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The Tobaski Feast

Nov 3, 2010, 11:42 AM

When you see shepherds roaming around town with their large numbers of sheep, you know the Tobaski (Eid Al Adha) is again almost upon us.

It is an important Muslim feast during which rams are sacrificed.

Because of this, the faithful prepare for the sacrificial rams with all seriousness.

Some save, some borrow in order to get at least a ram; while those who are well-off buy more than a ram for the sacrifice, which they share with their neighbours and friends.

Since the end of October, all of Serekunda has been teeming with shepherds taking their flock around town in search of prospective buyers.

The same thing goes on at the Abuko Abattoir.

While we recognise the imperative of the laws of supply and demand, sellers should not take advantage of the feast to bleed the faithful by charging exorbitant prices.

In a sense, sellers should even be more sympathetic to the faithful, who have a lot of commitments to meet in the course of celebrating the annual Muslim feast.

For instance, come the Tobaski feast, heads of households have to buy new clothes for themselves and the children; they have to remit money to less fortunate relatives and friends; they have to buy food items to prepare sumptuous meals with which to entertain their family, friends, relatives or neighbours.

All this eats deep into the pocket. So, if they have to pay an outrageous price for a ram, they may find it difficult to take care of other equally important needs.

We, therefore, appeal to ram sellers to temper economic gain with mercy by charging reasonable prices.

As Muslims, we believe that one good turn deserves another.

If the ram sellers are considerate to the faithful in their hour of need, they will be amply rewarded in unexpected ways by the Almighty Allah.

“Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least”

Alexander Pope