What Is Your Sacrifice?

                                                   Image Courtesy www.7-themes.com

 

 

When we say sacrifice, one of the prime issues that come into our minds- The sacrifice of Ibrahim (as) of his son Ismail (as).

May peace be upon them all and upon us. Ameen.

If we take a look at what happened- according to the narrations- the historic narrations and some of the Ahadeeth of RasulAllah (sa). It was a dream-an instruction to a Nabi of Allah (swt)- to Ibrahim (as) to do something that pleased Allah (swt). Although, it did not make sense to that man. But, he knew it was coming from Allah (swt). So, whether it made sense or not, he had to get that fulfilled because it was:

Wahi– a revelation.

It was from Allah (swt).

It was an instruction from the Maker.

There it was, and he planned to get that fulfilled.

He was instructed to sacrifice his son.

And, the upbringing of that particular son was such, that when he spoke to the son, the son said:

قَالَ يَا أَبَتِ افْعَلْ مَا تُؤْمَرُ ۖ سَتَجِدُنِي إِن شَاءَ اللَّـهُ مِنَ الصَّابِرِينَ

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 (offer you in sacrifice to Allah), so look what you think!” He said: “O my father! Do that which you are commanded, Insha’ Allah (if Allah will), you shall find me of As-Sabirin (the patient ones, etc.).”

(As-Saffat 37:102)

This was the upbringing of the child. May Allah (swt) help us to give our children similar upbringing that when the decree of Allah (swt) is mentioned to them, they do not find it difficult to surrender to it. Ameen.

Today, we do not read Salah, and we expect our children to read Salah. We do not dress appropriately, and we are saddened when our children dress more indecently than us.

There are two ways, Insha’Allah to solve that matter. May Allah (swt) grant us a solution to that.

Ibrahim (as), when he went to fulfill the instruction of Allah (swt), Shaytan came to him. When Shaytan came to him, he pelted the devil on three occasions according to some narrations, and later on, he fulfilled this sacrifice.

Points to Ponder from Ibrahim’s (as) sacrifice

Every one of us is taught to engage in that sacrifice in one way or another, by the will of Allah (swt), not because it’s all about the festival of meat, and it’s all about enjoying eating. It’s not only that. Subhan’Allah.

The celebration is on the obedience of Allah (swt), and upon putting a knife between you and that which comes in the path of earning the pleasure of Allah (swt).

Let me share an example- what is the point of someone sacrificing a Ram at the time of Eid-ul-Adha yet, they have not put a knife to adultery they are committing for the last ten years.

What’s the point?

What is your sacrifice?

What have you put to an end in order to achieve the pleasure of Allah (swt), from the sin that, you are committing?

A person lies every day, yet they want to slaughter animals and  enjoy the meat. But, brother your sacrifice is to cut your lies. Some people speak rough to their family members; they have no way of communication. They speak to their wives or sometimes the (women) speak to their husbands, or their children, or parents, or in-laws in such a rough way that they can only be pleasing the devil- yet they will come to you at the time of Eid-ul-Adha.

Eid Mubarak!

Eid Mubarak! Subhan’Allah

Eid is not only about greeting people, No!

It is a bigger, much bigger issue. It is the development of yourself- you celebrate upon the fact that you have put a knife to that, which was displeasing ALLAH (swt); or when it came in to the instruction of ALLAH (swt), you made sure that come what may- you adopted that instruction. May Allah (swt) grant us goodness.

We have people, who cannot give up pornography; but, when it comes to sacrifice they are quick to put the knife on the Ram, and say: ‘We sent twenty animals to Bangladesh, and we sent fifty animals to India, and we sent another five hundred to Africa, Masha’Allah! That is very good, but…What did you do about the animal within you? You have not yet slaughtered it. Allahu Akbar!

What about the pornography inside that you are so hooked to?

Cut it out my brothers and sisters, cut it out and see….How you will enjoy the sacrifice of Eid-ul-Adha.

You are sacrificing something for the pleasure of  Allah (swt).

People have so much money. Some people have serious connection to false wealth that is not theirs. They want to use usurp wealth through robbery or deception, and they get happy about it- ‘Brother: I am a very rich man.’ How did you get your money? If you did it Halal, Alhumdulillah! We are happy for you. If not, put a knife to it! That money will not come about with any form of goodness. If we are not prepared to put a knife to it, then Subhan’Allah, how will we earn the pleasure of Allah (swt)?

