Almajirci: A neglected child abuse in Northern Nigeria – By Engr. Adamu Suleiman Magama
We have for so long over look the gigantism of destruction cause by this improper, unorganized and a concept that is bereft of ideal Islamic ethics and established rules on the right of a child in Islam.
Almajiranchi has been in existence for long and its an outdated methodology of education in Africa and Nigeria to be precise. Its a concept in which a child is sent to an unknown scholar ( Malam) to be thought Islamic doctrine. Such a child is sent to the unknown scholar by his parents with no food or provisions of all basic necessities for survival. Such a child is subject to immerse hardship and labour from such scholar such as farm work, rearing and all domestic works. But such a child is not fed,clothed, well sheltered but allowed to get all these by scavenging.
People in our communities where almajirai are present takes advantage of their vulnerability and engage them in hard labour and sometimes extreme hardship in exchange of leftover food, worn out clothes as their wages and such children see that as privilege and kindness because they don’t get such from their scholars.
The scholars can decide to relocate to any place of their choice making the parents not knowing where about of their children talk more of their well being. The most annoying part of this anti Islamic methodology of education is that they an injected with an ideology that the system is the best and prominent scholars support the methodology but their children are in abroad or in the country and are patronizing some of the best institutions of learning in this country for their children. What an inhumanity to man.
Statistics have shown that 50% of such children become criminals and victims of political thuggery. Many of them die of diseases without medical attention and some of them become successful in life due to favour and mercy of Allah.
The Qur’an and the authentic tradition of our beloved prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) speaks clearly about the responsibility of that comes with rising a child.
………Your wealth and your children are only but a trial from God, with them is a great reward…. Qur’an ( 64:15)..
As such its a great responsibility for Avery parents to grown his children, morally, spiritually,educationally and filled their mind’s with knowledge and wisdom.
…..prophet Muhammed (S.A.W)..” All of us are but a Shepherd and every Shepherd is fully responsible to his flocks…
We are directly responsible for the well being of our children as said by Sheikh Uthaimeen:” That children are but a trust given to parents by God” their right include
1. Right to life ….” Kill not your children because of poverty, we provide sustenance for you and them”…..Qur’an (6:151)
2. Proper feeding
4. EDUCATION….. You are the first teacher of your child as such you are his best scholar. Its important you educate your child and grown him in path of Islam not to subject your child to hard labour and societal menace. Remember we will all be asked on the day of judgement on our mentorship to our children.
5. Shelter and all necessary amenities that will make them successful and worthy in our society.
Almajiranchi is not holistic for our collective growth. Scholars that support such should fear Allah as they must account for their actions.
I spoke with a former almajiri. He said” my parents were not fair to me to sent me for almajiranchi at the age of 8. I almost died and I have a legacy to my family that no matter how poor I am let no one sent my child to such an un Islamic practice of educational system”.
I call on all Islamic scholars to fight for these children and also the government to enact a law on abolishing almajiranchi in Nigeria.