Muslims around the World will celebrate Eidul Adha, the sacrifice of the great man known as Abul Ambiya’I, Hazrat Ibrahim(AS). There are countless lessons for humanity in the lives of Hazrat Ibrahim(AS) and his family. Allah the Almighty, commanded Hazrat Ibrahim(AS) to sacrifice his only son for His sake. The love of Allah Almighty that Hazrat Ibrahim(AS) had made it possible for him to obey such a glorious commandment without hesitation. He was ever ready to obey Allah Almighty’s command as has been mentioned in the Holy Quran as it says: When his Lord said to him, ‘Submit,’ he said, ‘I have submitted to the Lord of the worlds.’ (Ch. 2:31). Thus, the example of Hazrat Ibrahim(AS) is a shining example for all of humanity.
Similarly, his wife Hazrat Hajara(RA) and his son Hazrat Ismael(AS) found it easy to accept the call for the sacrifice due to their immense love of Allah Almighty, and their obedience to Hazrat Ibrahim(AS). This great sacrifice has remained as an example for Muslims around the world for thousands of years. The sacrifice of all these three holy personages has great lessons for us all, particularly in these trying times.
Hazrat Ibrahim(AS) left his wife, Hazrat Hajara(RA) and his son, Hazrat Ismael(AS) in a barren land in Arabia (Hijaz) obedience to the Lord of the Worlds and they humbly and willingly accepted it due to the tremendous love they had for Allah Almighty. What great sacrifice it is to leave your wife and only son in a barren land that is desolate and had no prospects of cultivating anything for survival! This should teach us to live lives of austerity when the need arises like at these trying times we live in currently due to war and disease.
All Muslims are taught to cut all extravagance and sacrifice for the welfare of humanity. At any given time, there are people who are in desperate need of assistance to be able to live a dignified and comfortable life. The sacrifice of Hazrat Ibrahim(AS) and his family should teach us to forgo all unnecessary expenses in order to save and be able to offer sacrifice for the benefit of the poor and needy.
It is necessary to pay attention to the finer points of the lessons presented by the sacrifice of this holy family. The Holy Quran teaches us that these sacrifices are not just superficial ceremonies but have great deeper significance and meaning. The outward performance of these rituals is not the object of celebrating Eidul Adha. The Holy Quran tells us: Their flesh reaches not Allah, nor does their blood, but it is your righteousness that reaches Him. (Ch. 22:38)
The Holy Prophet Muhammad Mustapha(SAW), the acme of Creation has taught us that Allah Almighty does not look at your dress or your outward beauty but He looks at what is in your heart. This message should therefore tell us that the outward activity should not be the all and end all of our celebration. Rather, it should teach us real lessons of sacrifice for the sake and pleasure of Allah, Almighty. That is how we can attain His nearness and righteousness.
Islam requires true sacrifice from us and that is what has been shown to us by Allah Almighty’s Greatest Messenger and Prophet, Hazrat Muhammad Mustapha(SAW). The Holy Quran has testified to this as it says: ‘My prayer and my sacrifice and my life and my death are all for Allah, the Lord of the Worlds’ (Ch.6:163).
Therefore, as followers (Muslims) of the Holy Prophet Muhammad Mustapha(SAW) it behooves us to endeavour to offer such lofty sacrifices which are unassailable for the sake of Allah, Almighty. It is only then that we will be counted as true followers (Muslims) of that Prophet of Allah Almighty.
The entire purpose of commemorating the sacrifice of Hazrat Ibrahim(AS), and his family is to attain nearness to Allah, Almighty. This should therefore always be kept in view, in whatever we do. Explaining this point further, the Promised Messiah and Imam Mahdi(AS), the founder of Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at writes: “The word qurbani, or sacrifice, is taken from qurb, which means nearness, and this alludes to the fact that the nearness of God is attained when all the desires and passions of the flesh are slain.” (The Honour of Prophets, p. 17)
The celebration of Eidul Adha therefore calls on us all to be ready to sacrifice everything for the sake and pleasure of Allah, Almighty. It calls on us to be humble and kind, obedient and tolerant and submissive and to show kindness to everyone. As we celebrate this year’s Eid, therefore, let us all remember to seek to absorb all these qualities of Hazrat Ibrahim(AS) and his family in our own lives.
I hereby convey to you the Salaam, Prayers and Eid Mubarak of the Spiritual and Supreme Head of the Worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at, His Holiness Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad Khalifatul Masih V (May Allah be his Helper). He is always praying for the peace, security, stability and progress of our dear and beloved motherland, the Gambia and the entire humanity. On behalf of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at, the Gambia, I convey to you all my deepest and warmest Eid Mubarak and prayers.
May Allah Almighty, make this Eid a source of peace and unity for the entire Muslim Ummah. May He establish in our hearts the love and desire to wholly submit to Him and selflessly serve His creation. May we witness many more Eids in peace, security and harmony in the Gambia and all over the World under His divine protection and compassion. Ameen!
Baba F. Trawally