The life of Ibrahim teaches devotion and sacrifice (Part 3)

The annual ritual of Qurbani is a symbol of the willingness to sacrifice for Allah

Tomorrow marks the beginning of the ten blessed days and nights of Dhul Hijjah the last month of the Islamic year. “By the dawn, by the ten holy nights, by the even and odd numbers” (Al-Fajr: 1-3). The Messenger (peace be upon him) said, “Allah swears by the first ten nights of Dhul Hijjah and the even is the day of sacrifice and the odd is the day of Arafat.” The Messenger (peace be upon him) spoke highly of these days when he said, “There are no days more beloved to Allah for worship than these ten” (Bukhari).

Once Prophet Ibrahim (Alayhi Salam) had shown his love of Allah by preparing to sacrifice Ismael, Allah honoured him in an amazing way, “We left his praise among later generations. Peace be on Ibrahim. That is how We reward the righteous. He indeed was our believing servant” (Saffat: 108-111). So, for four thousand years his dedication has been celebrated by the faithful, that’s the Qurbani we make every year. Qurbani makes us aware of the Islamic idea that a believer is really a mujahid, always engaged in a struggle against evil and expending every ounce of his energy to ensure that truth prevails.

Qurbani encourages us to deeply reflect on making sacrifices for the Divine and to always be ready to stand up against social injustices and to support the weak and the oppressed. Qurbani is like saying: “Labbayk,” or, “Lord I am here; I hear your Words and I am ready to submit before You just like Ibrahim submitted; I too am willing to do the same.” Qurbani reinvigorates the spirituality of a person and submission to the Divine Will. It also signifies the fact that the believer can discipline himself. He is not the slave of his passions.

Striving and struggling for the sake of Allah

The following section from Surat al-Hajj emphasises the nature of faith, hard work, struggling against the human hungers, whims and passions. Allah says in The Majestic QuranBelievers, bow, prostrate and worship your Lord and do good works so that you may be successful. Always make strenuous effort for the sake of Allah as you ought to make effort, He has chosen you and has not put any burden in the practice of your religion, the religion of your father Ibrahim, he named you Muslims beforehand, and in this Quran. The noble Messenger is a witness for you, and you will stand witness against humanity. Therefore, perform the prayer regularly, give zakat and hold firmly to faith in Allah; He is your Protector, what a wonderful Protector and a wonderful Helper” (Al-Hajj: 77-78).

The section presents a portrait of a practising believer who is busy with good works, and the Quran refers to it as ‘the religion of Ibrahim’. Wow! Ibrahim’s way is so dear to the Lord, He named us Muslims. They will spread his religion all over the world. In conclusion, these ten days and nights are for worship, devotion and Divine remembrance. Let’s clear our diaries so we can read and listen to The Majestic Quran, think and contemplate.

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