Today is a day before the pilgrims start the important rituals of the pilgrimage or Hajj.In Saudi Arabia ,people would be celebrating Eid on friday,whereas here in India,it will be on Saturday.The festival is also knows as the 'Feast of Sacrifice'.Sacrifice is usually thought of as slaughter of an animal for an offering to Allah,but sacrifice in its true sense means, "giving away something of immense value and importance for the sake of Allah alone".People would think,"How hard could it be?",but that is not true.Have you ever tried to give something up for somebody?A thing that you really love?It takes a very,very soft hard to do that.For an act to be called sacrifice,it must hurt us and we should feel the pain.The Prophet Ibrahim(AS) was ready to sacrifice his child,Prophet Ismail(AS) to Allah,just think what faith he had in his Lord,it is like he agreed to give his own son to his Lord,that is true sacrifice and by sacrificing animals on the day of the festival,Allah encourages us to remind ourselves of the faith Prophet Ibrahim(AS) had on his Creator.
It is easier to sacrifice money and time,but much more difficult to sacrifice the unmeasurable ones like pleasure and comforts,opinions,likes and dislikes,family relationship,our passion and pride and our ego.If we accept that whatever we possess belongs to Allah,and by giving it in the way of Allah,Allah will return it to us increased manifold.Allah says in the Holy Quran that it is not flesh nor the blood of the animal that reaches Allah,but what reaches him is our Taqwa(piety).There are many things we can learn from the sacrifice:
- Just as meat is shared with the poor,money,time and comforts must also be shared.Allah will appreciate the symbol of sharing the meat with poor,with our fellow men,with the hungry.
- Allah stopped Prophet Ibrahim(AS) from sacrificing his own son,this exaggerates the fact that Allah is merciful.
- Children must be obedient to parents,no matter how great the demand or how difficult the circumstance may be,as long as it is for Allah's sake.Remember,Prophet Ismail(AS) most willingly agreed to sacrifice his own life when his father told him that it was Allah's command.
- We should be able to cast away Satan repeatedly,no matter how beautiful or flowery the Satan's language may be.This is exemplified by throwing seven stones each at three symbolic satans in Muzdalifah.Satan lies in ambush for those believers who are already on the straight path.Satan says,"I will lie in wait for them on Thy straight path"(Q.7:21).Satan will approach us from the right and left and would swear that he is our sincere advisor,"And he swore to them both(Adam(AS) and Hawwa(AS) that he was their sincere advisor".Even while repenting,Satan may console us by saying that it was not our fault at all because Allah had already written the incident in our Taqdir(fate).
Submit yourselves to your Lord,the almighty!