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Islamic Production Sales More than Double in Ramadan; Religious Gatherings Increase

  Written By: Hakim Almasmari ( YEMEN POST STAFF ) 
  Article Date:
September 29, 2008


Being one of the seasons in which Muslims get closer to Allah, the blessed month of Ramadan sees always more Islamic drama series as well as Islamic programs. Further, media outlets and satellite channels intensify their activities as they set and prepare different religious programs produced especially for this month.

However, some Gulf satellite channels still telecast dancing songs and movies while, in return, Yemen sees increased activities for institutions and establishment producing Islamic cassettes and CD, mostly of Quran, sermons and Anashid.

There are over 28 companies and establishments producing Islamic cassettes and CDs and they are distributed nationwide. Most items are produced and sold during the blessed month of Ramadan.

These companies seize the chance to make more money especially when people rush upon such products including Quran, jurisprudence sermons, Islamic Nashid (composed songs without the accompaniment of music) and supplications. 

The activities of these companies and establishments is guided by the sectarian tendencies and drifts dominating the domestic market; however, some companies feel this is not enough and resort to conducting religious activities in mosques and distribute free cassettes to people attending these activities.

Scholars' names and titles

According to sales managers at Iqra'a Islamic Production Company, people running cassettes and CDs companies pay more attention to big name scholars, clerics and preachers as well as the famous reciters of the Noble Quran.

He declares that these cassettes and CDs are prepared before Ramadan carrying the names of scholars, titles and special excerpts of each cassette or CD capable of attracting the attention of targeted audience. 

These cassettes and CDs are distributed in the domestic markets during the early days of Ramadan as people consider this month to be an occasion for worship, repentance and piety.  

Islamic Anashid instead of sermons

Over the last few years, it has been noticed that citizens tend to buy cassettes of Islamic Anashid in place of sermons and guidance lectures and this reflects a change of interest and taste.

However, each company seeks to monopolize certain Munshideen especially those who enjoy most popularity and acclaim among audience. Places are also available for comedian and sarcastic cassettes including those that criticize the bad performance of government.    

Street vendors change business

When demand over them increases during the blessed month of Ramadan, most street vendors and children turn to Islamic cassettes and CDs because they feel this business is more lucrative than anything else they could buy during Ramadan.

These people distribute the Islamic cassettes and CDs including Quran, sermons and Anashid before mosques and in street intersections and crowded markets. They also sell posters, leaflets and brochures containing advice and instructions on how to react, as a Muslim, in Ramadan.   

Ramadan's special releases

We start with Al-Eyman Establishment for Media Production, one of the oldest media establishments, which has been specialized in producing Islamic cassettes since 1991. Al-Eyman officials stress that they make special preparations for Ramadan in the late part of Sha'aban when materials are carefully selected to fit into the holiness of this holy month.

They release cassettes and CDs for famous preachers and scholars including, among several others, Sheikh Al-Sha’rawi, Al-Nabulsi, Tareq Al-Swaidan, Aieth Al-Qarni, etc. There will be as well audio recitations of the Holy Quran of famous reciters including Sheikh Mohammed Hussein Amer, Ahmed Al-Ajmi, Yahya Al-Halili, Abdul Rahman Al-Dali and several others. 

Large numbers, mostly youth and men, pay regular visits to these establishments and distribution houses to buy cassettes, CDs and book. They also visit these places to keep themselves updated with new releases of these establishments.

Mobile phone companies join competition

Seeking to make more profits and money, mobile telecommunication service providers joined the competition through providing a wide range of services for Islamic tones, containing supplications and Anashid, and SMS messages.

Holy Quran and Beads

In addition to books, cassettes and CDs, rosaries and Holy Quran sales flourish during this month as bigger quantities of beads are bought this month by people and they are used while supplicating and glorifying Allah.

In fact, supplicating Allah through using beads has been for long a tradition among Muslims, though Sulfis and some other Islamic sects consider it to be a heresy that is not approved in Islam. 

Sectarian conflict

Sectarian conflict is widely present during the blessed month of Ramadan when each religious sect tries to conduct more activities and attract more people to their side. Doctrines like Sufism seek to rival the Sulfi doctrine which is ranked first as for the number of activities conducted during this month.

Over the last few years, the activities of the Zaydi doctrine, unlike the Sulfi doctrine, have been witnessing a setback and just supplicating circles and lectures are conducted in the Great Mosque of Sana'a as well as some other mosques run by Zaydi scholars.