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The meaning of sacrifice through the life of Ibrahim (AS) – Eid ul Adha khutba

Ibrahim (AS) was born nearly 4000 years ago in what is modern-day Iraq, near the city of Mosul.

He had two sons whom Allaah chose to be Prophets. They were Ismaa’eel the grandfather of the Arabs, from among whose descendents Allaah sent the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), and Ishaaq whom Allaah blessed with a Prophet called Ya’qoob, who was also known as Israa’eel, after whom Bani Israa’eel (the Children of Israel) and their Prophets were called.

Allah(SWT) records his words here when he said:

No doubt about it,
my prayer,
my sacrifice (nusuk) the animals that I sacrifice well
my mahyaya – my life now, the place I live and the time I live in – my lifespan
and mamaati – my eventual death but also means the time of my death in the place of my death
lillahi rabbil aalameen belong to Allah, the master of all nations 

Allah (SWT) shows us some key points about Ibrahim(AS) – he was a person of Prayer – a connection with Allah(SWT), not just a contact at the end of Snapchat or Insta, but a live and emotional connection with Allah(SWT).

Nusuk means sacrifice

Ibrahim was ready to sacrifice his life and be catapulted into the fire but Allah (SWT) decides when he’s gonna die so his time and place of death is not determined by a burning flame.

The lesson for us is to make an intention for all the Macro (big picture) areas of our life just as make them for the micro (salaah, hajj etc.). We all know that our intentions should all be for Allah(SWT) when we’re praying. What about our major life goals and drivers, such as:

  • What am I going to do with my life?
  • What kind of career am I going to have?
  • Which course should I study?
  • What job should I take?
  • Who should I get married to?
  • How do I bring up my children?

If my life is for Allah(SWT) and how I live it and if my death is for Allah(SWT) and where and when it happens, then when is it time for me straighten out the rest of my life so everything in my life is for Allah(SWT)?

Living this ayah, means I’m giving to my life my career, my goals, my family, my marriage and my aspirations for Allah. 

When we accept that we completely belong to Allah, then Inna lillahi wa innaa ilayhi raaji’oon does not just become a statement of consolation at the passing of someone. Rather, we affirm that we are definitely from Allah(SWT) and we will return to Allah(SWT).

And when we commit to this and the example of true sacrifice shown to us by Prophet Ibrahim(AS), we work to sacrifice our time, our pride, our sports matches, our friends, our wealth for the sake of Allah(SWT), one by one, until we can sacrifice the thing nearest and dearest to us. In the case of Ibrahim(AS) that was his son. Any parent knows you would be willing to die for your child, and thats easier than you experiencing any pain of your own. And no parent ever expects to outlive their child, so what of Ibrahim(AS), someone who has already been thrown out of his own home and his people have rejected him? A true migrant and refugee like all of us.

After saving Ibraaheem from the fire, Allaah commanded him to leave Iraq and migrate to the Holy Land in Palestine and the surrounding areas. He married his cousin (the daughter of his paternal uncle) – Saarah – and set out with her and his nephew Lut for Syria. Then they moved on to Egypt. Ibraaheem longed to have children, but his wife was not able to have children and had grown old ​​. When she saw how much her husband longed to have a child, she gave her slave woman, Haajar, to him. So he married her and some scholars say that Ibrahim (A.S.) was 86 years old at the time of Ismail’s (A.S.) birth – 86 years of patience and yearning – can you imagine how much he wanted this child?

But soon after the birth of this child he had been so desperate for, Saarah began to feel jealous but rather than poison her family and her husband’s mind, she asked Ibraaheem to send them away from that area. Allaah(SWT) revealed to Ibraaheem that he should take Haajar and the infant Ismaa’eel and take them to Makkah – a barren desert at that time. But not just to take them there but to leave his newborn child and wife behind! So he(AS) took them and left Haajar and her child Ismaa’eel in an bleak, isolated place in which there was no water, then he left them and went back to Palestine. Haajar said to him, “For whom are you leaving us in this forsaken valley?” But Ibraaheem went and left her, and she said, “Has Allaah commanded you to do this?” He said, “Yes.” She said, “Then Allaah will not cause us to be lost.”