This is one angle of looking at that sacrifice of Ibrahim (as)- what am I prepared to sacrifice to earn pleasure of Allah (swt). On one hand, Ibrahim (as) was instructed to do something that did not make sense to him, nor will it ever make sense to anyone of us.

Imagine, sacrifice your son!

Can it make sense to you? No!

Did it make sense to him? No!

But, it definitely was never a point of question, because he knew the source of the instruction. Once Allah (swt) said, Do this. He said: سَمِعْنَا وَأَطَعْنَا -‘we have heard it and we have obeyed it’

Whereas, we have light items to fulfill. No one has asked us to sacrifice our children, or do something barbaric in order to achieve the pleasure of Allah (swt)- No!

But, it is the small things in our lives that we are not even prepared to look into. How then are we going to be able to sacrifice them?

Cut them out for the sake of Allah (swt).

Transcribed for hiba by Hira Naqi

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pearls of Peace – An extract from Surah Baqarah 2

pearls6We hope that the first fast of this blessed month of Ramadan has gone smoothly. When you feel the hours are too long think, of the places where people fast for eighteen or even more hours. May Allah (swt) allow us to make the best of this month, ameen. Let’s dive into some more pearls of peace from the Book of peace.

Tests for the best!

Allah (swt) informs us that He is definitely going to test us with different types of tests. He says, “And certainly, We shall test you with something of fear, hunger, loss of wealth, lives and fruits, but give glad tidings to As-Sabirin (the patient ones etc.)” (Al-Baqarah 2:155)

Sometimes fear might over take us. Sometimes we might suffer loss in our business. We may not have enough wealth. We may lose our dear ones; our parents, our spouse and our children. Sometimes the production will be less. But who will have peace when being tested? Who, when afflicted with calamity, say: “Truly! To Allah we belong and truly, to Him we shall return.” (Al-Baqarah 2:155-156)

Surrender to the will of Allah (swt)

They are those who are contented with the decree of Allah (swt). They know that ‘we belong to Allah (swt)’ and everything that we have belongs to Allah (swt). When a calamity strikes them, they are quick to say, “Inna lillahi wa-innailahi rajioon” and move on with their life. If we adopt this approach, we will achieve peace. But if, we are someone not prepared to be tested, then what will we do in the hereafter? How will the believers be distinguished from the disbelievers if we are not prepared to be tested?

It is similar to going to school every day, attending classes and taking lectures. But when exams come we walk out of the examination hall saying, “I don’t want to be tested.” That indicates we wasted our time at school.

Quran’s main addressee is human being; therefore it holistically attends to every topic that is related to human life. If we follow the instructions laid out in the Quran, we will acquire the peace that we are searching for.

Thank Allah (swt) and eat from what is lawful

In this Surah, Allah (swt) talks about what we should eat. He says, “O you who believe! Eat of the lawful things that We have provided you with, and be grateful to Allah, if it is indeed He Whom you worship.” (Al-Baqarah 2:172) Stay away from unlawful and impure things. Eat Halal (lawful) and Tayyab (pure) and be thankful to Allah (swt). This will be the quality of someone who truly considers Allah (swt) as his Lord, Nourisher, Provider and Sustainer. People are dying out of hunger and drought while our houses are stocked with food and water, Alhamdulillah. May He make us His thankful servants. Ameen. The more we appreciate Allah’s (swt) gifts upon us, the more thankful we would be.

Strict avoidance of the Haram

Right after this verse  He warns us to stay away from the Haram, “He has forbidden you only the Maytatah (dead animals), and blood, and the flesh of swine, and that which is slaughtered as a sacrifice for others than Allah (or has been slaughtered for idols, etc., on which Allah’s Name has not been mentioned while slaughtering).” (Al-Baqarah 2:173)

This is just a small list of items that we are prohibited to eat. Haram affects our entire system, more details in the later section, Insha’Allah.

Fasting brings piety

Allah (swt) then mentions the month of Ramadan in the Quran, “O you who believe! Observing As-Saum (the fasting) is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become Al-Muttaqun” (Al-Baqarah 2:185)

Ramadan – the month of the divine revelation

This is the only month of the Islamic calendar which is mentioned this way. This is the month in which the Book of guidance was sent down by Allah (swt). Thus during this month we dedicate specific time for Quran. The Quran recitors should try their best to recite the Quran in such a manner that every letter is clear while those who are still learning the Quran should search for places where they can go and learn the Quran.

