About twelve cows slaughtered; hundreds of dozens of chairs rented; reigning, costly musicians patronised; several baskets of peppers and tomatoes exhausted, different varieties of delicacies consumed; innumerable crates of soft drinks drunk; numberless loads of liquor lavished; incalculable penny splurged on logistics – all in the name of ceremoniously burying their father – a befitting burial they would say – a rough estimate of which was capable of eternally enriching unemployed youths, if such money is gainfully utilised. What is wrong with us?
Weeks after, the one-day spender of millions became sunk in debts and shattered by shame. He dodged, avoided and ran from his supposed friendly creditors from whose purses loans smilingly came out for the ‘befitting burial’. Though he realised certain amounts while dancing on stage, but his expenditure hugely outweighed his income. Should he be pitied or beaten?
They didn’t want to be disgraced. They detested being embarrassed. Their friends now their foes. Friends who did not see reasons helping them grow their careers into stardom and/or businesses into riches, but could loan them to squander millions on burials. Friends who are friendly with their wealth only when there is a call for socials, not for successes. Friends in partying, not in parleying. What is wrong with us?
I stand challenged. I have never read or heard anyone adduce a rational rationale for the so-called burial ceremonies that make people cough out that which they should forever have swallowed. You may wish to do a rejoinder. I am receptive of criticism. I don’t have to be chronically religious to know that such spending is waste. It is axiomatic. It is glaring. A notable politician once had his mother claimed by death. He told his friends that he would frugally expend a token of #5m for her burial ceremony unlike those who squander resources. What an ‘award-deserving’ frugality, indeed! Isn’t that brutality of commonsense?
#5m is enough an amount to turn the lives of 5 entrepreneurially skilled youths around. With each of them being afforded #1m, the capitals can metamorphous into multiples and several other youths employed. While there were copious Nigerian youths wallowing in starvation birthed by unemployment, some imprudent, loose politician was splurging our common wealth on the no-return demise of his mother. What is wrong with us?
Islamic laws on burial do not include spending by the bereaved. It is rather on the other way round – spending on the bereaved. The sons and daughters of the deceased should be the receivers of gifts borne out of sympathy for the lost soul. Why lose a soul and waste away resources alongside? What is wrong with us? The culture should rather be that while each mourner visits, eatable, usable items should be empathetically given to the deceased.
That muslim clerics gather on the eighth day in the name of prayer for the deceased is no fact to adduce partying. There is no such thing in Islam. It is rather a means devised by them to get some cash into their pockets. Such is never attributable to either the holy Prophet or the pious companions. And it is even shameful that those who are supposed to be truth defenders on this matter are the ones upholding the falsehood. Is it revering to hear sheikhs, imams, alfas financially exploit children and family members of the deceased, all in the name of prayer? From whom did they get such an alien practice? One of the alleged culprits should probably educate us in the light of Sharee’ah. Learning is a continuum, you know.
It is on record that the deceased should have charity, not party, done in his name by the children. Members of the deceased’s family may convert the money for partying to any, some or all of the following:
1. Providing foods, clothes and shelter for orphans. If you have none, I do have some begging for good future. We just recommended one for a philanthropist.
2. Providing water for thirsty people i.e. digging a borehole for a community.
3. Sponsoring indigent but brilliant students for WAEC and/or NECO and JAMB. There are many promising students whose parents cannot afford the examination fees.
4. Grading and/or patching of roads to ease vehicular movements.
5. Settling of patients’ bills in selected hospitals. Imagine your #2m being spent to clear medical bills of about 50 or more people in the name of your dead parent(s).
6. Building, renovating or resuscitating a mosque.