Lessons from the life of Ibrahim A.S. and the spirit of sacrifice

Lessons from the life of Ibrahim A.S. and the spirit of sacrifice - islamictribune.org

Written by: Mahnoor Arif

The whole Muslim Ummah will be celebrating second Eid i.e., Eid ul Adha this year insha’Allah. Despite COVID-19 being in our way, the Muslims are still in their spirits. Every house has their preparation done to full according to their own circumstances, for this year. While we keep on celebrating Eid every year, let’s just dive into where it all began. Since this Eid is about the spirit of sacrifice, let us all see what is the true spirit of sacrifice in the light of all the lessons we get from the life of our forefather Ibrahim A.S.

A Role Model of Tawheed

The basis of our religion lies in believing that Allah is One and He alone is The One we pray to and turn to for help. It sounds like an easy concept but is very difficult to implement in our lives since it requires us to put Allah first in every situation. This is something which was demonstrated by Ibrahim A.S. when he was tested with sacrificing his own son. He did so, with all submission to His Lord only and his firm belief that Allah is before his family tells us the true concept of Tawheed.

إِذْ قَالَ لَهُ رَبُّهُ أَسْلِمْ ۖ قَالَ أَسْلَمْتُ لِرَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ –

When his Lord said to him, “Submit”, he said “I have submitted [in Islam] to the Lord of the worlds.”

(2:131) 488

He is rightfully told to be the father of all monotheistic religions by other nations of the world.

Rational thinking in religion

Ibrahim A.S. is proof that one should not do anything blindly. He reached following the Lord of the Worlds by rational observation, thinking, and questioning. He wasn’t the one to follow a religion of his forefathers when it didn’t make any sense to him. He questioned his father and left him, he traveled all around the world in search of truth and reached at it eventually. And even when he submitted to His lord, he had this conversation which is captured in the Quran.

And [mention] when Abraham said, “My Lord, show me how You give life to the dead.” [ Allah ] said, “Have you not believed?” He said, “Yes, but [I ask] only that my heart may be satisfied.”


The name Muslim – complete submission

Our religion Islam puts a perfect balance between rational thinking and submission. Both of these traits were exhibited perfectly in the personality of Ibrahim A.S. On one hand, he was the one to ask Allah how did He used to give life to the dead, and on the other hand, he sacrificed his son just because His Lord ordered him to do so. That is why Allah associates our name, Muslim back to the time of Ibrahim A.S.

[It is] the religion of your father, Abraham. Allah named you “Muslims” before [in former scriptures] and in this [revelation]

(22: 78)

It was also Ibrahim A.S.’s dua to make himself and all of his descendants the ones, who completely submit to Allah.

رَبَّنَا وَاجْعَلْنَا مُسْلِمَيْنِ لَكَ وَمِن ذُرِّيَّتِنَا أُمَّةً مُّسْلِمَةً لَّكَ –

Our Lord, and make us Muslims [in submission] to You and from our descendants a Muslim nation [in submission] to You.

(2: 128)

We are living proof of the manifestation of his dua. As we keep the spirit of sacrificing our animals, we should also learn to sacrifice our ego and our differences, and learn it from our father who prayed for us to be one nation submitting only to Allah.

Multiple struggles in life

Ibrahim A.S. was a man who questioned the religion of his forefathers at a very young age. He put himself in a lot of problems only to find the truth. He had to leave his father because of religious conflicts. Later on in life, when he was blessed with a family of his own, he had to leave them in the desert, and when he was tested with the sacrifice of his own son. From societal standards, he was not a successful man at all but Allah blesses him with the highest honors. He is our father in iman and from him, the tradition of sacrificing animals and a whole convention of Hajj originates which we practice every year. From Allah’s standard, he is the most successful one.

مِّلَّةَ أَبِيكُمْ إِبْرَاهِيمَ ۚ ُ –

[It is] the religion of your father, Abraham.

(22: 78)

The sacrifices that we have to make in our lives do not mean that we are being deprived of something. It is all about the right time when Allah will reward us for the patience we had and the sacrifice we made.

There are many lessons that we get from the life of Hazrat Ibrahim (A.S.) While we get into the routine of sacrificing an animal every year, let’s not forget the essence of it by always reminding ourselves of this man who was a nation, an ummah, and a devout leader in himself.

إِنَّ إِبْرَاهِيمَ كَانَ أُمَّةً –

Verily, Ibrahim (Abraham) was an Ummah (a leader having all the good righteous qualities), or a nation,..

(16: 120)

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