Monday, July 22, 2019
Written by freezak   
Monday, 20 August 2018 21:36

Yusuf M. Abdullahi
In the name of Allah Who states “We called out to him, O Abraham! Though hast already fulfilled the dream! Thus indeed do We reward those who do right. For this was a clear trial. And we ransomed him with a momentous sacrifice” Q37: 100-104 

May the everlasting peace and blessings of Allah be upon His noblest servant, our master Muhammad (S) and his purified progeny.
Before I proceed on the topic above, few points are relevant; condolence to the oppressed people of Palestine, Yemen, Bahrain among others innocently massacred for no cause. The barbaric atrocities meted against Palestinians by the illegal state with the full support of the United States and other silent partners should be condemned by all. The same with the unjust clampdown of the richest country on the poorest in the middle East irrespective of religion, relation and neighborhood. With the continued injustice going on unabated, across the world, more than any other time, the question on the relevance of United Nations are raised? While preparing to reflect the events of Ghadeer and Mubahala in due course, I congratulate our esteemed readers in advance.
The topic for this week is on the precious animal slaughter as sacrifice historically related to Prophet Ibrahim, father of monotheism, peace be upon him. The event that took place in Mecca, then a barren land in the desert when he migrated to it along with his wife Hajar and first son Isma’il peace be upon them. “Remember Abraham said: O my lord! Make this city one of peace and security and preserve me and my sons from worshipping idols” Q2: 35. Consequently, it grew to a stable centre point attracting millions of people across the world. Pilgrims make their sacrifice and stone the pillars after series of activities commencing on the eighth day popularly called the day of Tarwiyya. A remarkable activity in the pilgrimage is standing the mount of Arafat on the ninth day of Zulhajj reading Imam Husain's prominent Arafat prayer. The famous prophetic sermon in the farewell pilgrimage was delivered at the plain. Muslims are encouraged to observe fear of Allah, brotherhood, friendliness and forgiveness. They should also protect the rights of women and above all strictly follow the noble Qur'an and the prophetic progeny. They should bear the fact that whoever embarks on hajj accordingly returns as the day he or she was born.
What is common with Eid el-Adha is the slaughter of precious animals, as sacrifice for the sake of Allah. The pilgrims do the sacrifice at Mina after which they culminate the hajj rite. Non pilgrims offer the highly recommended act by the prophetic tradition. We may ask about the rationale and wisdom behind the slaughter? Whoever is opportuned to slaughter, he or she is expected to distribute the meat to the needy. And looking at the recent statistics of the internally displaced persons at various locations in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe, and the deplorable conditions of other terrorist/banditry victims especially in Zamfara, the need to extend the gesture to them is very obvious.“They ask thee what they should spend (in charity). Say whatever wealth Ye spend that is good, is for parents and kindred And orphans And those in want And for wayfarers. And whatever ye do That is good, Allah knoweth it all” Q2:216. Feeding the weak is a highly recommended act. The believers are mobilized to participate in this gesture to the best of their ability. It is imperative to draw attention on the need to offer the skins of such sacrifice to SHUHADA FOUNDATION, a Zaria-based IMN orphanage.
The history of this sacrifice relates to prophet Ibrahim when he clocked hundred years without a child. He prayed to Allah “O my Lord! Grant me a righteous (son)! So We gave him good news of a forbearing son. Q37:100-102. The forbearing son was Isma’il, the ancestor of Arabs and grandfather of the Last Prophet. However, on his a teenage, Prophet Ibrahim was commanded to slaughter him. Having submitted to the will of Allah, he laid him prostrate on his forehead using sharp knife on his jugular vein. However, Allah miraculously ransomed him with a momentous sacrifice! As could be deduced, that was the greatest of all trials to him. The essence of the sacrifice is to gain the pleasure of Allah by accepting the offering out of faith and sincerity. Basically, it is not the slaughter of animals that is meant but love of Allah and His preference. If not? Which precious animal did Isma’il compare to Ibrahim (AS)? How should one assume self under such a situation? Can you compare his submission with your love towards your wife and children? It was neither a joke nor a dream, the two prophets were tried by Allah and they passed excellently! The criteria considered were full submission, faith and preference of Allah not the nature of animal one slaughters at all. The question is how much do you love Allah and to what extent can you sacrifice for His sake? We may ask, can you sacrifice your son or yourself for the sake of Allah? What of your good office or selfish interest? This is the real logic behind the sacrifice!
