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The "Almajiri"

 The word almajiri is derived from the Arabic word "al-muhajirun" meaning a person who leaves his home in search of Islamic knowledge 


The system is mostly practiced in Northern Nigeria, this system encourage parents to leave their parental responsibilities to the Islamic school


Almajiri means a Male seeking for Islamic knowledge, while Almajira means a female seeking for Islamic knowledge 


Almajiri system is mostly associated with young boys as you'll find them on the streets in groups with bowl on their hands singing as they begged for food


I had a short session with a teenage almajiri, he said his name is Ibrahim, he is from Katsina state and that he had been in Kano state for over 2 years. Ibrahim claimed that he doesn't know his father and that he was brought from katsina to Kano in search of Islamic knowledge 


At the time I met him, he was with a group of almajirai, they claimed he was the oldest among them 


Ibrahim also said he enjoyed going about begging for food.


Older almajirai engage themselves in doing domestic works in homes, some work in production industries they get paid in return to improve their standard of living, others engage themselves in learning a particular skill like, cobbler, carpentry, etc. 


Younger almajirai walk barefoot, wore tore clothes, they barely take their bath as some of the boys stink and you might see some of them with blisters, skin rash and untreated wounds in their body


Nowadays the system is associated with begging, stealing, and all sort of unrest in the society


Three almajirai eating


The above picture shows three almajirai sitting on the ground eating food which given to them as a sadaqqa



Some almajirai pass through hard labor as they work on their scholar's farmland from sunrise to sunset without food


As I continued with my research I met "Abdullahi " whom revealed to me that, he had been in the school for over 10 years he said the system is fun and interesting, because there he learned how to read the holy Qur'an  in Arabic


I  also  met with Buhari who also said the system is fun because he passed through the school and that alot of prominent Men in Northern Nigeria are once almajirai or had passed through the school


In some part of Northern Nigeria I got to know that, parents visits their wards every month and they also provide food for their wards to prevent them from going about the streets begging. Failure to do so the child will be withdrawn from the school


Kano state has over 300,000 almajirai. 





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