IN THE NAME OF ALLAH, MOST GRACIOUS, EVER MERCIFUL: A MIGHTY SACRIFICE FOR THE CAUSE OF ALLAH

Since time immemorial, men have always been making sacrifices, all for the cause of God Almighty. All religions in the world teach sacrifice for the sake of God and the goodwill of humanity. Likewise, the Muslims also, in the spirit of the Eid-ul-Adha festival, are called to do such sacrifices which would assure them the pleasure of Allah if done with sincerity, purity of body and mind; such selfless sacrifices which would be an example for all humanity to follow.
The Eid-ul-Adha, which is celebrated every tenth of the Islamic month Dhul-Hijjah as a conclusion of the Hajj (i.e., the Islamic pilgrimage), does not only commemorate the exceptional sacrifice of Prophet Ibrahim(as), his wife Hagar[Hajra(ra)], and son Ismail(as), but is also a call for all Muslims to sacrifice their inner evils and to come forth, pure like a child who submits to the divine will. God Almighty wants nothing from His servants except that they recognise His all power, supremacy and unity and submit to His will.
For the submitters to God's will (i.e. Muslims/ Muslimeen) they have the great task of waging an inner war against all evil forces which try to deviate them from the remembrance of Allah. They are called to carve their spiritual life in the exceptional example of Abraham (as) who was one who was ever submissive to Allah. As a prophet of God, Abraham did everything in his power to teach his people the true precepts of faith and submission to God Almighty. Whenever Allah tried him, all he ever wanted was to pass the tests and please Allah. Indeed, he wanted nothing more than gaining the love of God and accede to His presence.
Even though he was childless, he continued to pray to Allah to give him a child - not an ordinary child - but one who shall also, like him serve God and preach His word to the people. When he turned in prayer to God, God acceded to his sincere supplications and gave him a son, his first through his second wife, Hajra(ra). And what is more poignant as a lesson for mankind is the exceptional way in which Allah tried him through the very beloved child he got at such an advanced age. To sacrifice one's own son, one's own flesh and blood, an innocent life, one's sole heir? Such a painful decision!
Any other common man would have shuddered at the very thought of literally sacrificing his own son, but here the trial came for such a prophet who have always submitted to the divine will. God Almighty wanted to try him with his only child, just to know to what extent he would be able to go for His love. After receiving a clear vision telling him to sacrifice his only child, yet Abraham (as) knew that he had no right to take the life of another human being without first seeking his consent.
So, he waited till his son Ishmael(as) reached the age of puberty - when he is mature enough to be able to take a decision - and sought his approval on the subject of sacrificing him for God Almighty. Abraham(as) got such a pure son, filled with spiritual intellect and like his father, he had a deep love for the Almighty. So, when his father approached him to know what he thought about the vision he once got after he was born, Ishmael(as) did not hesitate to comply with the divine will. He showed such love, obedience and willingness to fulfil the vision of his father, that God Almighty Himself was deeply touched by such portrayal of submission and love. He tested a father with his child, he tested a mother with her child, and he tested such a son with life and death and separation from his only family. Yet, all these were nothing compared to their individual love for God Almighty. Allah was their priority, to seek His approval and nearness and to accede to His High Court as everlastingly blessed servants of God.
The lesson or moral behind this story, is that this story is not just history, and has to be told and passed on through generations to show the obedience, and submission of such exceptional parents and son, but it is an on-going reminder that sacrifice for the will and pleasure of Allah is never in vain. Sacrifice for God Almighty invites to Allah's love, and indeed divine love is the greatest of achievements someone can attain to, be it in this life and the life to come.
This is the lesson which Allah wanted to give mankind, and especially the Muslims through the examples of Ibrahim, Hajra and Ismail(as). Every good work should be for the pleasure of Allah, and every evil should be destroyed for the pleasure of Allah, so that our consciousness, our souls, and faith shine solely for the pleasure of Allah. On this note, I wish to all my Muslim brothers, sisters and children, an Eid-ul-Adha Mubarak! May you display the same spirit of sacrifice like our Patriarch Ibrahim (Abraham) and his blessed family(as). Insha-Allah, Ameen.
 
(as) - Peace be upon him/ them
(ra) - May Allah be pleased with her
 
August 2017