Eid-el Kabir, is the Muslim festival that commemorates Allah’s mercy, kindness and benevolence on the father of faith, Ibrahim and salvation and preservation of Ismail’s life as Allah offered a ram for sacrifice to him instead of Ismail whom his father, Ibrahim wanted to sacrifice to Allah in fulfilment of an earlier pledge if given a fruit of the womb.
That was the beginning of ram killing as a sacrifice, which was later institutionalised by the founder of Islam, Prophet Muhammed. The practice is one of the cardinal points yearly observed and implemented by Muslims. It is, however, not a compulsion. Only those who are financially bouyant and could afford it are expected to carry out the holy ritual.
Prophet Muhammed, perhaps through divine inspiration, did not restrict the object of sacrifice to only rams. Cows and camels too are acceptable animals to mark Eid-el-Kabir. But the big question people frequently ask is “Is Camel Edible? Based on research, it is permissible to kill a camel according to the Shareeah of Islam, the following quotes acknowledge it. “It should be one of the an’aam class of animals, which are: Camels, Cattle, Sheep and Goats, because Allah says “and for every nation we have appointed religious ceremonies, that they may mention the name of Allah over the beast of cattle that He has given them for food (al-Hajj 22:34) Baheemat al-an’aam (translated here as “beast of cattle’) include Camels, Cattle and Sheep. This is what is well known among the Arabs, and this was the view of al-Hasan, Qataadah and others.
Also, the approval of Camel and Cow for the sacrifice was based on the belief that scarcity of rams in a geographical zone shouldn’t be a hurdle that could prevent the faithful from observing the practice hence approval of other animals.
Today, there are Muslims who kill more than one ram, cow or camel. The rich have also turned killing of more than one ram or camel into status symbol and show of deep pocket. Alhaji Garkuwa Ilela adal is a perfect example of an individual who is a money bag, who has the luxury of slaughtering camels and rams to mark annual Eid-el-Kabir.
Despite the public out cry byNigerians over hardship being faced by the aftermath of recession which has not brought smile to faces of Nigerians it is gladdening to find people like Alhaji Garkuwa celebrating Sallah this way. Many state governments are owing workers salaries, while prices of foodstuff and other commodities have skyrocketed, which made the festival look bleak as many Muslims were not be able to fulfill their religious obligation.
But there were however, some well-endowed Muslims who could afford to buy more than one ram, sheep, cow or camel. At an outskirt of Tabon-Tabon, Agege in Lagos, an area that boasts of a large population of Muslims from the Northern part of the country, Eid-el-Kabir, in the last 10 years, is far more than just killing rams. Every year after Ramadan fast, residents Muslims and faithful of other religious eagerly look forward to the imminent ram-killing festival. Why you may ask?. This is for no other reason than what has been regarded as an unusual kind gesture of one Alhaji Garkuwa who has turned Eid-el-Kabir into a time to display the milk of human kindness in him.
In this year’s festival, Alhaji Garkuwa single-handedly slaughtered 5 camels and 25 rams to mark Sallah. That is how he celebrates Eid-el-Kabir every year.
Investigation reveals that his intention is to make neigbours who might not be capable to kill ram, share in the celebration of Eid-el-Kabir.
A random check in the area revealed that Alhaji Garkuwa is into Bureau-de-Change.
He has been killing atleast 5 camels and many rams in the last 10 years to celebrate the Ileya festival.
On Tuesday 21st, August 2018, his house situated at Tabon-Tabon, Agege was a beehive of activities and filled to the brim as people trooped in to collect their own share of the meat.
On Eid-el-Kabir day, immediately after Iydi prayers, a large crowd of neigbours stormed his residence forming a long queue as he shared sizeable fresh beef and camel meat big enough to cook a large pot of soup. This ensured that people were guaranteed of good meals on that day.
City People learnt that the show of kindness has been running in Alhaji for years as he ensures that those who could not afford a ram to slaughter for Ileya are not denied the luxury of having enough beef to flavour their meals like their rich counterparts. All efforts to speak with Alhaji Garkwu proved abortive.