Eid-Ul-Adha: A true test of faith
Mohammad Hussain Khan
Feast of the sacrifice marks the end of the annual ritual of Haj, one of the five pillars of Islamic belief system. It falls on the 10 th day of Zulhijjah, the final month of Islamic calendar.
Eid-ul-Adha commemorates the trials and triumphs of Prophet Abrahim (AS). One of the Abraham’s main trials was to face the command of Allah to sacrifice his only son Ismail (AS) upon hearing this command, he prepared to submit to Allah’s will. This is narrated in the Quran: “when he (Ismail) was of an age to work with him, (Ibrahim) said, “My son, I saw in a dream that I must sacrifice you. What do you think about this? He (Ismail) said, “Do as you are ordered, father.
Allah willing, you will find me steadfast! Allah ransomed him with a mighty sacrifice so pray to your lord and sacrifice”.
It is in place to mention here that the most beloved son (Ismail) was born when the parents were in old age. After constant prayers for a child, Ismail (AS) was given birth like a miracle. To obey the command of Allah Ibraham (AS) grey haired and bearded talked to his young son Ismail (AS) in Mina (Saudi Arabia).
History had never before recorded a similar conversation between a father and a son. A very friendly, but fearful one. Ibrahim (AS) put all his trust in God and made his decision, stood up, picked the knife and tried to sharpen it with a piece of stone. Ismail (A.S) the brave obedient son who accepted Allah’s will, was so relaxed and quiet as if nothing was going to happen.
“yeh faizan-e-nazar tha ya ki maktab ki karamat, sikhaye kis nai Ismail (AS) ko adaab-e-farzandi”
Ibrahim (AS) took the young son Ismail (AS) to the place of sacrifice, asked him to lie on the ground, held his legs, grabbed his hair and held his head back in order to see his carotid artery.
The old man (Ibrahim AS) put the knife to Ismail’s throat and tried to finish in a moment. But, the knife wouldn’t cut. Hurriedly, he picked up the knife to try again. Before Ibrahim touched him again, a sheep suddenly appeared with a message- “oh Ibrahim, Allah does not want you to sacrifice Ismail. This sheep is sent to you as his ransom. You have carried out the order! Allah is great”.
Ismail (AS) was honoured to name chosen for the sacrifice and he patiently persevered. Thus, Hazarat Ibrahim’s devotion of complete submission to the will of Allah is the care value that we need to emulate during the Eid.
This requires from us to inculcate compassion for the man kind in our infinite devotion for Allah. The Quran makes it particularly clear “their meat will not reach to Allah, nor will their blood, but what reaches Him is piety from you”.
So basically, Baqir-Eid gives a three fold message to us, piety, charity and equality. The paramount message of Eidul-Addah is that, it is man’s ascension to a higher sipirit and love, to a strong will that frees him from anything that may hinder his responsibility as a conscious man, to make him ready to sacrifice himself as Ismail (AS).
Since Ismail has not chosen a sheep for himself but has been offered a sheep as ransom. Thus it is a “sacrifice” and not “butchery”. The clear cut message of Eid-ul-Addha is that we should search and select whatever is so dear as Ismail was to Ibrahim and sacrifice it for the sake of Allah. Qurbani or sacrifice is synonymous with surrender.
It symbolizes that the person performing Qurbani is willing to sacrifice all interest and belongings to him for Allah. Qurbani or sacrifice is a great “Ibadah” in the pact with Allah if done with proper understanding of its philosophy, history and purpose. May the blessings of Allah be with us and May Allah (Swt) accept our sacrifice. Ameen.
(The author can be reached at Khanhussain.firstname.lastname@example.org)