Muslims in Nigeria have been told that the slaughter of livestock especially rams during the Islamic festival of Eid-Adha is not compulsory.
An Islamic Scholar, Imam Abdulhameed Shuaib Agaka, told Economic Confidential that the sacrificial ram for Sallah celebration is permissible but not obligatory compared to the five pillars of Islam.
He said: “Considering the current economic situation, Muslims should prioritize their need and ensure they provide basic necessities for the family, especially accommodation, feeding, medication, education and mobility. It is after meeting the basic essentials that surplus income could be utilise for Sallah ram and other celebrations.”
Quoting from the Holy Quran, Dr. Agaka said: “La yukallifullahu nafsan illa wus’aha- which means Almighty Allah does not place burden on a person beyond his ability in any situation.”
The Muslim Cleric added that “the ceremony is symbolic in exemplifying the absolute submission of Prophet Ibrahim and Ismail to the will of God.
“The essence therefore is to be obedient to Almighty God, live peaceful with our neighbours including those that we don’t share the same tribe, culture or religion and pray for our nations.”
He said for those that can afford Sallah rams, they must follow the principle of Zakat. He said the ram should be shared into three parts.
“The first part is meant for the family, second part should be given as Zakat (gift) to the neighbours including Non-Muslims and Muslims that could not afford it and the last part for the less privilege in the society,” he concluded.