How we celebrated Sallah amidst economic hardships, by Nigerians

Despite the challenges posed by the current economic hardships, the spirit of Eid al-Fitr remained vibrant, echoing resilience, community support, and unwavering faith among Nigerians, especially Muslims; TOPE SUNDAY writes.

As Nigeria grapples with economic challenges, many families found creative and resilient ways to celebrate Eid-ul-Adha, popularly known as Sallah. Despite the financial constraints, the spirit of the festival remained vibrant across the country.

Blueprint Weekend
 can report that in the face of economic hardship, Nigerians also embraced minimalism and creativity. Families found innovative ways to make the festival special without incurring significant expenses.

Adapting to the current economic realities, some families opted for smaller-scale celebrations while maintaining the essence of the festival.

Across the country, the Eid ul-Adha celebrations highlighted the adaptability, creativity, and strong sense of community among Nigerians. While the economic hardships posed significant challenges, they also brought out the best in people, showcasing their ability to find joy and meaning in the simplest of things.

Bleak celebration?

However, contrary to the complaints that foodstuffs and rams were on the high side before the celebration of this year’s Eid ul-Adha, this medium can report that the majority of Muslims had a blast celebrating amidst the economic hardships.

 A civil servant, Abdullahi Moshood, who spoke with this reporter in Abuja, said though the current economic challenge took a toll on how he usually celebrated Sallah, he expressed gratitude to Allah for sparing his life and family to witness the festival.

Moshood, who said he opted for a smaller ram in obedience to Allah for sacrifice, said his only regret was his inability to travel to his hometown for the celebrations.

“I give thanks to the Almighty Allah. I thank Him for sparing me and my family to witness this year’s Eid ul-Adha. Amidst this current economic hardship, I could afford a smaller ram in obedience to Allah for sacrifice, which this festival demands. Though, the ram was not as big as the previous years, despite that I am very grateful to Allah.

“The little regret and I can’t call it a regret that I had, was my inability to travel down to Oyo to celebrate the festival with my extended family like I have been doing in the past,” he said.

On his part, another civil servant, Abdulrasak Tosho, who said even though he did not kill a ram during the festival, he bought one for his parents who were residing in Ilorin, the Kwara state capital.

According to him, he was delighted to have purchased a ram for his parents who he said were very happy. This he said has gladdened his heart.

Also speaking, an Abuja resident, Ibrahim Yusuf, said, “Instead of sacrificing a ram, we opted for a goat, which was more affordable. The important thing was the intention behind the sacrifice, not the size of the animal.” 

Shared celebrations

Blueprint Weekend gathered that in many neighbourhoods, community solidarity became the cornerstone of the celebrations. In the heart of Lagos, the bustling city that never sleeps, families joined forces to pool resources for a collective celebration.

A Lagos resident, Abubakar Mohammed, said he could not afford a ram for the festivity, but his community bought one which they all feasted on.

“I couldn’t afford a ram this year. But our community decided to buy one together. We all chipped in what we could, and it turned into a beautiful communal feast,” he said.

Also, Hajia Hajara Bello, a tailor, said, “We made sure that everyone had something to celebrate with. We shared food, clothes, and even small gifts among ourselves. It reminded us of the true essence of Sallah, which is unity and charity.”

Another Abuja resident, Aisha Lawal, shared how her family adjusted their traditions.

“This year, we didn’t buy new clothes for everyone. Instead, we repaired and reused our best outfits from previous years. The focus was more on the prayers and the family time, rather than the material aspects,” she said.

Despite the economic challenges, the resilient spirit of Nigerians shone through. Many used this time to reflect on their blessings and extend kindness to the less fortunate.

“Amid our struggles, we found reasons to be grateful. We visited friends and family members and shared what little we had with them. It was a humbling experience and a reminder of the importance of empathy and generosity,” she said.

Hajia Zainab Mohammed, a schoolteacher, said, “This year, we focused on what truly matters – prayer and family. Instead of hosting a big feast, we prepared a modest meal and shared it with our neighbours. It reminded us that the essence of Sallah is not in how much you spend, but in gratitude and togetherness.”


However, despite the economic situation, some residents of Abuja said the development could not deter their joy of celebrating Eid ul-Adha.

Mr. Aliyu Nafada, a Muslim faithful in the Sabon-Gari community, Bwari, said the cost of ram had increased and was almost unaffordable due to the prevailing economic challenges.

“I went to Dei-Dei market last week to purchase a big ram but ended up with a small one because I could not afford the big one. The one I ended up buying cost me N85, 000, while the big one I wanted to buy was sold for a negotiable price of N190, 000. 

Many buyers went there and couldn’t afford the rams and they went home disappointed,” he said.

Nafada said he also bought perishables like tomatoes and peppers at exorbitant prices, adding that no matter the situation, the celebration would hold.

Also speaking, a commercial motorcyclist, Mr. Rilwanu Isah, said people were only trying to fulfil their religious obligations but Allah did not put a burden on anyone, who could not afford the sacrifice of a ram.

“I could not afford a ram last year and even this year because the price keeps going higher due to the inflation in the economy. If Allah permits me to buy it next year, I will, but people must know that Allah has not put a burden on any Muslim who cannot afford a ram. It is good if you can afford a ram, if you can’t, just celebrate either way,” he said.

Another resident, Malam Adamu Sale, noted that with the help of his wife, a businesswoman, they were able to buy one ram at N220, 000, for the celebrations. Sale said since his family could not afford to travel for the holiday, as they usually do each year, it cost him less to celebrate in Bwari alongside other friends and neighbours.

He said, “As you can see, we just came back from the praying ground to thank God for today, we will go home to perform our sacrifice, eat and share with others. After that, we can go out to see places of recreation, if not today, tomorrow. We will celebrate, irrespective of the economic challenges because we are grateful to Allah for life.”