By Alagie Manneh
Imam Chebo Cham has called on ram dealers in the country to be compassionate in their business and sell rams at reasonable prices to Muslims.
As this year’s Tobaski nears, it is expected that prices of rams will increase and that the average Gambian may struggle to meet the high prices for ram.
But Imam Chebo said to be compassionate and reasonable is itself an act of worship and called on the ram dealers to heed.
“If you help a person to worship Allah, you too receive blessings. And we should all have compassion and mercy for one another because we are all after all, under the mercy and compassion of Allah. When we have compassion for each other, Allah increases His mercy to us. The Prophet said, ‘Oh you on earth, have mercy for one another that Allah may have mercy for you’. That is why it is important for ram sellers to have compassion, and be reasonable. Of course, they should look for profit, but they should also be compassionate in their pricing. They should make the prices such that people can afford to buy. ” the sheikh stated.
He explained how the tradition of the eid-ul adha ram sacrifice came about: “It was Allah who advised Prophet Ibrahim to slaughter his son Ismael. It was a divine revelation from Allah in the form of a dream. And Ibrahim informed his son in spite of how difficult it may have been. His son told him to do as Allah ordered and that he would be patient, Allah willing. But Allah intervened and placed a sheep in Ibrahim’s stead. Since that day, Muslims continue to do like Ibrahim. The Prophet came and he followed the same sunnah.”
The imam also spoke of what is expected of those who cannot afford to buy a ram: “If you are unable buy a ram or goat, there’s no issue in that, Allah will give you your reward regardless. Those who can afford, if you buy and slaughter your ram, divide it into three. Eat the first portion with your family, keep the second for you and your family, and distribute the third among those who couldn’t afford. If we follow the guidance as laid out by Islamic we all will eat,” he advised.