Everyone at Wulfruna Sufi Association wishes all our readers Happy Eid!
Eid Al-Adha (Festival of the Sacrifice) is celebrated at the close of the Hajj pilgrimage. On Eid Al Adha, Muslims remember the story of the prophet Abraham as related in the Holy Qur’an. Abraham saw in a vision God wanted him to sacrifice his beloved son, Ishmael. To show his willingness to obey God, Abraham prepared to sacrifice his son…
“Then when (the son) reached (the age of) (serious) work with him, he said: ‘O my son! I see in vision 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 practicing Patience and Constancy!’
So when they had both submitted their wills (to Allah), and He had laid him prostrate on his forehead (for sacrifice). We called out to him ‘O Abraham!’
‘Thou hast already fulfilled the vision!’ – thus indeed do We reward those who do right. For this was obviously a trial – And We ransomed him with a momentous sacrifice: And We left (this blessing) for him among generations (to come) in later times: ‘Peace and salutation to Abraham!’ Thus indeed do We reward those who do right. For he was one of Our believing Servants.” Holy Qur’an [37:102-111]
Abraham is an important prophet in Judaism and Christianity as well as Islam. This account is also found in the Holy Bible. The account found in the Bible is almost identical, but names Isaac as the son who was taken to be sacrificed, whereas Muslims believe it was Ishmael. Some people get stuck on this difference. However, if we look beyond this detail, the message is the same. Abraham believed God asked him to sacrifice his only son to prove his faith. Abraham was very faithful and prepared to do this. But at the last minute, God stopped him and gave him a sheep to sacrifice instead.
“…God tested Abraham, and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, ‘Here I am.’ He said, ‘Take now your son, your only son, whom you love, Isaac, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I will tell you.’ So Abraham rose early in the morning and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him and Isaac his son; and he split wood for the burnt offering, and arose and went to the place of which God had told him.” Genesis [22:1-3]
“Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, ‘My father!’ And he said, ‘Here I am, my son.’ And he said, ‘Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?’ Abraham said, ‘God will provide for Himself the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.’ So the two of them walked on together. Then they came to the place of which God had told him; and Abraham built the altar there and arranged the wood, and bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood.
Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. But the angel of the LORD called to him from heaven and said, ‘Abraham, Abraham!’ And he said, ‘Here I am.’ He said, ‘Do not stretch out your hand against the lad, and do nothing to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.” Then Abraham raised his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him a ram caught in the thicket by his horns; and Abraham went and took the ram and offered him up for a burnt offering in the place of his son.
Abraham called the name of that place The LORD Will Provide, as it is said to this day, ‘In the mount of the LORD it will be provided.’ Then the angel of the LORD called to Abraham a second time from heaven, and said, ‘By Myself I have sworn, declares the LORD, because you have done this thing and have not withheld your son, your only son, indeed I will greatly bless you, and I will greatly multiply your seed as the stars of the heavens and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your seed shall possess the gate of their enemies. ‘In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.” Genesis [22:7-18]
Muslims still carry out this tradition of sacrificing a sheep in memory of Abraham. But it’s important to remember that God doesn’t really need us to sacrifice animals. Neither the flesh or blood reaches him. It is the intention in our heart to please our Lord, we will be rewarded according to our sincerity…
“It is not their meat nor their blood, that reaches Allah: it is your piety that reaches Him: He has thus made them subject to you, that ye may glorify Allah for His Guidance to you and proclaim the Good News to all who do right.” Holy Qur’an [22:37]
The lesson in Abraham’s story, is we should be prepared to make sacrifices for our Lord. Sacrificing sheep on Eid is supposed to make us think. In Islamic tradition we distribute the meat to the poor. We should be more considerate towards others, especially those less well off than ourselves. We shouldn’t just sacrifice an animal on Eid and think “thats it!”.
Self sacrifice, making time for others, donating to worthy causes are a tradition in Judaism, Christianity, Islam and indeed most religious traditions. We shouldn’t see this as a burden, but gladly do that which is within our means to benefit others. If we do this for our Lord, we will be richly rewarded, both within this life and in the next.
“The parable of those who spend their substance in the way of Allah is that of a grain of corn: it groweth seven ears, and each ear hath a hundred grains. Allah giveth manifold increase to whom He pleaseth: And Allah careth for all, and He knoweth all things” Holy Qur’an [2:261]
All quotes from the Holy Qur’an use Abdullah Yusuf Ali’s English translation. While all the quotes from the Holy Bible are taken from the NASB.
Eid Prayer at Jamia Mosque Bilal
There will be two Jamaats for both men and women held at Jamia Mosque Bilal, Wolverhampton, on Thursday 20th December 2007, insh’Allah.
1st Jamaat 9:00am Imam Hafiz Iftikhar Hussain Sahib Naqshbandi
2nd Jamaat 10:30am Imam Maulana Sahib Zaada Muhammed Zahir Ud-din Sahib
Food Festival and Eid Mela 2007
Nissa Women’s Association
warmly invite all sisters to
Food Festival & Eid Mela 2007
Saturday 29th December 2007,
10:30am – 5:00pm
Dunstall Hill Community Centre, Dunstall Avenue, Wolverhampton. WV6 0NH.
For further information phone: 01902 313033 / 560039
Supported by Sahara Centre. A fundraising event.
Only for women and children.