Ibraaheem submitted to the command of his Lord and patiently bore the separation from his wife and child. Then some distance away, he turned towards where they were at the Sacred House and prayed for them in the following words: “O our Lord! I have made some of my offspring to dwell in an uncultivable valley by Your Sacred House (the Ka‘bah at Makkah) in order, O our Lord, that they may perform As-Salaah. So fill some hearts among men with love towards them, and (O Allaah) provide them with fruits so that they may give thanks”[Ibraaheem 14:37]

And he had certainty that Allah(SWT) would take care of them. And he was right. The travellers form the people of Jurhum noticed birds circling an area above zamzam and settled there with the permission of Haajar. 

Over the years, Ibraheem(AS) would visit and spend time with his son and took great joy in playing with him. 

“So We gave him the glad tidings of a forbearing boy. And, when he (his son) was old enough to walk with him, he said: ‘O my son! I have seen in a dream that I am slaughtering you (offering you in sacrifice to Allaah). So what do you think?’ 

He said: ‘O my father! Do that which you are commanded, In sha’ Allaah (if Allaah wills), you shall find me of As-Saabiroon (the patient).’

Then, when they had both submitted themselves (to the Will of Allaah), and he had laid him prostrate on his forehead (or on the side of his forehead for slaughtering);

We called out to him: ‘O Ibraaheem!

You have fulfilled the dream!’ Verily, thus do We reward the Muhsinoon (good-doers).

Verily, that indeed was a manifest trial. And We ransomed him with a great sacrifice (i.e. a ram)” [al-Saffaat 37:101-107] 

I believe you know when you have good intention and aim to purify your wealth by earning halal – not dealing drugs or committing fraud, but seeking employment or running your own business. When you have good, Allah (SWT) will put Baraka in your wealth and families, so that you can fulfil the intention of serving his deen. 

Allah (SWT) will start opening doors for you and start creating opportunities for you that you could never have imagined will open for you. 

My close friend Saghir told me the story of his father – a pious man who spent his life walking to the masjid had a stroke and was not able to walk down the road, let alone the masjid. He had an ardent desire to see the Ka’ba again and kept asking his doctor until finally the doctor relented and he prepared to go to Umrah with his son and a few family members. Sadly, during the flight he passed away and it was less than half way to the destination but the pilot could not turn around, as per their policy, due to bad weather. By the time the weather cleared, they were now closer to their destination and so they ended up taking the family and the deceased to Jeddah. In Jeddah, the family informed the other members of the family and despite knowing that the Saudi policy is to bury people in the closest vicinity, even for influential people and Imams, they made dua and reached out to their contacts at the embassy. To their surprise, they were permitted to have the janazah in the Haram in Makkah. Everyone present at the janazah thought this must be a great leader for them to make an exception. His janazah was prayed at the House of Allah(SWT) and he is buried at the Baqi in Makkah. Look how Allah(SWT) disposes when a sincere heart proposes and pines for His Pleasure.

For Those Who Are Not Able To Perform Hajj This Year!

Ibn Rajab al-Ḥanbalī Raḥimahullāh said: “Whoever is not able to stop at Arafah, then stop at the limits of Allāh He has set. 

Whoever is not able to spend the night at Muzdalifah, let him spend the night in obedience to Allāh to come close and attain nearness to Him.

Whoever is not able to slaughter at Minā, then let him slaughter his desires so by it he can reach his objective.

Whoever cannot make to Ka’bah and is far from it then let him serve the Lord of Ka’bah for He is nearer than jugular vein.”

Men use knives to sacrifice their egos and wealth for the sake of Allah SWT. Even to point a weapon at another Muslim is forbidden so to our youth and elders, use your day of Eid to be a means of pleasing Allah(SWT), just as you have fasted for His sake yesterday and undertaken good deeds over these best days of the year. Don’t undo it in a reckless night of Eid just to show off to people around you, who would rather laugh at you than undertaken acts of foolishness themselves.

Ali(RA) would say Eid is for him whose fasts have been accepted by Allah, and whose worship has been appreciated by Allah. Every day in which you do not disobey Allah is a day of Eid.

May Allah(SWT) accept all your good deeds and give us the ability to live a life of sacrifice for His sake. Eid mubaarak!

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