The Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, on Saturday called on people who beg for alms or other forms of assistance from individuals and relatives to instead direct their begging to the government.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Mr Sanusi made the call at the National Conference on Alarammomi (Qur’anic Teachers) organised by Centre for Qur’anic Reciters in Nigeria with the theme: “Sanitising Almajirchi In Tune With Today’s Realities”.
He urged parents to stop sending their children to Almajiri schools, stressing that children could study the Qur’an, at their schools and with the teachers in their respective communities.
The emir said that if sending children to such schools became necessary, then parents must send them with all the necessary provisions to ensure their wellbeing and welfare.
According to him, it is wrong for parents to send their children away without proper arrangements and necessary provision, as the children will end up begging for food and alms.
Mr Sanusi, who quoted verses from the Holy Qur’an and Hadith, said whoever begs, would resurrect on the day of judgement without flesh on his face.
He, therefore, urged husbands to see it as God-given duty to feed their wives and children adequately in order for them not to resort to begging for alms and assistance from individuals or relatives.
“Begging is disallowed in Islam and if you must beg for alms beg the government, not individuals or relatives.
“It is better for you to cut firewood and sell to earn a living than to beg.
“Those who beg or seek assistance from individuals will be resurrected on the day of judgement without meat/flesh on their faces.
“And if you must beg, then beg the government not individuals or relatives. This is because they should be responsible for the welfare and wellbeing of citizens.
“Individuals, relatives or neighbours can assist you as gestures of kindness and generosity, but that’s not necessary.
“So, those who are saying that begging is not prohibited in Islam are just misleading you,” Mr Sanusi said.
The emir, therefore, urged government at all levels on social protection programmes in order to check such menaces in society.
“Programmes like cash transfer and many more can assist in tackling these problem. So, we urge the government to sustain the cash transfer programme and come up with many more,” the emir said.
Also speaking, the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Abubakar, corroborated the emir, while noting that no father should send children to Almajiri school without proper and adequate provision for their wellbeing.
“For instance, in Sokoto we built over 100 schools close to Almajiri schools for such to learn at least ABCD and 1234.
“So, we must change the system in order to ensure brighter future for our children,” he said.
Mr Abubakar also urged the participants to take what was said with all seriousness.
He also urged them to digest the issues discussed in order to come up with ways to sensitising the Almajiri system.
The sultan said that he would join Mr Sanusi and others in a collaboration with the centre in finding lasting solutions to the problem.
“As leaders, I urge you to critically look into what’s been discussed and later come up with a lasting solution.
“However, your solutions should be channelled to us through your leadership because the number is large, and for that it will not be possible for each and every one of you to speak,” he said.
In his remarks, a former governor of Zamfara State, Sani Yerima, pointed out that during his eight years as governor in the state, begging by such children was stopped.
“As governments have systems to assist farmers and traders, so we did in area of Almajiri schools.
“Nobody begged during our eight years in office in Zamfara. This is because we ensured that these children were fed adequately and that’s what stopped them begging.
“In fact, at the end of my tenure, we left 150 tonnes of food for such programmes,” he said.
Mr Yerima pointed out that if authorities would take their responsibilities seriously, no parent would be willing to send their children to other places.
On his part, the Jigawa Deputy Governor, Umar Namadi, said the government was doing its best to enrol all out of school children.
Mr Namadi said the government’s decision to feed pupils from primary four to six under the federal government’s school feeding programme was yielding positive result.
“Jigawa government is doing its best to ensure that all out of school children in the state are enrolled.
“We’re doing this through the school feeding programme, as we feed pupils from primary four to six, while the federal government feeds pupils from primary one to three.
“So, this gesture is seriously taking out such out of school children as it immensely increases enrollment in our schools.
“Also through SUBEB, the government is doing its best to ensure the wellbeing of students of Tsangaya schools in the state.”
He added that the state government had built 400 Islamiyya schools across the state.
According to him, the government will collaborate with relevant stakeholders to sensitise them on proper Almajiri system.
NAN also reports over 1,000 Qur’anic teachers attended the conference held in Manpower Development Institute (MDI), in Dutse, the state capital.