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Muslims Should Focus More on Spiritual Aspect of Eid- Al Adha

President of Nasrul lahil Fatih Society (NASFAT), Alhaji AbdulRauf Ayodeji AbdulWahid speaks with CHINYERE ABIAZIEM on the peculiarity of this year’s Eid- Al Adha, need for Muslim leaders to stay away from cursing Nigeria, empathetic economic policies over sympathetic polices in moving the nation forward.

With the economic hardship, the struggle is real for some Muslims to meet up with this year’s Ram sacrifice. How do you see this?

The world is currently experiencing global economic challenges due to the Ukraine-Russia war and the injustice ongoing in Gaza, which have crippling effects on many developed and developing nations. Nigeria is not left out coupled with various government policies such as the removal of fuel subsidies, depreciation of the naira, high inflation rate, insecurity and others. These factors have contributed to some Muslims not being able to meet up with this year’s ram sacrifice for Eid- Al Adha, especially for those with low income. However, my advice is that Muslims should focus more on the spiritual aspect of the celebration at this period for Nigeria to overcome the current economic downturn. The killing of the ram is not for those who purchased the ram. It is for every other person, that is why sharing of the meat is very common, especially to those who don’t have it. Is it wrong to borrow to meet up with the ram sacrifice and other obligations? Qurbani is an annual sacrifice of an animal to Allah during the days of Eid al-Adha, marking the completion of Hajj. The Hanafi School states that any adult; a sane Muslim who possesses the Nisab value, must give a Qurbani. If you are eligible to pay Zakat, you need to offer a Qurbani. From the above statement, it is clear that there is no compulsion in Islam, you cannot borrow so as to meet up the ram sacrifice and other obligations except its tied to your earned income within permissible Islamic conditions.

What are the things that can make the sacrifice unacceptable?

To make sacrifice acceptable, it should be slaughtered by reciting the name of Allah and glorifying Him. It should be slaughtered with a sharp knife so that its jugular vein may be cut with minimum possible pain and its skin should not be removed and limbs should not be cut so long as there is any sign of life in it. Also, the sacrifice is not valid if the animal slaughtered does not belong to the person who is sacrificing it, such as one that has been taken by force or stolen.

Must the sacrifice be that of a ram or can any animal be used/are there options?

Praise be to Allah, The best sacrifice is a camel, following it is a cow, then a sheep, and then a share in a cow . This is the view of Abu Haneefah and Al-Shaafal. It is a sacrifice utilizing which one draws closer to Allah, the best to be offered is a camel. However, a sheep is better than sharing in a camel, a ram is better than a sheep (ewe). Therefore, the sacrifice must be as outlined above to follow the sunbah of the Prophet (SAW.) In what ways are Muslim leaders/organisations helping members to beat the present situation? Muslim organisation leaders are doing what they can do but may not be enough or as expected by the public. It is known to us as Muslims that Allah gives leaders that people deserve at every point, so He remains the ultimate decider of who be leader. Every responsive Muslim leader must continue to counsel and pray for both the leaders and followers in a nation for the best to happen not cursing them. Nigeria’s economic challenges will be over inshaa Allah it’s just the timing and people are becoming impatient. Therefore, the government must continue to lead by example, cut down the cost of governance, and show prudence in their day-to-day activities to assure the citizens of the expected renewed hopes.

What do you think of the alleged exploitation of Muslims especially this season?

The exploitation of Muslims, especially at this season, is really of concern to most Muslim leaders and Islamic organisations. In NASFAT we have been engaging in the sales of rams at reasonable rates for members and non-members to ease the burdens and curb the exploitation of Muslims by unscrupulous traders or merchants. Sometimes we do an Eid Market Fair or Sales on other food items to support Muslims. What is your general view of this year’s celebration? This year’s Eid celebration will be unique and challenging for some Muslims. This is the time to practice your Islam as expected of us. Be concerned about your neighbours, do not waste while they are hungering. Learn to share and manage whatever resources you have with others; Muslims and non-Muslims. NASFAT, as an organisation through the support of members, does give support to vulnerable ones both within and outside society, including organisations such as the homeless, old people homes, mosques and other charity centres.

Are the Muslim organisations/leaders speaking truth to power in dealing with the economic crisis and are there other things you would like to tell the nation’s leaders and citizenry?

The nation’s leaders at all levels, local, state, and federal should be fair and sensitive to the citizens’ needs manage our common wealth judiciously and stop flamboyant lifestyles that are causing harm to the nation’s economy rather than aiding it. Enough of palliatives that are not productively impactful, and finally, there is an urgent need for cutting down the cost of governance at all levels. The way forward to beat the present situation is for the government to be more transparent, and accountable, and give citizens the economic empathy expected from them rather than the sympathetic economic policies they are rolling out and protecting their abode. This is an unacceptable indicator of assurance. On our part as Muslims leaders/ organisations, we must start looking inward to make use of congregation or numbers to aid the nation’s growth. In NASFAT, the current National Executive Council has come up with a policy thrust tagged ‘LEAD’ (Leadership, Empowerment, Agent of Change and Dawah). We know Nigeria’s leadership challenge has been a cause and effect but how prepared are our emerging leaders for positions they did attain? NASFAT is setting the pace in leaders growing for the society and the nation. Also, we just launched two impactful programmes for our youths centred on tech and finance literacy to develop future leaders in that sector and more on the way. The ‘ATS/ICAN Catch them young’ and ‘NASFAT Activate’ and lots more. Our target is to make the next generation more self-reliant and economically viable to manage their lives without relying on the government.

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