Eid ul Adha


The story of Great Trial of Sacrifice




ImageThe story about the great trial of Prophet Ibrahim (AS) is an interesting one and there are many lessons that can be derived from it by those who believe in Prophet Ibrahim (AS) and claim to follow his creed. To summarize what had transpired:  Prophet Ibrahim (AS) had prayed to Allah (SWT) to grant him a son. Allah (SWT) fulfilled his wish and gave him Prophet Ismail (AS) at very old age. 


"O God! Grant me with a righteous son. So We gave him the glad tidings of a forbearing son." (37:100-101)

When the child attained 13 years of age, Allah (SWT) commanded Prophet Ibrahim (AS) in his dream to sacrifice him for His sake.  "When he was old enough to assist in his endeavour, he said: 'My son! I see in my dream that I am sacrificing you. See what you think?'" (37:102) 



Because it was the command from Allah (SWT), the righteous son encouraged his old father to discharge his duty.  "He said: 'O Father! Do whatever you have been commanded. If Allah wishes, you will find me to be patient." (37:102)

Prophet Ibrahim (AS) set out with his son Prophet Ismail (AS) to the sacrificing spot. It was certainly not an easy task!  On the way, Shaytan or Satan appeared in a form of an old advising man. He tried to stop Prophet Ibrahim (AS) from offering the sacrifice, but because of the strong faith in Allah (SWT), Prophet Ibrahim (AS)'s determination to comply with the command of his Creator could not be shaken.

Shaytan then tried his luck with young Prophet Ismail (AS) and persuade him to escape from his ill fate. As a result of his father's invocation, Prophet Ismail (AS) was a righteous son and he too, could therefore not be influenced.  Both, the father and the son chased Shaytan away. They then arrived at the sacrificing spot at Mina.

Prophet Ibrahim (AS) tied the hands and the legs of his son so as not to be perturbed by his pain and restlessness. He blindfolded himself and carrying the knife enacted the command of Allah (SWT).  When Prophet Ibrahim (AS) removed his fold, he saw Prophet Ismail (AS) by his side and in his place; a Ram lay slain before them. Prophet Ibrahim (AS) trembled lest Allah (SWT) rejected his sacrifice. Suddenly he heard a voice that was soothing:

"We called out to him: O Ibrahim! You have indeed fulfilled the vision! Thus indeed We reward the virtuous. This indeed was a manifest trial. Then We ransomed him with a great sacrifice, and We left (this blessing) for him among generations (to come) in later times: Peace be to Ibrahim." (37:104-109)
Lesson from the Great Trial of Sacrifice

Dr. Ali Shari'ati in his book, 'Philosophy of Hajj' writes and I quote:

"This is a story of man's perfection and his freedom from selfishness and animalistic desires. It is man's ascension to a higher spirit and loves, to a strong will that frees him from any thing that may hinder his responsibility as a conscious man." 


In other words, Allah (SWT) is telling us:  On this day of Eid Al-Adha, you should select your Ismail and bring him to Mina! Who is your Ismail? Anything that is causing an obstruction for you to reach your Lord and fulfil your duties towards Him. Your Ismail could be:

Your wealth,  Your job,  Your rank,  Your power,  Your lust,  Your greed,  Your spouse,  Your children

It could be anything and make sure that it is as dear to you as Prophet Ismail (AS) was to Prophet Ibrahim (AS).  As you are sacrificing an animal on this day, bear in mind that you are infact, sacrificing that dearest thing in your life and telling Allah (SWT): 

"O My Lord! Henceforth, this thing, which has been dearest to me in life, will not hinder me from reaching You and acquiring Your pleasure."








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