By John Shiklam in Kaduna
The President-General of Jemaâ€™atu Nasril Islam (JNI) and Â Sultan of Sokoto , Alhaji Muhammad Saâ€™ad Abubakar III, yesterday Â declared that the Almajiri system as being practised today is unislamic.
Almajiri is a system where some parents send young children to distance places to learn the Qurâ€™an but end up as beggars and street urchins, especially in the North. Â
Speaking while Â presiding over the pre-Ramadan meeting of JNIâ€™s Central Committee in Kaduna, the Sultan Â said Â almajiri does not represent Islam but hunger and poverty.
According to him, almajiri was among the issues to be discussed at the meeting, because â€œit does not represent Islam, but hunger and poverty.Â
â€œAlmajiri system of begging is not representing Islam and must therefore be distinguished from Islam. Islam encourages scholarship and entrepreneurship and frowns at laziness and idleness as exemplified by itinerant almajiri.
Â â€œTherefore, attempt must be made to stop the practice almajiri system of begging among Muslim faithfuls,â€ the Sultan Â said.
While noting that hunger and poverty are responsible for children begging on the streets, the Sultan charged the government, particularly at the state level to prioritise welfare of their indigenes to address hunger and poverty.
He said theÂ meeting is held annually to set modalities and guidelines for moon sighting and the general conduct of Â Muslims Â during the month of Ramadan.
According to the Sultan,Â Â the meeting would also discuss issues affecting Muslims and Islam in Nigeria and other parts of the world.
He charged state governments to strengthen the institution of â€˜Zakkatâ€™ and endowment to address wanton poverty.
The meeting, which held at the national secretariat of the JNI in Kaduna, was attended by Muslim traditional rulers and Islamic scholars.Â