Ibrahim (Peace be upon him) was a pious man, and a true searcher for the truth. His life had been spent on initially searching for the truth and then in following and preaching it. Ibrahim (Peace be upon him) had a dream that he sacrificed his son, Ismael (Peace be upon him). He believed this was a message from Allah ordering him to sacrifice his son. This was a test of his faith.
The story of Ibrahim (Peace be upon him) and Eid Al-adha teach us that true belief requires sacrifice. Take a moment to reflect on what we as individuals are willing to sacrifice for the sake of obeying Allah.
Ibrahim (Peace be upon him) unreluctantly fought away the Shaytan’s whispers, telling him to spare his son Ismael (Peace be upon him), and so he decided this was an act of obedience that must be carried out. An important lesson from this is that Ibrahim (Peace be upon him) had full trust in Allah and knew that Allah was in control of everything, even if he didn’t understand why he must sacrifice his son.
Ibrahim (Peace be upon him) was famous for constantly praying for his offspring and lineage. He massively invested in raising pious children and household. Indeed this was reflected in the response he had from his son Ismael(Peace be upon him) when he informed him of Allah’s request, he said “Oh father do as ordered, you will find me, Allah’s willing, from the patient”. Full submission from both the father and the son.
When Ibrahim (Peace be upon him) was about to sacrifice his son, Allah sent down a lamb and the lamb was sacrificed instead. The order was a test from Allah and, indeed, Ibrahim (Peace be upon him) was obedient. He was willing to sacrifice his very beloved son as an act of obedience towards Allah.
Eid Al-Adha is a very important celebration which reminds us of the devotion we should have towards Allah and that we should trust Him in all affairs and events as He is the only one who has ultimate control.
So, what is Eid-ul-Adha?
Eid Ul-adha is a very special Eid for Muslims. It means ‘the festival of sacrifice’. The festival commemorates the willingness of prophet Ibrahim (Peace be upon him) to sacrifice his son, Ismael (AS) when Allah commanded him to.
It is celebrated on the tenth day of the lunar month of Dhul Hijjah: the month of the ritual of Hajj (pilgrimage). The pilgrimage to Makkah is one of the five pillars of Islam. It is also linked to Ibrahim (Peace be upon him) who built the Ka’bah with his son Ismael (Peace be upon him). The ritual of Hajj was started by Ibrahim (Peace be upon him) and restored to its original Abrahamic monotheistic form by the prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him)
The day before Eid (9th Dhul Hijjah) is the day of ‘arafah, the core of the ritual of Hajj. On this day the pilgrims spend their day in ‘arafah, equal, the rich, the poor, the black, the white, male, female all dressed in white cloth and standing between the hands of Allah supplicating for His forgiveness and asking for His mercy.
The next day, Muslims pray (the 10th of Dhul Hijjah) then pilgrims offer their sacrifice commemorating the sacrifice of Ibrahim (Peace be upon him) and pledging to sacrifice all for the sake of goodness and the pleasure of Allah.
On this day those Muslims celebrate Eid Al-Adha by offering Eid prayers and then, if able to afford it, they sacrifice an animal which they share with the poor and needy as well as their loved ones and kinship.