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Slaughter or Sacrifice?

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"Ibrahim was indeed a model devoutly obedient to Allâh, true in faith and he joined not gods with Allah" (16:20)

Ibrahim alayhis salam is distinguished in the Qur'ân as the intimate friend of Allâh and a model for humanity. His entire life was a journey of unquestioned obedience, undying love, and unparalleled struggle. He was ostracized by his own family, flung into a blazing fire, and banished from his homeland. Eventually Allâh granted him a son, a son to help him and accompany him in his old age, a companion, a source of hope and security, the fruit of his life, and a reward for a century of suffering. Ismail u being the promise of future generations was the whole world of Ibrahim alayhis salam. Ultimately, Ibrahim alayhis salam was instructed to place the knife on the neck of his beloved son. It is this sunnah of Ibrahim u that we emulate every year on the occasion of Eid-ul-Adha.
The Spirit of Qurbani (Udhiyya)

"It is not their flesh nor their blood that will reach Allâh, but it your Taqwa [Allâh consciousness] that will reach Him…" (22:37)

Ibrahim alayhis salam had two alternatives: either to follow the cry of his heart or to submit to the call of his Rabb. He chose what faith loves over what the heart hates. Qurbani, therefore is not simply a monetary ibadat, a duty that is discharged by proxy in the distant lands of the Sub-Continent, nor is it charity that needs to be distributed in the poverty stricken continent of Africa. Qurbani is a personal experience, an intimate and emotional encounter, an intimate occurrence made real by the oozing of blood. It is a profound statement of Jihad regarding the liberty of choice in our day to day living!

It is about:

    * Love of Allâh in contrast to love of the Self
    * Obedience over Rebellion
    * Loyalty to Allâh in preference to loyalty to the Family
    * Faith versus Emotion
    * Struggle as opposed to Pleasure

Where is this spirit of Qurbani in our idle and aimless nights and days? Who is able to place the knife on his heart in order to spurt out the venom of rebellion, hatred, jealousy, pride, and greed? Qurbani is an annual reaffirmation of our pledge to Allâh, a pledge that: "Verily my prayer, my sacrifices, my life and my death are surrendered to Allâh; the Rabb of the worlds."

Eid-ul-Adha reverberates with the cries of SURRENDER, SUBMISSION, and SACRIFICE. It is a grim reminder that life is about action, struggle, and endurance.

"Die before your death" is the essence of this Day. . Kill your self-centered beastly self, lay down your egos at the altar, and boldly proclaim:

"Allâh is the Greatest, Allâh is the Greatest!"

This proclamation however requires SACRIFICE, yet sadly we are only prepared to SLAUGHTER!

May Allâh Ta'âla grant us the ability to perform Qurbani with he zeal and spirit of Ibrahim a.s.
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