EID AL ADHA, THE SACRIFICE
Indeed, Eid al adha seals and completes the pilgrimage to Mecca, our holy land. These three days offer countless benefits to the spiritual Muslims, including elation, understanding, and a great reinforcement of loyalty to Allah. But for the material Muslims, this offers a high protein diet and an opportunity to socialise, although no right or wrong is implied here. It is important for Muslims to see the distinctions and understand the different dimensions of the material and spiritual world, as Allah teaches us the true importance of Eid al Adha through these words;
Their flesh reaches not Allah, nor does their blood, but it is your righteousness that reaches Him. (22:38)
Here, Allah’s words act as a compass for his believers, showing them the way forward, indeed, the way to Him. And the sacrifice of an accepted animal is a symbol to the sacrifice of your self as a devoted, loyal and elevated Muslim to Allah, the most high.
Eid al adha was born in the great trial, given to Abraham (alaihi salaam) from Allah. Abraham (a.s.) was faced with the instruction to sacrifice his only!, beloved son at the time, Ismael. It is difficult to comprehend the immensity of this trial placed on Abraham (a.s.), particularly because Abraham (a.s.) prayed to Allah for a son when he was thought to be baron, and the hope for a son would’ve been long gone due to his old age. Then Allah accepted his prayer and granted him the joy of his life as he came to behold his first-born son in his arms. As time passed the strong bond of father and son flourished through the years, only to approach this great test of faith.
Ismael is believed to have been approximately 13 years old when he and his father where given the great test. Many people forget that Ismael was under the same heavy burden. And as a child, he would have only taken a few steps in his life with so many more ahead of him. His response demonstrated no weakness or desire to preserve his own life but actually one of firm faith and devotion to Allah’s will, as he uttered the most courageous and admirable words that any man with a full spirit ever could. And the holy Qur’an expresses;
And when he (Ishmael) was old enough to run along with him (Abraham), he said, `O my dear son, I have seen in a dream that I offer thee in sacrifice. So consider what thou thinkest of it!’ He replied, `O my father, do as thou art commanded; thou wilt find me, if Allah please steadfast in my faith. (37:103)
These two great men under Allah’s protection where ready and willing to fulfil His command. Then at that point, Allah revealed the truth to His humble believers and announced his mercy to mankind;
And when they both submitted to the Will of God, and Abraham had thrown him down on his forehead, We called to him `O Abraham thou hast indeed fulfilled the dream.’ Thus indeed do We reward those who do good.’ (37:104)
This powerful revelation freed Abraham and Ismael from their burden and expressed Allah’s true message to mankind. One can only imagine the relief felt by Abraham and Ismael at this point, furthermore, the overwhelming bond of love for their Creator once realizing that he only sought to test them and teach mankind the value of good. The word “good” is used in the above quote at the end and interestingly deserves its own recognition, because how can killing your own son be seen as an act of good? In this age, where the moral and legal structure is so detailed, this act can never be deemed acceptable under any circumstances, yet Allah instructed this act upon Abraham. This point, in no way questions Allah’s will but actually invites the reader to see the other beauty in this teaching, which is to understand that we cannot fully comprehend what is an act of good or an act of evil unless we first understand Allah’s will. And indeed, from Eid al adha, we can learn so much. Particularly, that although Allah will test you and you will be required to make sacrifice, He will protect you, care for you and enlighten you, if you would only live in his light and be loyal to Him, for Allah knows best.
To every individual and to every test to that individual, the reward from Allah is always far more magnified than the sacrifice, as one may come to understand from the following;
And remember when his Lord tried Abraham with certain commands which he fulfilled. He said, ‘I will make thee a Leader of men.’ Abraham asked, ‘And from among my offspring?’ He said, ‘My covenant does not embrace the transgressors.’ (2:125)
So take note brothers and sisters and open your senses to the spiritual benefits of Eid al adha. Be conscious of its teachings and fortify your bond with Allah, your Creator and surely your destiny. As Allah shows us;
Those who do good and act righteously shall have a great reward. (4:174)
 The reference of (22:38) is in accordance with the Ahmadi interpretation, the commonly used reference is (22:37)
 The reference of (37:103) is in accordance with the Ahmadi interpretation, the commonly used reference is (37:102)
 The reference of (37:104) is in accordance with the Ahmadi interpretation, the commonly used reference is (37:103)
 The reference of (2:125) is in accordance with the Ahmadi interpretation, the commonly used reference is (2:124)
 The reference of (4:174) is in accordance with the Ahmadi interpretation, the commonly used reference is (4:173)