When we sacrifice, it is essentially giving up something that we hold valuable for other considerations. As students, some would sacrifice personal time to achieve good grades. As parents, some would sacrifice personal wants, such as a new car, so that they can provide more for their children. As we sacrifice for our career and family, have we ever thought of how sacrifice is viewed in Islam? This article will highlight how we can practice sacrifice in our religion, especially with Eidul Adha approaching.
Eidul Adha, more commonly known in our community as Hari Raya Haji, is a day when Allah s.w.t commanded Prophet Ibrahim A.S to sacrifice his son, Prophet Ismail A.S. Reluctant, Prophet Ibrahim A.S asked his son’s opinion on the command. Believing in Allah’s wisdom and love, Prophet Ismail A.S told his father to trust in Allah and let him be sacrificed instead. However, just as Prophet Ismail was about to be sacrificed, an animal took his place by Allah's will. This single act of selflessness serves as a reminder that if you sacrifice for the sake of Allah, you will be rewarded accordingly by Him whether in this Dunya or hereafter. This story is commemorated through the acts of performing qurban rituals yearly, where an animal, such as a sheep, camel or cow is being sacrificed. The meat is then distributed to the less fortunate.
Other than the act of qurban, Eidul Adha is also a day where we celebrate the sacrifices made by our Muslim brothers and sisters, be it in the present moment or the past. On this day, fortunate Muslims will be in Mecca performing the Hajj pilgrimage, the 5th pillar of Islam where they must make the physical and financial sacrifice while the rest of the Muslims perform their qurban, which is a financial sacrifice. The significance of this day is that, regardless of status or wealth, Muslims come together to sacrifice so that every single Muslim can enjoy this day together.
Many Muslims worldwide face severe hardships - whether Muslims in Palestine, Rohingya or China, many of them are being oppressed and require our help and sacrifice. It can be as easy as sharing posts on social media to raise awareness or donating. Such simple acts can make a difference in their lives. Similarly, with the Covid situation still affecting our lives, some of our brothers and sisters are struggling to put food on their tables and will need your continuous contribution to help them through this difficult period. Through our Ihsan packages, we are constantly assisting families in need to provide them with food supplies. The blessed thing is that these acts can be done even after Eidul Adha.
Let us spend Eidul Adha this year like how our fellow prophets did, to sacrifice, no matter how small it may seem. It is these small sacrifices when added up, that can create a large impact on our global Muslim community.