Monday, December 8, 2008

The Greatest Sacrifice Ever

Today, Muslims all over the world celebrate one of the holiest days in Islamic calendar namely Eidul Adha or the Day of the Pilgrimage or Sacrifice. This celebration dated back to the time of Prophet Abraham (peace be upon him). In fact, most of the rituals carried out by Muslims during pilgrimage in Mecca were one way or another attributed to the conducts of Abraham and his family then. Therefore, it is not surprising that while today we remember the Day of Pilgrimage or Sacrifice, we cannot forget the kind of sacrifice this revered prophet and his family has offered in keeping touch with God’s command. I am inclined to believe that their sacrifices were the greatest and noblest ever made by mortal creatures and as such require special mention.

Saidatina Hajar, the mother of Prophet Ishmael (peace be upon him), is the second wife of Prophet Abraham. Several months after Prophet Ishmael was born, Prophet Abraham was instructed to take his family to a barren desert which is known today as Mecca. Just imagine after arriving there and only to be asked to leave the wife and his beloved son (mind you that Prophet Ibrahim got a son when he is very old) behind in the middle of nowhere and with very little provisions. True enough, after Prophet Ibrahim departure, Hajar ran into trouble due to inadequacy of water and food supplies. Now with no help available in the vicinity, she has to scout around the parched land and under the blazing sun looking for water. Her perseverance paid off when God bestowed water spring underneath the footstep of Prophet Ishmael. The water spring known as Zamzam has never dried until today.

Hajar and Prophet Ishmael not only have to endure very challenging live in the middle of a desert but they have to do it without the presence of Prophet Abraham. Matters got worse when Prophet Abraham arrives several years later (when Prophet Ishmael has just reached puberty) with another mind-boggling mission, namely to sacrifice Prophet Ishmael. Now, everybody with the right frame of mind will be asking what kind of father Prophet Abraham is, a person who left his family in the middle of nowhere and only came to visit them years later with the intention to sacrifice his only son! And to make the story sounds stranger, the wife and the son willingly submit to his request simply because they sincerely believe it is God’s command. I wonder if this kind of family exists in today’s world, a family which is committed and united in their belief in God and a family which was complete in their submission to God.

I can go on and on espousing more stories on the amazing sacrifices undertaken by these noble prophets. However, suffice at this juncture for us to ponder upon these few brilliant examples so that we may learn something from them. Firstly, their unwavering commitment to their faith is second to none. Together as a family, they are ever willing to do anything to please God even to the extent of sacrificing their most beloved son. Even the son has fulfilled his end of the bargain by voluntarily offering himself for sacrifice. Secondly, they never give up hope in pursuit of God’s pleasure. Nothing in this world can either stop or entice them into forgetting the God’s command. Such are their collective sacrifices that can overwhelm any God-fearing person or even any decent human being for that matter. May be it is about time we embody some of their sacrifices into our live as well.

Anak Bapa: Story of this sort has never failed to amaze me despite me reading again and again. It is really inspirational to say the least.

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