With two days to the Eid-el-Kabir celebrations, the state of the economy is taking its toll on commodity goods leading to a hike in the price of foodstuff, especially rams, which is usually killed to signify the sacrifice Allah provided for Ibrahim.
The significance of the Sallah rams to Muslims cannot be over emphasised. It remains a core tenet of the Islamic faith. So important is the slaughtering of ram at Sallah, that it permeates the rich and the poor.
But going by the prevailing economic crunch in the country, investigations have revealed that many Muslim faithful may not be able to afford rams this year. Although there was a similar development last year, this year’s seem to have been further deepened, especially with the galloping and unpredictable exchange rate that has persisted through the year.
Traders at a ram market in Agege area of Lagos have blamed this development on a further decline in the economy, devaluation of the naira, poor circulation of money in the country, terrorism in the northern part of the country from where rams are brought, among others.
“We used to be very optimistic that sales would improve weekly and daily as the festival approaches, but the reverse is the case as people are not turning up at all. The cheapest ram we sell here is N60,000. We have some for N85,000 and N160,000 depending on their sizes,” a ram vendor, Hameed Abu, said.
However, many people, despite the unfavorable situation of the economy, are in high spirits as they make last minute plans towards celebrating the festival, which holds on Friday, September 1.
According to one Ismail Pasoku, he said the use of ram for Eid-el-Kabir is not a do or die affair. “If you cannot afford ram, you can celebrate with whatever is available. Though my family is very buoyant now, we do not have enough money to get a ram, but we are happy to be alive by Allah’s grace to witness another Sallah feast. The most important thing is to celebrate the day with prayers and share what you have with others.”