necessary for them it wouldn’t take too much of time, I believe. Otherwise, you can pray whenever after getting home.

  2. good post javeria, as usual. A person marries a woman who actually hates spending hours in shopping centers would be best choice for a man :-).

    I wonder at what time brits go for shop when shops are opened during office hours.

    I also wonder whether British women also spend much time in centers like our women?

  3. Yes you are right. In England, most of the shopping outlets have official price-tags. Pick the item, go to the counter, pay and move out. No wasting of time over bargaining. Same here in Ankara.

  4. Salamalikum

    I think what can be done is to ask scholars to encourage businesses to close their shops during prayer times and/or to have musallahs for at least women in shopping centers, malls, individual stores if they are big enough, etc. Men can go to nearby mosques.

    Also, female shoppers can encourage businesses themselves to do this. It is amazing how some people would take to an idea because they might have never thought about it. It never hurts to ask and we shouldn’t underestimate a Muslim’s will to help out others in matters of religion or otherwise. Especially, shoppers can ask those businesses where they frequent and they might know them by name. Some sister try this idea out and inform us of the results. InshaAllah, people will listen. May Allah ease women’s hardship in this matter.

  5. Wsalam,

    Pakistani Gov ordered the closure of Shops by 8:pm to conserve energy in May this year I was relieved that now the shop keepers will open up their shops early to make use of daylight…however the traders refused to comply with the orders! they simply would not shut their shops before 9 / 10 pm. You can read about it here:

    What can the govt do when the masses are so lazy.?? Being muslims Allah has ordered us that day is for working and night is for resting..but sadly pakistanis have turned this updown…Half the day is spent sleeping by our business community that is why they do not want to open their shops in the morning hours!

    so i do not think orders by the gov will be of any help at all!! shopkeepers who are regular in prayers do close their shops and leave for the masjid.. where as the rest continue as usual.

    One thing what the women can do is DEMAND a place to prayer. I was told that many women demanded a place for prayer in Pizza Hut clifton and Alhamdulilah they did provide a facility for women.

    but places like tariq road, gulf, uzmas and rabi centre are jam packed with shops and the shop walas can not make a seperate masjid for women themselves..

    …once in Uzma we asked for a place to pray but there wasnt any, but the pathan shop keeper vacated the shop and gave us janamaz, however since the shop are open from the sides, there is no privacy and then there are no washrooms and no place to perform wudu.

    but women should ASK!! shop walas are Alhamdulilah willing to help but the lack of PROPER facilities is a great inconvenience and a great obstacle in praying.

  6. Gulf/Metro have a prayer area for the women just beside the prayers area for men (on the same floor where you have the lift for what use to be the Alhuda offices). I’ve prayed there on numerous occasions.

    A prayer room for ladies has also been allocated at the Millenium Mall on the three floor. I’ve prayed there last month, in Ramadan. Also on Tariq Road, the big mosque in that area (don’t know the name), it also has a very small ladies prayer room, I’ve prayed there several years ago, don’t know if it still exists or not.

    Another mosque near a shopping area in which a prayer area for ladies exists are the banarasi shops in Orangi town, they’re pretty small too, and you don’t have a wadu facility either, but its much better than having no alternative.

    I’ve also prayed inside a jewelery shop in Saddar, a cloth shop in Continental and outside the main kitchen of the Zamzama Pizza Hut (this was last Ramadan, when me and my friends went to their aftar deal). I also prayed Maghrib this year at Nando’s in Clifton, behind their back doors, they had those mat kind of janamazes laid out and ladies and gents (quite a few of them) were all praying in the same area because of shortage of space).

    While traveling, I’ve once prayed on the grass, outside one of the rides at Disney Land California, and once in the campus of Harward University. The most amazing place to pray though, was inside a Suadi Arline flight, they had a small space alloted for it too, which even told us the direction of the kabba. It was quite some feeling to pray while being suspended in mid air.

    My point in narrating all of this, is that yes, while it would be nice to have some proper place alloted for prayers for ladies in large shopping malls and restaurants, if there isn’t one, you can always find one and create your own prayer area. For a Muslim all the world is place of worship. So I agree with the point Javeriya made in one of her comments, those who truly want to pray, they find the means and ways to do so, most shopkeepers will keep a spare janamaz with them, and even if they don’t I doubt the majority of them will be rude enough to turn down a request for some space on their shop carpet for you to pray on.

    However problems with wadu might arise, to counter this, what I try and do is to make it a point not to travel during prayer times, but of course this is easier said than done, so sometimes you do inevitably end up being in the mall during prayer times, then you just have to pray wherever you can.

    About the rest of the post, I hate spending time in bazars, I like to go to a few selected shops and get the thing I like, without making a whole lot of fuss over the price. I’m not good at bargaining, so yeah, I suppose frequently means I get ripped off, but alhumdulillah Allah has given me enough resources, so I’d rather be ripped off than go through the entire cumbersome procedure of bargaining. Besides I shop less so over a period of time, it would probably just even out with the amount ladies who do bargain spend on their shopping.

    About the timing issue, too right you are sister. Lack of punctuality is a plague that has gripped the entirety of Pakistani society, from the shop owners, business men to our weddings, events and festivals, we’re a country that takes great pride in being fashionably late. I wish this wasn’t the case and we realise how much this bad habit costs us in terms of time, money and resources. I wish.

  7. Salaam,
    nice post.
    Just wanted to add.. there is this mosque at Tariq Road in the main shopping area.. i think the name is Madni Masjid (not really sure though.. its right next to the Dolmen Centre) its got a separate pray area for women, it also has a wudu area. Its quite neat and clean, just visited it last month.
    There`s also a pray area for men and women at the Dolmen Mall. Its on the top floor, for wudu you can use the washrooms at the 1st /2nd floor.
    And like already said, if you really want to pray you will inshaAllah find a place… that`s one of the best things about living in a Muslim State 🙂

  8. First of all dont blame maulvies as a whole every time as our habits as mention in ur post that they depend upon hadith belong to women salah in masjid.
    Every body knows this that women masjid is her home it is most easy for her ,to make issue is another matter.
    Secondly going for shopping just for nothing is haraam for women and if due to some necessity of life move to bazaar then have to do fuul pardah as ummahatil momeen did as their body touch with wall so much they take care amd only saw with one hole from their jilbaab.
    There is shur if they move to masjid as there is no proper arrangements for women and if some masjid have arrangements then its not up to the mark as in one of the post mention differanr masjid but its not up to the mark of islam.
    Best for women not to move for shopping as salah is fardh and only blaming maulvies is incorrect as sahi hadith mention and if we object then it means we object Rasool S.A.W.

  9. AOA, Nice to knew about these masjids for women. you are right all women should aware of these locations, it is better to pray NAMAZ at these masjids as compare to leaving due to any reason. But if they are at home than they should offer it at home not only because it is HADEES but also if you analyize a woman’s life it will be so difficut for her to manage her routine works if she try to attend namaz at masjid. One more thing i would like to add ISLAM is the only religion on earth how secure women and their rights so please try to read out QURAN and research over Hadess, if you have any problem ask any scholar for help. Dont say Molvies are this and that, they are the people who are serving you and religion after SAHABA and OLIA. Please try to recreate our union, try to join Ummat E Muslima dont divide them in sectors, cast and genders. May ALLAH bless all of us. FE AMAN ALLAH

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