Today the Muslim World is celebrating Eid al-Adha. The English translation is- the “Festival of Sacrifice”. It marks the event in which Prophet Abraham (Ibrahim) was willing to sacrifice his son Ishmael as an act of obedience to God, before God intervened to provide him with a ram to sacrifice instead. This occurrence had proven to the people that, with faith comes blessings and miracles.
Eid al-Adha is celebrated annually on the 10th day of the last Islamic Month, Dhul Hijjah- right before the New Year (Muharram). Eid al-Adha celebrations start after the Hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia by Muslims worldwide. During Hajj, people must sacrifice their worldly desires so they might understand the One entity we all equally stand under. The pilgrimage is a challenge, one must sacrifice all the luxury in this world. God returns the sacrifice with an amazing blessing– the cleansing of the mind, body, and soul. The power of this journey has said to awaken people to the point where they feel “reborn”.
What are the lessons?
Sometimes the right thing is the toughest thing to do; but when your intentions are for the goodness of this world and the here-after; the long-term results will be positive. In life, we all have to make sacrifices. However, sacrifices should only be made for the better. For example, I’m sure we have all been late for work; and while rushing through the city, we might find ourselves crossing the path where a fragile & lonely woman sits, empty cup in hand. Some of us will think, “well, the woman doesn’t deserve a penny from me, because most likely she’s a drug addict or she works with drug dealers”. However, if “you” stop for a minute and think to yourself, God has given an unlimited amount of blessings, compassion , forgiveness & chance(s) to us imperfect human beings, and yet, God is all-knowing of our persistent weaknesses. I on the other hand, do not know the story behind this woman, If I take 5 minutes to lend her some money and a smile, maybe God will bring light to this situation. – This is an example of sacrificing one’s time and money in the name of God. The sacrifice: your late to work, wallet is lighter and you question this woman; BUT if you trust good faith, God-willing, blessings will be brought to the situation. Obviously there are so many other ways to commit sacrifices for the goodness of this world and the hereafter. This Eid al-Adha, think about the meaning of sacrifice.