Every year, at Eid ul Adha, we remember the sacrifice of Prophet Ibrahim ﷺ. With this said, the Abrahamic willingness to sacrifice – the willingness to give up what is so dear to oneself out of love for Allah, and the unshakable contentment in the Decree while doing so – is a profound and awe-inspiring lesson that we should reflect on, not just once a year, but throughout the year, as well as tap into its atmospheres and try to live it as much as we can.
لَن تَنَالُوا الْبِرَّ حَتَّىٰ تُنفِقُوا مِمَّا تُحِبُّونَ ۚ وَمَا تُنفِقُوا مِن شَيْءٍ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ بِهِ عَلِيمٌ
None of you [believers] will attain true piety unless you give out of what you cherish: whatever you give, God knows about it very well.
The genuine, righteous willingness to sacrifice – whether it be time, wealth, material items, or other things – stems from a self that has accepted submission as its state and has dove into the well of love; it has grasped and internalized the realization that we are all owned by Allah, and the nature of being owned is to do what the Owner has commanded you to do; the nature of being a lover is that you relinquish your desires for that of the Beloved.
فَلَمَّا بَلَغَ مَعَهُ السَّعْيَ قَالَ يَا بُنَيَّ إِنِّي أَرَىٰ فِي الْمَنَامِ أَنِّي أَذْبَحُكَ فَانظُرْ مَاذَا تَرَىٰ ۚ قَالَ يَا أَبَتِ افْعَلْ مَا تُؤْمَرُ ۖ سَتَجِدُنِي إِن شَاءَ اللَّهُ مِنَ الصَّابِرِينَ –
When the boy was old enough to work with his father, Abraham said, ‘My son, I have seen myself sacrificing you in a dream. What do you think?’ He said, ‘Father, do as you are commanded and, God willing, you will find me steadfast.’
An amazing aspect of this event is that it seems that at both times – the times of acknowledging the ru’yah and then acting on it by continuing with the sacrifice of his beloved son, as well as the moment of being given the permission to sacrifice the ram instead – the state of complete submission of Ibrahimﷺ and Ismailﷺ did not fluctuate in either case because both came from the Beloved. This teaches us that the internal state of complete submission and the absolute willingness to sacrifice are not contingent upon difficulty of the task; when one is absorbed in pleasing the Beloved, there is no ‘me’, ‘I’, ‘what’s in it for me?’ … there is only Him and what He wants.
I thought of You so much that I have become all consumed in
Your love. Little by little, You arrived and, for a second, I
looked for me, but there is only You.
– Shaykh Muhammad al-Ninowy
Let us commemorate the sacrifice of Ibrahim by not just participating in festivities this year. This is not to say that we shouldn’t participate in permissible festivities, for we should and Eid ul Adha should be a joyous time for us all. However, let’s really honour, revere, and celebrate the sacrifice by establishing a sincere intention to cultivate the mental, spiritual, and physical alacrity to further the presence of rabbani sacrifice in our lives.
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