Cameroon Muslims are looking for alternatives for the sacrifice as recommended by prophet Muhammad on the day of the Eid al-Adha feast.
Sheep, traditionally slaughtered, have become very scarce as a result of the Boko Haram conflict and separatist war in the country’s main production areas.
Hundreds of Muslims are buying food stuffs from the popular market called “Marche Huitieme” in Cameroon’s capital Yaounde in preparation for the feast of sacrifice.
In Cameroon, large numbers of sacrificial animals, especially sheep, are slaughtered and their meat distributed to the poor as a religious tradition in Islam.
41-year old Abdoul Aziz says for the first time in 20 years, he will not have a sheep to sacrifice.
Aziz said because of the scarcity, some families are buying chickens, leading to arguments on whether the substitution is religiously correct.
Mohaman Aboubakar, assistant Imam of Yaounde’s central Mosque says Islam allows people to adjust with the changing times.
Imam Aboubakar says their religion finds nothing wrong if Cameroon Muslims who can not find the sheep they traditionally bought to slaughter in honor of Abraham’s willingness to slay his son Ishmael at Allah’s request, turn to goats and fowls today.
Most of the sheep sold in Cameroon towns comes from the area around the central African state’s northern border with Nigeria that has been suffering Boko Haram atrocities, or from the English speaking Northwest and Southwest regions where separatists have been fighting to create an English speaking state, or neighboring Chad.