Director, Muslim Rights Concern, Prof. Ishaq Akintola, has urged Muslims in the country to spend within their income rather than borrowing money to celebrate the forthcoming Eid-el-Kabir.
He gave the advice on Tuesday in a statement in Lagos.
Akintola, who is also a lecturer at the Lagos State University, said, “Just like Hajj, the sacrifice of ram is only for those who have the wherewithal; it is not mandatory. “
“What pride is there if we borrow money to slaughter ram but whistle for our dinner for weeks after the festival.
“It is our piety that Allah needs, neither the meat nor the blood of the rams which we sacrifice reaches Allah, according to Qur’an 22:37.“
The don urged Nigerian pilgrims currently in Saudi Arabia to get the Hajj message right, saying that exercise should not be commercialized.
According to him, Hajj is a spiritual journey to ensure closeness to Allah and not to buy golden teeth or shopping.
He said that while purchases were allowed in the Holy Land, it should be done after the Hajj and moderately too.
“It is not your business to buy up all goods and merchandise inside in Saudi shop just because you want to share out gifts on your return from Hajj.
“You must let friends and neighbors know the difference between going for Hajj and going shopping.
He admonished Muslims to realize that combining religion with commercial activity was not only ridiculous but also self-defeating.
Akintola also advised Nigerians to desist from pressurizing those who performed Hajj for gifts, adding that the important thing should be to solicit for their prayers.
The lecturer said that some Muslims who went for Hajj often borrow money or overspend or steal just to buy gifts to satisfy colleagues at work, friends and neighbors.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that August 20 is Arafat Day and August 21, Eid-el-Kabir, according to the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs.
Meanwhile, residents of Epe in Lagos State have lamented the high cost of livestock, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.
A check by a Correspondents of NAN shows that while livestock sellers have decried low patronage, customers, on the other hand, say the cost is high.
NAN observed that though the livestock is available at the popular ram markets at the Oke-Oyinbo and T-Junction in Epe respectively, sellers are complaining of low patronage.
Mr. Waheed Alaka, a buyer at T Junction Cattle Market, expressed his displeasure over the ridiculous prices of ram this year.
Alake, who said that Muslims this time last year, had started buying rams and keeping in their homes for the Sallah celebration, however, noted that the reverse was the case this year.
“There are lots of livestock available for sale but because of the high cost, there is the low turnout of buyers.
“I wish as Sallah draws closer, the sellers will reduce their prices,” he said.
Another buyer, Saheed Lawal, expressed optimism of a reduction in the cost of ram when more rams flood the markets in days to come.
“The competition is low for now. By the time more livestock dealers bring more rams to the community, I believe the prices will fall,” he said.
Yet another customer, Mr. Kabiru Hassan, told NAN that the size of a cow that sold for N120,000 last year now sells for as much as N180,000.
“I came to the market to buy one cow and two rams. But unfortunately, the money I have can only afford one cow.
“I wish something urgent can be done to regulate the prices of livestock in the market,” he said.
Mrs. Toyin Aladesanmi, a buyer, who expressed her disappointment at the astronomic price of rams at Oke-Oyinbo livestock market, saying the market had been highly recommended because of its relatively cheap prices.
“A friend of mine recommends this market to me. That live stocks are relatively cheaper here but on getting here, it is another ball game entirely.
“As you can see the size of the ram I have just purchased for N75,000, the same size sold for N50,000 last year.
The Chairman, Cattle Dealers Association at Oke-Oyinbo Market, Abubakar Danyaro, attributed the high cost of livestock to the current economic hardship in the country.