Ahead of the muslim festival, Eid-el-Kabir, an Islamic group, Muslim Rights Concern, MURIC, has warned muslims in Nigeria to limit their expenses to their incomes.
This is as it warned that slaughtering of rams for the festival was not made compulsory by Islam.
The slaughtering of ram, it said, was for those who could afford it.
MURIC gave the warning against the background of the general practice among Nigerian muslims who make it compulsory to slaughter rams during the festival.
In cases where many cannot afford, they go borrowing.
But sounding a note of warning in a statement issued by its Director, Professor Ishaq Akintola, MURIC said overspending over the festival was unnecessary and indeed forbidden.
The statement reads: “Just like hajj, the sacrifice of ram is only for those who have the wherewithal. It is not mandatory. This dogma of compulsory annual sacrifice is sheer bunkum. We urge every Muslim bread-winner to be wary of the dire consequences of overspending. Allah does not place a burden heavier than any soul can bear on him or her (Qur’an 2:286). The Glorious Qur’an warns against extravagance and calls spendthrifts brothers of Shaytan (Qur’an 17:26 – 27). It is even our piety that Allah needs neither the meat nor does the blood of the rams which we sacrifice reaches Allah (Qur’an 22:37).
“We must distance ourselves from this culture of waste. What pride is there if we borrow money to slaughter ram but whistle for our dinner for weeks after the festival? What wisdom lies behind wasting money on sacrificial ram or festival clothes when we are yet to settle our children’s school fees? Which one should come first: the children’s education or Salah ram and clothes? We must get our priorities right.”
The group also berated hajj pilgrims who embark on the journey for reasons other than being close to God
Said MURIC: “Hajj is a spiritual journey for closeness to Allah. What is your business in a golden teeth shop? Why must you change your dentures to gold in Makkah or Madinah? Did the Prophet (peace be upon him) carry golden teeth? Must you adorn your teeth with gold just to announce your hajj status? Is your hajj a publicity stunt or a spiritual exercise?
“Nigerian pilgrims who are currently in Saudi Arabia are strongly advised to get the hajj message right. Hajj should not be commercialised. It is not for a shopping spree. Please go to Dubai if your intention is to go shopping and leave Makkah and Madinah for genuine worshippers. While it is true that purchases are allowed in the holy land, this should be after the hajj and it should be done moderately.
“It is not your business to buy up all goods and merchandise inside a Saudi shop just because you want to share out gifts on your return from hajj. You must let friends and neighbours know the difference between going on hajj and going for shopping. Combining the two is not only ridiculous but also self-defeating.”