Go fasting, go healthy!

In the month of Ramadan, we not only fast for the sake of Allah (swt) but also improve our health. Fasting helps us to detoxify our bodies, physically as well as spiritually; according to a finding supported by Science. In the 1960s, the Stanford University campus conducted an interested experiment at a pre-school. The ability of four-year olds to resist temptation was tested. A marshmallow was placed in a room and the children were told that they could have the marshmallow immediately, or if they waited until the tester had run an errand and returned, then they could have two marshmallows. Some children waited for two marshmallows, while others ate one immediately. These same children were followed over 14 years to see how they managed in life.

Those who had resisted temptation at four were now, as adolescents, more socially competent, personally effective, self-assertive, and better able to cope with the frustrations of life. The third or so who grabbed the marshmallow, however, tended to have fewer of these qualities and shared instead a relatively more troubled psychological portrait. Surprisingly, those who had waited patiently at four were far superior as students to those who acted on whim. Moreover, they had dramatically higher scores in their SAT tests. There is perhaps no physiological skill more fundamental than resisting impulse. It is the root of all emotional self-control, since all emotions, by their very nature, lead to one or another impulse to act. (Coleman, Daniel, Emotional Intelligence, London: Bloomsbury, 1996, pp. 81-82.)

People stop eating certain foods to detoxify their bodies and go on a diet. Allah (swt) gives us an entire month to detoxify and get back in shape. But sadly, we treat the month of fasting as a month of feasting. Women are busy in the kitchen the entire day making delicacies for Iftar, leaving no time or energy to stand up in Taraweeh and worship the One Who provided them Rizq. It seems as if this is the only month when we get to eat something.

Yes, Allah (swt) has called cooking an act of worship when done with the intention of feeding one’s family. However, we also need to keep ourselves in check. When we begin wasting our time in decorating food then it is no more an act of worship. Most often, the decoration done so precisely and artistically goes to waste. No one eats the carved salad or the chocolate sauce sprinkled on the platter. We are wasting what we have been given in abundance while there are people dying out of hunger.

Make invocations before Fajr (at Sahoor)

Allah (swt) then mentions how close He is to us, “And when My slaves ask you (O Muhammad (sa)) concerning Me, then (answer them), I am indeed near (to them by My Knowledge).” (Al-Baqarah 2:186)

When one senses the closeness of Allah (swt), he is at peace. Allah’s (swt) closeness protects one from evil and sins. Allah (swt) continues, “I respond to the invocations of the supplicant when he calls on Me (without any mediator or intercessor). So let them obey Me and believe in Me, so that they may be led aright.”

Everyone is calling Allah (swt) at the same time for different things, and Allah (swt) is listening to each one us, giving us what we have invoked Him for, at the right time. Never underestimate calling out to Allah (swt). When you get up for Sahoor, remember Allah (swt). Keep your Dua list handy.

The hidden truth about our needs

An overlooked gift of Allah (swt) to us is that He keeps us in need. Had He not kept us yearning, would we have remembered Him? May Allah (swt) fulfill our needs. Ameen.

Bribery – a major sin

Allah (swt) then warns us of bribery, And eat up not one another’s property unjustly (in any illegal way e.g. stealing, robbing, deceiving, etc.), nor give bribery to the rulers …” (Al-Baqarah 2:188)

Sheikh Muhammad Salih Al-Munajid explains, “Bribery means giving money to someone through whom a person takes something that has no right to, such as bribing a judge to judge in his favour wrongfully, or bribing an official to give him preference over others, or to give him something to which he is not entitled. Bribery is a major sin, because the Prophet (sa) said: ‘May the curse of Allah (swt) be upon the one who pays a bribe and the one who takes it.’ (Ibn Majah) It must be known bribery is only permissible when a person cannot attain his rights in any other way. But in that case it is Haram for the one who takes it but not the one who gives it.”

Dishonest transactions/ dealings

Similarly, if you are selling something, do not deceive someone by misquoting the price or selling them a damaged good. If there is some defect be honest and let them know. Charge an honest profit because if the buyer finds out your products are over-priced, he is not going to return for another purchase and also give negative feedback to others.

Worse, the person can curse you because of your lying. Are you willing to risk your peace and contentment for a little amount of money? Honesty builds trust and strengthens relationships. It will also give you a competitive edge over others.