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Happy Tobaski

Sep 9, 2016, 10:00 AM

Monday, 12 September, people in The Gambia will celebrate Eid ul Adha, commonly known as Tobaski.

The Feast of the Sacrifice is the second of two major religious holidays celebrated by Muslims worldwide each year.

We congratulate all Muslims and even non-Muslims in The Gambia for always observing this great day and feast with peace, love and kindness.  We hope and pray that this spirit continues among us forever.

We would like to commend the government for waiving taxes and other levies on livestock sale in the country this year.

As, according to a recent press release from the Ministry of Trade, Industry, Regional Integration and Employment, in addition to the Gambia Ports Authority’s 50% ferry crossing tax reduction for livestock, the Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA) has waived all income tax and municipal council levies on livestock dealers. 

The Gambia Immigration Department and the Gambia Police Force are also facilitating the “free and smooth” movement of visiting livestock dealers, as well as ensuring “maximum security “at all points of sale of livestock.

The KMC has also designated areas around the Independence Stadium, GTMI and the Kanifing Offices of SSHFC as points of sale for livestock.

These are good steps by government and the ministry of Trade to ensure livestock are available, accessible and affordable to the general public for the Holy Muslim Feast of Eid-ul Adha or Tobaski.

In spite of the fact that these measures have been taken to ensure the most of our people are able to afford ram and other livestock for sacrifice for the feast, the majority of our people cannot still afford to buy a ram to fulfil the sacrifice for the occasion.

In this circumstance, we are pleading with the well-to-do persons among us to extend a helping hand to the less fortunate fellow Muslims, by assisting them with cash to buy a ram or share meat with them after the sacrifice.

But inasmuch as people are strongly recommended to slaughter a ram on this day, it is not incumbent on those who cannot afford the sacrifice.  There are instances where people do all it takes to get one. This is against the teachings of the holy book, and as Muslims we should measure our doings according to what we can afford to avoid un-Islamic behaviour.

Besides the ram issue, some family heads always find it very difficult to cope with certain members of their family, who will want them to provide things that are even beyond their earnings.

People will want to spend all the monies they have for the day and, most of the time, shortly after the feast, some find it hard even to provide even fish money. So, it is not advisable to spend all the family income at the same time.

In addition, parents and all those with family responsibility should know that immediately after the Tobaski, schools are expected to open for a new academic year; so they need to pay school fees for their children.

Having said that, during the feast, as Muslims, we should seek forgiveness and forgive those who have wronged us, or with whom we have differences or misunderstanding.  This is required of all Muslims and God-fearing people, particularly on days like the Tobaski.

We would also like to wish all our readers, advertisers and the entire Muslim Ummah a happy and enjoyable Tobaski. Don’t forget to always be your brother’s keeper.

May Allah bless us all!

The Point