After a successful celebration of Eid al-Fitri which marks the end of Ramadan, Muslims around the world will be celebrating another festival Eid al-Adha next month.
Eid al-Adha, or ‘the festival of sacrifice,’ is considered the holier of the two Eids, and marks the end of the Hajj pilgrimage,a pillar of Islam.
The festival remembers the story of Ibrahim’s sacrifice when Allah revealed to him in a dream to sacrifice his son Isma’il as an act of obedience to God.
As Abraham was about to kill his son, Allah stopped him and gave him a lamb to sacrifice instead.
The story demonstrates Abraham’s dedication to surrendering to Allah and Muslims celebrate Eid as a reminder of their own commitment to God.
“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 look what 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)”
Then Allaah gave him the glad tidings of another son, who was Ishaaq, and then Ibraaheem returned to Palestine:
“And We gave him the glad tidings of Ishaaq (Isaac)a Prophet from the righteous[al-Saaffaat 37:112 – interpretation of the meaning]
Ishaaq was born to him from his wife Saarah:
“And his wife was standing (there), and she laughed [either, because the messengers did not eat their food or for being glad for the destruction of the people of Loot (Lot)]. But We gave her glad tidings of Ishaaq (Isaac), and after Ishaaq, of Ya‘qoob (Jacob)”
[Hood 11:71 – interpretation of the meaning]
Then Ibrahim stayed in Palestine for a while, then he returned to Makkah for an important reason. Allaah had commanded him to build in Makkah the first House to be built for the worship of Allaah. So Ibrahim undertook this task of construction, and his son Isma’il was lifting up the stones to him. When the walls grew higher, Ibrahim stood on a rock, and this is the Station of Ibrahim (Maqaam Ibrahim) which is to be found in the vicinity of the Ka’bah. Allaah says:
“And (remember) when Ibraaheem (Abraham) and (his son) Isma’il (Ishmael) were raising the foundations of the House (the Ka‘bah at Makkah), (saying), ‘Our Lord! Accept (this service) from us. Verily, You are the All-Hearer, the All-Knower’”
Allaah commanded Ibrahim and Isma’il to cleanse the House of idols and other impurities so that it would be pure for those who would circumambulate it and stand and bow and prostrate (in prayer). When Ibrahim built the House, Allaah commanded him to call mankind to perform the Hajj, as He says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And proclaim to mankind the Hajj (pilgrimage). They will come to you on foot and on every lean camel, they will come from every deep and distant (wide) mountain highway (to perform Hajj)”
Then Ibrahim offered this great supplication for Makkah and for those who live in it:
“And (remember) when Ibraaheem (Abraham) said, ‘My Lord, make this city (Makkah) a place of security and provide its people with fruits, such of them as believe in Allaah and the Last Day.’ He (Allaah) answered: ‘As for him who disbelieves, I shall leave him in contentment for a while, then I shall compel him to the torment of the Fire, and worst indeed is that destination!’”
[al-Baqarah 2:126 – interpretation of the meaning]
Then he prayed for himself and his descendents, saying:
“Our Lord! Accept (this service) from us. Verily, You are the All-Hearer, the All-Knower.
Our Lord! And make us submissive unto You and of our offspring a nation submissive unto You, and show us our Manaasik (all the ceremonies of pilgrimage — Hajj and ‘Umrah), and accept our repentance. Truly, You are the One Who accepts repentance, the Most Merciful”[al-Baqarah 2:127-128 – interpretation of the meaning]
Then he prayed for the people of the sanctuary, that Allaah would send to them a Messenger from amongst them, who would call them to worship Allaah Alone. He said:
“Our Lord! Send amongst them a Messenger of their own, who shall recite unto them Your Verses and instruct them in the Book (this Qur’aan) and Al-Hikmah (full knowledge of the Islamic laws and jurisprudence or wisdom or Prophethood), and purify them. Verily, You are the All-Mighty, the All-Wise”
[al-Baqarah 1:129 – interpretation of the meaning]
Allaah responded to the prayer of His Prophet Ibrahim. He made Makkah a place of security, He blessed its people with fruits and sent to them a Messenger from amongst themselves, who was the Seal of the Prophets and Messengers, Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).