1. I have been to many countries and observed that the custom of iftar (berbuka puasa) at hotel or restaurant only prevails in Malaysia. I do not know how and when this phenomenon started.
2. When I was attached to sales / marketing section some time ago, I had to make sure that all the company customers were invited to at least one session of iftar at hotel. If I was late to invite them or missed any one of them, they unashamedly asked me when their turn would be.
3. The cost per person is never less than RM60 while the food were just normal food that may cost in total RM10 if bought from the Ramadhan food stall. Think of mee goreng, karipap and air bandung. In fact, most of the times, the guests would not eat much.
4. The hotels are making huge profit during Ramadhan. The fasting Muslims contribute to this huge profit when rightfully they should be channeling the money to the more needy ones especially during Ramadhan. Spending RM60 per person for iftar goes against the very spirit of Ramadhan.
5. When Ramadhan should be the time for us to learn to be thrifty and to share with the less fortunate both emotionally and physically, we do the exact opposite. We even take for granted the halalness of the food that we take for iftar. Even worse, we invite others to join in the syubahat.
6. Most of the time, when we take iftar at hotel or restaurant, we miss to pray Maghrib on time. We will be too consumed with the food and the guests or spending long time queuing for the food. By the time we decide to pray, the small prayer room arranged by the hotel or the restaurant will be pack with the guests. By the time our turn to pray, it is almost Isha'.
7. Most of the time too, we will miss the Terawih prayer as the chatting and socializing will continue until the last meal is served. Some of us do plan to perform solat Terawih later at home during this particular night, but by the time we reach home, we are just too tired and directly go to sleep.
8. Nothing good is realized by having iftar at hotel or restaurant. This phenomenon defeats the very essence of Ramadhan in every single aspect. The better way to have iftar is either at home with the family members or friends or at functions that are laced with Islamic itineraries, or better still, at mosques.