Muslims around the globe once again relive the heartrending sacrifices of the family of Ibrahim (as). When Ibrahim (as) left his wife Hajira and her suckling child in the uninhabited sand dunes of Arabia and began walking away, she turned to him in all earnestness and cried: ‘0 Ibrahim! To whom are you leaving us?’ He replied: ‘(I am leaving you) in Allah’s (care).’ She replied: ‘In that case He will never leave us to perish”
Armed only with faith in Allah Hajira (as) painstakingly ascended mount Safa, scanning the endless desert mounds for water or for signs of human life. Alas! The desert only offered her it’s blazing heat and deafening silence. When she ascended Al- Marwa for the seventh time she heard a voice… and agonizingly cried out: ‘0, (whoever you may be)! You have made me hear your voice; have you got something to help me?’ And behold! She saw an angel at the place of Zam-zam, digging the earth till water flowed from it. She tried to contain the flow of water. Nabi (saw) has said: “May Allah bestow mercy on Ismail’s mother! Had she let the Zam-zam to flow without trying to control it, Zam-zam would have been a stream flowing on the surface of the earth.”
Ibn Abbas (ra) states: “Ismail’s mother started drinking from the water, and her milk increased for her child. Afterwards some people of the tribe of Jurhum saw birds while passing through the bottom of the valley and said: “Birds can only be found at a place where there is water.” They sent a messenger, who searched the place and found the water. They reached Hajira (as) and asked her: “0 mother of Ismail! Will you allow us to dwell with you?” (And thus they stayed there. It was Hajira’s sacrifices that gave birth to the establishment of Makkatul Mukarrama!
When Ismail (as) reached the age of 13, Allah commanded Nabi Ibrahim (as) via a dream to sacrifice his son. Nabi Ibrahim (as) said: “O’ My beloved son! I see in my dream that I am sacrificing you. See what you think?’ “He (ismail) said: ‘O My Beloved Father! Do whatever you have been commanded. If Allah wishes, you will find me to be patient.” (37:102)
Nabi Ibrahim (as) thus set out with his son. It was certainly not an easy task! On the way, Shaytaan appeared in a form of an old man. He tried to stop Nabi Ibrahim (as) from offering his son as sacrifice, but to no avail. Shaytaan then tried to dissuade Ismail (as); from offering his very life. When Ibrahim (as) was on the verge of passing the knife he heard a voice: “…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.”
The significance of Qurbanie
Qurbanie has a profound significance; it is not a mere ritual. Allah has not commanded us to sacrifice animals because He is bloodthirsty or meat hungry.
“It is not their flesh or their blood that reaches Allah. Rather it is your piety that reaches Him. Thus has He disposed them for your benefit so that you may magnify Allah for His guiding you. And give good news to the virtuous.” (22:37)
Allah wants to train us to follow the path of Nabi Ibrahim (as) who was willing to offer his dearest possession in the form of his son. Such surrender to the will of Allah is expected not just of prophets but of all believers, since all believers are expected to be “Muslimun”- those who surrender their will to Allah. – Who have you surrendered to?
Qurbanie also displays the mercy and love that Allah showed to Ibrahim (as) when He stopped him from actually sacrificing his most beloved son. This mercy and love of Allah for Nabi Ibrahim (as) is a manifestation of the mercy and love that He has for all of mankind. – Allah cares and loves you!
Qurbanie is meant to awaken our moral faculties. It is a reminder that for the sake of the establishment of tauheed, the propagation of truth, the restoration of peace, freedom of conscience and preservation of the bonds of fraternity the highest sacrifices need to be offered without demur and hesitation. – Are you prepared for the sacrifice?
Qurbanie is an expression of perseverance, patience, fortitude and forbearance. In order to gain proximity and nearness to Allah and win His favour, we will have to place the knife on our desires and tame the beast within! – Are you at all aware of the beast within?
Just as meat is shared with the poor, we need to share our resources …our money, our time and comforts with the less privileged. Qurbanie advocates caring and sharing- What are you doing for the poor and weak?
The Day of Eid
The day of Eid is a day of thanksgiving, where Muslims assemble in a brotherly and joyful atmosphere to offer their gratitude to Allah for the countless blessings they enjoy. Even in our most joyful times, we pray to Allah and glorify His name to demonstrate our gratitude and subservience. Eid is a Day of purging the self from the melodies of the heart. It is an exercise meant to cleanse the heart of fear and cowardice, of vice and indecency, of jealousy and greed, of humiliation and all other causes of enslavement. Eid is a Day of forgiveness. When Muslims assemble in congregation they all whole-heartedly pray for forgiveness and strength in faith. Allah has assured all those who approach Him with sincerity of His mercy and forgiveness. The spirit of this highly devotional assembly teaches us that forgiving others means earning or own forgiveness.
May Allah T’ala bless us with His forgiveness, proximity and love.