Recession: Sallah ram not obligatory —Islamic scholar

Muslims have been told that the slaughter of livestock, especially rams, during Eid-el-Kabir is not compulsory according to Islamic injunctions.

An Islamic scholar, Dr Abdulhameed Shuaib Agaka, told an online news agency, Economic Confidential, that the sacrificial ram for Sallah celebration is permissible but not obligatory.

“Considering the current economic situation, Muslims should prioritise 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 utilised for Sallah ram and other celebrations,” he said.

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 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 God, live peacefully 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 could 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; the second part should be given as Zakat (gift) to the neighbours including non-Muslims and Muslims that could not afford it, while  the last part should be distributed to the underprivileged in the society,” he concluded.