Sharing Sallah Meat; By Safiya I. Dantiye


EVERY Eid-el-Kabir or Babbar Sallah, in Hausa, comes with the anxiety and anticipation of whether one would be able to afford a ram.

In this regard, there are the usual pessimistic stories of rams being very expensive and beyond almost everybody. Though somebody pointed out that when has it ever being said that rams are less expensive?

However, the rise from the preceding year is very high and people have so many expenses with little income.

Last year was terrible because of the coronavirus pandemic and the economic hardship it brought due to the lockdown.  People lost their jobs and the informal sector was affected as well.

Farmers too were affected as they couldn’t take their produce to the market in the city and so on.

As such, since people were finding it difficult to feed, even those that used to buy cows for Sallah couldn’t afford one ram. It was that awful.

Many people had the hope of buying rams as they expected their financial situation to improve. While for some it has, and they were able to afford rams, some others could not.

Still, in normal times, some people try to fulfil this religious duty, while some do everything to get a ram just so that their children would not cry or be unhappy. Or as they say, they would not want to just perceive the aroma from neighbours’ homes.

But for those who no matter what, they couldn’t afford to buy a ram, they don’t bother, as a friend told me about a young man in her neighbourhood who told her that they didn’t use to do layya, that is the slaughtering at Eid-el-Kabir, because his father was very poor.

But even those not so poor that have children in ‘small’ private schools can hardly afford to. One such man said it had always been his wish to buy ram at Sallah but he couldn’t afford as even the school fees for his two young children, though not much, he paid in instalments. And he has a job.

His pay was the minimum wage of N30,000, though he augmented it with tailoring.

All the same, people are supposed to divide the meat into three parts, one for the owner, (family) one part for neighbours and relatives and one part for the indigent.

Few days to Sallah, the Chief Imam of Uthman Bn Affan Mosque in Ilorin, Malam Yusuf Al-Fulani, had cautioned Muslims against hoarding Sallah meat, saying Islam encouraged sharing of the meat with friends and family.

“Muslims are enjoined to share their Sallah rams with neighbours, visitors and indigents around them.

“Those who hoard Sallah meat in their fridge, and refuse to share it, are not following the injunctions of the religion,” he said.

He explained that Sallah rams should be sacrificed for the sake of Allah and not for show off.

“Those who buy rams for show off, and not for the sake of Allah, will have their rewards accordingly,” he added.

This is where people find it hard to do the sharing as dictated. For example, in a household of more than ten people, you find that at the end they may all end up with few pieces of meat. The indigent and neighbours may not get their full share too.  But in the long run everybody is happy for Allah’s blessings.

Some people are not happy with the indigent when they go to visit them on Sallah. One woman was angry that an indigent woman she knew visited her on Sallah day. She said they were many in the house and she didn’t give her any meat. “Can you imagine, I don’t like this kind of thing,” she said.

However while some keep their own share in deep freezers, or inside the ram fat called kakide in Hausa, some keep more than their share and filled deep freezers  to use for a  long time.

Some are proud to say that they keep their Sallah meat for months or even a year!

My fear is that we would buy the rams and do the sacrifice for the sake of Allah, because too much emphasis is put on the rams that one tends to forget the religious aspect. It has become like a tradition that should be upheld. I hope it is for the sake of Allah so that we would be rewarded accordingly. Because if it is not for sake of Allah, we would be rewarded accordingly as well.


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