Friday, April 12, 2013

When Superstition leads to Ignorance...

Hey People!

Its Friday and its a welcome relief. The day started with some interesting events and i just had to come here and share with you.

A new restaurant or rather canteen opened up not too far from my office. In a bid to attract new customers, they decided to start a ' Free Taste' exercise. Hot akara( bean cake) was being prepared on the spot and given to passerby's that were interested. Yours truly decided to give them a try and branched to get my free akara which would go down well with tea,coffee or better yet Garri(Cassava flour). Anyway when i got to my office, i did not hesitate to inform anyone that crossed my path that awoof was available. Who does not like free breakfast?  Some people quickly strolled down the road and some turned up their noses and said we were all eating ' Saraa' that would make us go back for more always. shoo! What is wrong in going back if the food is good? I just shook my head because Nigerians are really a superstitious lot and it also made me a bit annoyed because some people especially some of  our Ignorant christian brothers and sisters ( emphasis on ignorant) believe that the practice of 'Saraa' is demonic and whosoever eats or partakes in it will come under spiritual attack and stand the risk of losing their God given destiny which will be transferred to the organizer of the ' Saraa' REALLY? Its that same ignorance that does not allow some people enjoy Sallah meat( they do not know what they are missing). Anyway, i decided to forgive them their ignorance and decided to use my blog post today to shed some light on what ' Saraa' means: 

One essential tradition in Islam is 'Sadaqa' or freewill offerings. Sadaqa or Sadaqa al-tatawu( alms of spontaneity) is a voluntary charity that can consist of anything the believer wishes to give; money,food or clothes. The Arabic term ' Sadaqa' is one of a few words to which Islam gives a very broad meaning. It is used interchangeably with 'Zakah'. However 'Sadaqa' is more general than 'Zakah' which is the third pillar of Islam.Zakah denotes only that,part of charitable donations,which a Muslim must pay as a duty. If he refrains from paying it, he will be punished for that. 

During the slave trade the word ' Sadaqa' was changed a bit in the faulty memory of Muslim descendants and was called different things by Muslims from different African countries. The Fulani of Guinea,Senegal,Nigeria,Niger and Mali use the word Sadaqa but the Wolof of Senegal call the charity ' Sarakh'. The Mandiga of Senegal and the Bambara of Mali use the term ' Sarakha and the Yoruba of Nigeria ' Saraa'.

Even though my Faith Islam, frowns on the traditional beliefs of Witchcraft or voodoo, it is accepted that evil spirits do exist and we should pray always that we do not come under their influence. Islam teaches that nothing can happen without the knowledge of Allah and his permission and he sustains everyone. Islam encourages Muslims to ignore them and it is considered a spiritual offense to believe that somebody can change your destiny,cause you to become sick without using poisoning or harm to you without physical effort. We are to concentrate on the purpose for which we are created; total submission to Allah and Total service to him which gives you a peaceful life free of fear. 

I hope that sheds some light on the issue and clears a bit of misunderstanding. So next time a neighbor offers you some food, please accept and enjoy it( pray on it of you must) and if a restaurant is carrying out a ' marketing exercise' giving away free food, recognize it for what it is and not go into 'paranoid mode'.

Thats it folks! Have a blessed weekend ahead.

Live Love and Laugh...

  • African Muslims in Bondage: Realities,Memories and Legacies ( passage) Sylvaine A. Diouf.

No comments: