On The Katsina State Free Hajj Seat Award By Mustapha Saddiq
The free hajj (pilgrimage to mecca) seats are an annual awards giving to best teachers under the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB). The beneficiaries were normally selected from the 34 local government areas of the state. The detail of this selection, I don’t know.
No doubt, this initiative is a good one especially going by the fact that it will boost the moral of the state teachers which will consequently improve the quality of primary education in the state. Nobody need to be told that a better secondary school education is directly proportional to a good primary education, this will in turn pave way for a best tertiary school education. Finally this will manifest as a self reliant and productive society. This is good, I must say. But alas, I have a better option!
Islamically, hajj is one of the five pillars of islam in which a believer is expected to perform at least ONCE in a life if he/she is ABLE to do (emphasis mine). The scholars (may Allah have mercy on them) have stated that the conditions for hajj being obligatory which if met makes it obligatory for a person to perform and without them, hajj is not obligatory. There are five (5) of such conditions: being a Muslim, being of sound mind, being an adult, being free (i.e. not slave) and being ABLE to do it.
“And Hajj (pilgrimage to Makkah) to the House (Ka‘bah) is a duty that mankind owes to Allaah, those who can afford the expenses (for one’s conveyance, provision and residence)” – Aal ‘Imraan 3:97.
Being able here covers both physically and financially. What is meant by being physically able is that one sound in body and can bear the hardship of traveling to the sacred house of Allah.
What is meant by being financially able is that a person should have surplus funds that are sufficient for doing Hajj after paying off debts and taking care of shar’i obligations and basic needs.
A woman should also have a husband or Mahram -Any man with whom a woman has a relationship (of blood or fosterage) that precludes marriage- with whom to travel to hajj. Also, if a person needs to get married, that takes precedence over hajj. Otherwise (if he/she does not need it at that time) then, hajj take precedence.
Now, here comes the debate; should the government continue with this gesture as ‘free hajj seats’ or should it continue with the gesture but as ‘free money gift’. This writer goes with the later. Having read all the above conditions given by the Muslim scholars for the conditions necessary for hajj, one has no option but to believe with me even more in this regard due to the following.
Firstly, N639,496.52 (going by the minimum fare) is actually huge money that I believe many primary school teachers dreamed of having. I also believe that many of them have many things to do before performing hajj. Many of them don’t have their own house; many of them are in debt while some of them had already performed their ‘obligatory’ hajj. I believe some of them don’t have a motorcycle talk less of a car. This mony, if given I know will surely help them purchase one of these. It will ease their transportation to their respective schools.
Secondly, this is actually a question- does the government give two seats to women if they happened to win, one for themselves and the other for their husbands and or mahrams? I doubt much! If it does, then fine. But if it doesn’t then I think there is a great violation of Islamic jurisdictions somehow, somewhere.
Finally, I hope the SUBEB will look into this. God bless Katsina State.
Mustapha Saddiq wrote from Batagarawa
Do not hesitate to leave your opinion in the comment section below.
To contact Abusidiqu.com for Article Submission and Advertisement or General inquiry, send a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org