Today is a day to remember. Remember the sacrifices of not only Ibrahim AS and Isma’il AS, but of our Beloved Prophet SAW and all the men and women close to Allah SWT who came before us. It is a day to remember their legacy and think of the personal legacy we will leave behind. A day to remember who we really are and what we are meant to do in this life that Allah SWT has blessed us with.
“And We left for him [favorable mention] among later generations: “Peace be upon Ibrahim.” This is how We reward the good-doers. He was truly one of Our faithful servants.” (The Noble Qur’an 37:108-111)
When we think of why we commemorate this day, when we think of the Father Ibrahim AS, the Mother Hajar (May Allah be Pleased with her), and the Son Isma’il AS, we should reflect on our own life and how much we give and give up for Allah, how much we sacrifice, as well as how many excuses we make to not speak and follow the Truth (Haqq). Each one of us can find ourselves folded within the pages of the Noble Qur’an, but most of us do not have the strength to face what we find therein. We go through life claiming to be believers, but practice our own personalized versions of Islam and make up Ayat for ourselves that do not exist, such as the infamous, “I don’t hurt anyone, so I am a good Muslim” or, “I am not the best Muslim, but I know Allah loves me” or even, “I know I repeatedly and knowingly sin, but Allah is Merciful and He will forgive me”. We speak for Allah as if we know Him. As if we have read his Book and understood these statements to be facts.
“…and you say with your mouths that which you have no knowledge of, taking it lightly, while it is immense in the sight of Allah.”
(The Noble Qur’an 24:15)
We don’t want to know what He really asks of us and how we should live our lives, because it will call for sacrifice, it will call for going against many things we see are norms around us, but most of all it will call for us to change. Is this the example we see from Ibrahim AS or the Prophet Muhammad SAW?
We have to gather the strength and volition through these great people who sacrificed everything for Allah even when it meant that they had to face hardships, isolation, and great emotional and physical pain. We must look to them to find ourselves and our Truth, so that we can be better and feel better about our great meeting with Allah SWT, where it will be Him and us alone. No noise, no excuses, no voices, no second chances.
These days are to celebrate, yes, but they are greater than that. They are the days of Allah. They are days that have been Chosen by Allah SWT for a reason. We have become desensitized to the meaning of and the striving to complete the Hajj pilgrimage. A journey that once transformed the soul and changed people to the point that they returned unrecognizable to their communities. We have become lost in the rituals of sacrifice and celebration, where it has become more about showing off our expensive sacrifice and having the largest animals, and having picture-perfect gatherings with the flashiest decor and clothing. We listen to the Eid Khutbah about Ibrahim AS and instantly forget the magnitude of what took place in that valley between Allah SWT, Ibrahim AS, and his son Isma’il AS. We ignore the call of Allah SWT and His Messengers AS.
Yet, we must remember that our Creator never does anything without purpose. He wants us to listen and pay attention. So, then we must reflect. What is He trying to convey to us and when will we hear His Call?
We sacrifice so much in this life for these few fleeting years, our unquenchable desire for wealth, and people who abandon us at the first sign of trouble, but how much of that is actually for Him and for when we meet Him? How much do we truly give Him when He gave us everything? This life, Islam, our Beloved Prophet SAW, the Noble Qur’an, innumerable chances to turn to Him…so many undeniable favours, yet we keep playing on singing the same tune…tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow…I’ll change, I’ll do better, I’ll find out what Allah wants of me…then, I’ll be ready to sacrifice for Him. Yet, deep in our hearts we know tomorrow is too late. We see it in those who leave us suddenly and so unexpectedly. We see it in the life that seeps out of the sacrifice we make in Allah’s name on this blessed day. Without Allah we will never truly be free or satisfied no matter what we achieve, because what we truly need cannot be found in this realm. This is part of our design. Ibrahim AS and all those men and women close to Allah understood this, they recognized their Lord and their Mission, so the sacrifice wasn’t difficult and the pain that comes from the sacrifice was inconsequential. It was all as easy as breathing. They heard their Lord’s commands and they obeyed, because they knew Him and they understood their role in this life.
Why do we hold ourselves back? Could this be Allah’s last Call, before our time is up?
“Whatever you have will end, but whatever Allah has is everlasting.”
(The Noble Qur’an 16:96)
The plain Truth is that His Path is the only path to true contentment in this life and eternal bliss in the Hereafter.
So, we must remember.
Today and everyday.
We pray that you have a beautiful day and that Allah SWT always guides and blesses you and your families, Ameen.