BY MSUE AZA, Kaduna
The Sultan of Sokoto and president-general of Jema’atu Nasril Islam (JNI), Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III, observed yesterday that street begging by children in the Northern part of the country known as Almajiri does not represent Islam.
The Sultan who spoke in Kaduna, while presiding over the pre-Ramadan meeting of JNI’s Central Committee held at the JNI headquarters said rather, Almajiri is unIslamic and represents hunger and poverty
He urged government at all levels to rise to their responsibilities of ensuring the welfare of every citizen.
The event is an annual meeting meant to set modalities and guidelines for moon sighting and general muslims’ conduct in the holy month.
In his remarks, the Sultan said the meeting would discuss issues that affect Muslims and Islam in Nigeria and other parts of the world.
Noting that the issue of Almajiri was among the challenges to be addressed at the meeting, he said, “Almajiri does not represent Islam, but hunger and poverty. Almajiri system of begging does not represent Islam and must therefore be distinguished from Islam. Islam encourages scholarship and entrepreneurship and frowns at laziness and idleness as exemplified by Almajiri.
“Therefore, attempt must be made to stop the practice of Almajiri system begging among Muslim faithfuls”.
The Sultan stressed that hunger and poverty were responsible for children begging on the streets, even as he charged the government, particularly at the state levels to prioritise welfare of their citizens to address hunger and poverty.
He also tasked state governments to strengthen institution of ‘Zakkat’ and endowment to address wanton poverty.
The meeting was attended by prominent traditional rulers and Islamic scholars.