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City of Banjul
Thursday, February 25, 2021

Tobaski and the rams

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In a few days, Muslims the world over will celebrate the Eid-ul-Adha, locally known as Tobaski.

The occasion commemorates the sacrifice of Prophet Ibrahim (AS) who, Muslims believe, showed willingness to sacrifice his son for the sake of Allah, the Almighty.

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As he was preparing to fulfil his dream of slaughtering his son Ismael, it is said, a ram was sent down to him and he was instructed to slaughter it instead. Thus, he slaughtered the ram instead of his son.

Since then, every year, Muslims all over the world, commemorate that day and this action by sacrificing a ram as instructed in their religion.

For this purpose, when this time comes near Muslims make arrangements to buy rams with the intention of sacrificing them on the day.

Thus, thousands of rams are sacrificed on this sacred day.

This year, rams are both scarce and expensive.

The number of rams that used to be observed in the country in the past few years have not been seen this time around.

When there aren’t enough rams, it becomes extremely expensive and make it that much harder for the citizens to buy them and fulfil their religious rites.

As government is elected to serve the people, and congnisant of the fact that a large majority of the citizens are Muslims, it will not be out of place for government to put mechanisms in place to reduce the cost and make rams more affordable to citizens.

This can be done in many ways one of which is subsidising rams so as to make it cheaper.

Another possibility is to lower – or remove – the tax on rams so that more people will order rams into the country.

Alternatively, and on a more sustainable manner, government could help promote the raring of rams in the country so that when Tobaski comes, there would be enough rams on sale and therefore citizens would be able to afford them.

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