Think of the great sacrifice of Imam Husain, the grandson of the noble messenger who said "if the religion of Muhammad could only stand at the expense of my life, let it be" while sacrificing his dear life to the cause of Islam! The band of his followers responded immediately “O our master! We are all ready to defend you and your Ahlul-bait and sacrifice our lives for the cause of Islam! The Imam was the ransomed momentous sacrifice according to some Qur’anic interpreters. For about fourteen centuries now, they are remembered with great respect and prayers, not only by believers in their faith but all people with common sense of humanity. The India’s political and spiritual leader, Mahatma Gandhi said "I have carefully read the biography of Imam Husain and have contemplated the events of Karbala. I am sure Indians must follow his ideas on the path to victory”, while the English Poet, Fredric James said "the lesson taken from Husain or any other martyred hero is that there exist the perpetual principles of justice, mercy and affection in the world, which never change, and when one fights for this principles and insists on them, they will be immortal and will last forever". Apart from the sacrifice of animals based on individual capacity, the real sacrifice is determined by one's action at the event of variance with guidance of Allah in this mortal world. Allah states " say if it be that your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your mates, or your kindred; the wealth that you have gained; the commerce in which ye fear a decline or the dwelling in which ye delight are dearer to you than Allah or His messenger or the striving in His cause- then wait until Allah brings about His decision and Allah guides not the rebellious" Q: 23-24
As part of his 1439th annual message to the pilgrims issued on Sunday, 7th Zulhijja, the leader of Islamic revolution, Ayatollah, Sayyid Ali Khamne'i, dwelt on the uniqueness and universality of Hajj mission ".... this heavenly chant still calls to hearts, inviting humanity beyond centuries and eras to gather around the pivot of monotheism. All human beings are addressed by this Abrahamic call and dignified by it; although, in some corners they may not hear it; or some hearts; under the cover of ignorance and negligence, are deprived of it; or even though some do not prepare their hearts to be qualified for entering this everlasting, global feast, for any reason, they are not granted the opportunity"s.
While stressing the necessity of unity as a phenomenon, he described "Hajj as a specified place, and in this time and period, always and throughout years, calls the Muslims to solidarity and union through an articulate language and clear logic. And this is the opposite of what the enemies of Islam aspire to do; inciting the Muslims to fight against each other at all times, and especially during present time. Look at the behavior of the arrogant and criminal U.S. today. Its essential policy against Islam and the Muslims is war mongering. Its desire and vicious efforts aim at killing Muslims by other Muslims; causing some oppressive groups to attack some oppressed ones, supporting the front of the oppressors, suppressing the suppressed front through it, and always fueling this appalling conspiracy. Muslims should be aware and nullify this satanic policy. Hajj prepares the grounds for this awareness, and this represents the philosophy of declaring repudiation to pagans and arrogant powers during Hajj. The Imam finally drew the attention of the pilgrims "not to forget to pray for the Islamic Ummah, the oppressed people in Syria, Iraq, Palestine, Afghanistan, Yemen, Bahrain, Libya, Pakistan, Kashmir and Myanmar and other parts of the world, ask Allah to cut the hands of the U.S. and other arrogant powers, and their supporters".
While hailing the invaluable sacrifice of the unique Islamic scholar, the oppressed servant of Allah, Shaikh el-Zakzaky and his disciples, re-echoing the need for their unconditional release, endless prayers to the martyrs of the Islamic Movement, I wish all successful Sallah celebrations.
Wassalamu alaikum.