Fruits for the Week

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Allah (SWT) said: “But recite unto them with truth the tale of two sons of Adam, how they offered each sacrifice, and it was accepted from the one of them and it was not accepted from the other. (The one) said: I will sure kill you. (The other) answered: Allah accepts only from those who ward off (evil).” (Al-Maidah: 27).

The above verse tells us that the first historical idea of Qurban (sacrifice) started from the days of the children of Adam: Qabil and Habil. The latter offered a sacrifice of animal to Allah. He offered the best of what he had and Allah accepted it from him. Qabil offered the worst, and Allah did not accept his sacrifice.

The second historical incidence of sacrifice is the story of Prophet Ibrahim and his son, Ismail. Ibrahim saw a vision for three times to sacrifice Ismail, his only son. He tried to execute the vision with the approval of his son near Makkah. At the time of execution, Allah substituted his sacrifice with a lamb and saved his son (Al-Saffat: 101-107).

This Feast of Sacrifice reminds us of Prophet Ibrahim (pbuh) trying to sacrifice his then only child, Ismail, for the love of Allah.

It is not easy to sacrifice your time, your wealth, your property, or your knowledge. It is even more difficult to sacrifice your own self. But it would be impossible to sacrifice your own children, your own child, or your only child. However, Allah gave us a good example of Ibrahim who transcended all the barriers of this life. He put the love of Allah above all others in trying to sacrifice his loving son, Ismail, for the pleasure of Allah.  

In this respect, the Qur’an states in Surah Al-Saffaat: “Then, when (the son) reached (the age of) serious work with him, he said: ‘O my son! I see in my vision that I offer you in sacrifice: now see what is your view?’ (The son) said: ‘O my father! Do as you are commanded. You will find me, if Allah so wills one practicing patience and constancy!’ So when they had both submitted their wills (to Allah), and he had laid him prostrate on his forehead for sacrifice, We (Allah) called out to him, O Ibrahim! You have already fulfilled the vision. Thus indeed do we reward those who do right. For this was obviously a trial. And We ransomed him with a momentous sacrifice.” (Al-Saffat: 101-107)

Muslims all over the world are asked to sacrifice animals in the name of Allah and for His love. Muslims, during the pilgrimage feast and if they can afford it, are to sacrifice an animal. They are to distribute its meat among themselves, their relatives, their friends, and to those who are needy.

There is consensus among scholars that a sacrifice must be of one of the animals, and that the best of these are camel, then cow, then sheep and so on, for a camel is more beneficial for the poor because of its great size, and similarly a cow is more useful than a sheep.

One may sacrifice any animal one chooses. The Prophet Muhammad (SAW) offered a hundred camels. The minimum number of animals a person is obligated to sacrifice is one sheep, or one-seventh portion of a camel or a cow. Jabir said: “We performed hajj with the Prophet and we slaughtered a camel for seven persons, and a cow for seven persons.” (Ahmad and Muslim)

Sacrifice is not just limited only in a slaughtering an animal. But, there are many types and varieties of sacrifices, some of which are the following: time, effort, money, wealth, property, knowledge and life.

While sacrificing, a person should do it with the expectation that Allah is to reward him in this world and in the hereafter.

When we are talking about sacrifice, it should be noted that we are in need of time and we share it with others. We are in need of our money and we give away part of it to those who are more in need than us. We are in need of our wealth and property and we share them with those who are less fortunate. We love ourselves, but we should be ready to sacrifice our life for the love of Allah; and we love our family, and we should be ready to sacrifice our loving children for Allah by defending the religion, land, property and family.

This feast is called Eid-ul-Adha or the feast of Sacrifice. The idea of sacrifice is very important in Islam. Every Muslim is asked to sacrifice whatever he has for the love of Allah. This feast of Sacrifice is a yearly festivity to remind Muslims that they are to sacrifice continuously as long as they live. 

(Prepared by Abdul Muhaemin Karim)