Advertisers and marketers are often tasked to take advantage of festive holidays to bring in the crowd with catchy taglines and creative advertisements. As most festive holidays in Singapore center around religious tradition and culture, it is important that the advertisement does not offend or against them.
For IKEA Singapore, their "Bling Glamour Home" Raya advertisement has come under fire on their Facebook Page on how IKEA Singapore's creative definition as a total misinterpretation of the Muslim community.
Even though I am not a Muslim, I found this IKEA advertisement to be a display of ignorance on the creative team on how Hari Raya Aidilfitri is celebrated.
If the creative team took just ten minutes to Google and understand the real meaning of the Hari Raya Aidilfitri festival, it would have same them from the backlash of fans, especially those from the Muslim community.
Hari Raya Aidilftri is the"festival of breaking of the fast". A quick Google search shared that by fasting when the sun is up, it acts as a reminder of the "suffering of the poor". Yet, this advertisement serves to depict the celebration as to display one's extravagance of richness and wealth. Even for a non-Muslim, it is easy to see why the Muslim community is against this ad.
Ironically, in using "bling" or gold to depict this display of one's extravagance of wealth, IKEA Singapore has further demonstrated its lack of understanding of, not just the Hari Raya Aidilftri celebration, the teaching of the Koran, the central religious text of Islam, itself where wearing gold, by man, is considered Haram - an act to prohibited by Allah.
'Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, that the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, took some silk in his right hand and some gold in his left hand and then he said, "These two are haram for the males among my followers."
(Reported in Sunan At-Tirmidhi, Hadith no. 1642 and also in An-Nasai, Hadith No. 5170.)
The erudite scholar Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi also shared that "There is a social aim underlying the prohibition of men wearing gold. The prohibition of gold and silk to males is part of a broader Islamic program of combating luxuriousness in living. From the Qur'anic point of view, luxurious living leads to weakness among nations and to their eventual downfall; the existence of luxury is also an expression of social injustice, as only a few can afford luxurious items at the expense of the deprived masses of people. "
Yet, IKEA Singapore's respond to the backlash was that their "aim (is) to inspire people with home decor ideas through campaigns that bring a smile and are inimitably IKEA. Our intention is to give people ideas to have their homes ready with our Raya range. We assure you that it is not our aim to offend and we value all feedback provide."
IKEA Singapore's respond shows the corporation still is not aware of how much this "Bling" ad campaign goes against the religious teachings of their intended audience.
Is this "inmitably IKEA" to promote HARAM components in an ad to give their intended audience decor ideas to have their home ready with their Raya range?