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A Momentous Sacrifice

Guidance-I

‘Then, when (the son) reached (the age of) serious work with him, he said, “O my son! I have seen in a dream that I offer thee in sacrifice: now see what is thy view!” (The son) said: “O my father! Do as thou art commanded: Thou will find me, if Allah so wills, one of the steadfast.” So when they had both submitted (to Allah), and he had laid him prostrate on his forehead (for sacrifice), We called out to him, “O Ibrahim! Thou hast already fulfilled the dream!” – thus indeed do We reward those who do right. For this was a clear momentous sacrifice: And We left for him among generations (to come) in later times: “Peace and salutation to Ibrahim!” Thus indeed do We reward those who do right.’
( Qur'an – 37:102-110)
Islam is the perfect way of life. Allah does not need any sacrifice, especially the sacrifice of flesh and blood but He does have the right to test how much His servant is willing to submit himself or herself to His Will. What else Islam is if not submission to the Will of Allah! This is the message Eid al-Adha, the festival of sacrifice, gives.
These verses of the Qur'an tell us how Prophet Ibrahim (may Allah be pleased with him) proved himself willing to sacrifice even his dear son Ismail, and how the son proved equally submissive to the Will of Allah, and how Allah ransomed him with a ‘momentous sacrifice’, and later did reward both of them, and promised to thus reward all those who do right. It was indeed a clear trial! The demand of sacrifice was a trial of the will of the father and the son, both. By way of trial the father had the command conveyed to him in a vision. He consulted the son who readily offered to fulfil the command. The whole thing is symbolical. For Allah does not require the flesh and blood of animals (22:37), much less of human beings. But He does require the giving of our whole being to Allah, the symbol of which is that we should give up something very dear to us, if Duty so requires.


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