Articles Understanding Islam The Eid of Sacrifice
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The Eid of Sacrifice Print E-mail
Articles - Understanding Islam
Wednesday, 01 Sha'ban 1428
Selfish people cannot sacrifice, and hence cannot truly love. True love always requires sacrifice. The greater and more profound the love – the greater the sacrifice it commands. In this sense it is only the brave and courageous, only those who can ‘give’, and ‘take’ nothing in return, who can truly love, for only they can truly sacrifice. What do they know of love who only ‘take’, and ‘give’ nothing in return? In fact, loving a woman is like loving God, which makes the subject easy to understand. He who can sacrifice can also be faithful, whereas he who cannot sacrifice can surely betray! It is in this context that we can now understand the implications of those memorable words: “If you love me, then keep My commandments”. Sacrifice was thus instituted as an integral part of the religious way of life, for Abraham, the Prophet, truly loved his God, and when Allah Most High tested that love with the supreme sacrifice, it was love that strengthened him and gave him ‘wings with which to fly’ to fulfill the divine commands.


Eid al-Adha is the Eid of the sacrifice, and hence it is the Eid for those who love their Lord-God and are prepared to sacrifice for Him. It has its origin in that supreme test to which father Abraham (‘alaihi al-Salam) was subjected: “Oh my son”, he said to his only son, Ishmael (‘alaihi al-Salam), “I have seen in my sleep that I (must) sacrifice you. What is your response?” Abraham (‘alaihi al-Salam) interpreted the nocturnal vision as a divine command to be literally fulfilled, i.e., that he was supposed to take his beloved son’s life by cutting his throat. The son, also, understood the vision in the same literal way. “Oh my father”, he responded, “do as you have been ordered. You will find me patient, if God so wills.” And so he prepared himself to give up his life in submission to a divine command. When Abraham (‘alaihi al-Salam) placed his son in the position for sacrifice the Lord-God called out to him: “Oh Abraham. You have (already) fulfilled the vision (which involved the sacrifice of your son).”

How could the vision be fulfilled when the actual sacrifice of Ishmael (‘alaihi al-Salam) had not as yet taken place? It should be clear that the vision was not to be understood literally. In fact the command to sacrifice was never meant to perforrned literally. Rather it was another instance of the use of religious symbolism which had to be interpreted with what the Qur’an has described as t’aweel al-ahadith (the interpretation of religious symbolism). Well then, what was the meaning of the vision that was fulfilled when both Abraham and Ishmael submitted in their hearts to the sacrifice? What ‘sacrifice’ was there which involved Ishmael and, hence, the seed of Ishmael (i.e., the Arabs)? Indeed that ‘sacrifice’ is being enacted today before the eyes of the whole world. The Gog and Magog world-order’s slaughter of Arabs in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, the Holy Land, and elsewhere, is now reaching its climax as the Euro-Jewish State of Israel prepares itself to ‘rule’ the world.

The Qur’an went on to inform that Allah Most High ransomed Ishmael (‘alaihi al-Salam) with zibhin ‘azeem (a momentous sacrifice). What this meant was firstly, that a ram appeared and it was that animal which was sacrificed instead of Ishmael (‘alaihi al-Salam). The Qur’an also declared that the sacrifice of the ram was to be preserved for ages and ages to come as a sign to mankind. But secondly, and just as important, what it meant was that there would be sacrifice of the seed of Ishmael (‘alaihi al-Salam). That sacrifice would take place in the Last Age and it would be part of the divine plan through which Allah Most High would finally deliver victory to Islam and would punish those Jews (who rejected Jesus as the Messiah and conspired tro crucify him) with the greatest punishment ever.

That divine declaration, which was made thousands of years ago, finds spectacular fulfillment to this day. Believers who follow the religion of Abraham (‘alaihi al-Salam) have consistently sacrificed animals to commemorate that momentous sacrifice. Right here in this tiny island of Trinidad, located thousands of miles away from the Arabian desert where the sacrifice took pace, thousands of animals will be sacrificed this day of Eid, and the following two days, just as they have been sacrificed in Arabia for the last few thousand years.

It is, of course, quite sinister that a new development is taking place in the world which is likely to relegate the actual sacrifice of animals to the poor masses around the world, while the rich would abandon it in favor of just writing a check for the money to purchase an animal to be donated instead to the poor. If this diabolical innovation in religion persists, then it would only be a matter of time before the sacrifice of animals in affluent countries on the occasion of Eid al-Adha would become a thing of the past. Already this innovation has taken roots in North America and is gaining ground every year.

But why, we ask today, would an Arab people who had filled the Temple in Makkah with idols which they worshipped, and whose economic life was based on the economic exploitation of slavery, preserve and reenact Abraham’s sacrifice on this particular day every year for thousands of years before Prophet Muhammad was even born? And why would those same idol-worshipping Arabs also preserve the symbol of Abraham’s covenant with Allah, i.e., male circumcision, as they have also done for thousands of years? And, finally, why would they preserve the annual pilgrimage to the House of Allah in Makkah (Hajj) that Abraham himself had established? There can be only one answer to those questions, and that is to recognize that the Arabs were clinging to remnants of Abraham’s religion.

When Prophet Muhammad (sallalahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) emerged in Arabia all that he did was to call the Arabs back to the religion of father Abraham so that it could be restored in its original purity. Hence Islam is not a new religion at all! Islam is but a name that was given to one true religion of our father Abraham (‘alaihi al-Salam). The essence of Abraham’s faith in his Lord-God is his submission to the Lord. And that is precisely the meaning of the Arabic word ‘Islam’— i.e., submission (to Allah Most High).

The implications of the preservation in Arabia, and now elsewhere in the world where Muslims reside, of this momentous sacrifice, as well as male circumcision and the annual pilgrimage (Hajj) to the ancient temple (Masjid) in Makkah, are startling. They are as follows: Abraham did journey to Arabia; it was to Arabia that he took Hagar and Ishmael; it was there that he built the first temple and he established the worship of the One God; it was there that he instituted the annual pilgrimage to that temple (i.e., the Hajj); the child of the sacrifice was indeed Ishmael; and the place of the sacrifice was indeed Arabia; and hence the Qur’an is truly the uncorrupted word of God; and hence Muhammad (sallalahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) is truly the Prophet of that One God. And praise is due to Allah. There is no God but He!

 

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