Some personal thoughts on sacrifice and faith from Sadia, our Sponsorship Projects Administrator.
As Eid-Al-Adha approaches, we are reminded of the story of the Prophet Ibraheem who was prepared to sacrifice his son for the sake of Allah. Prophet Ibraheem, succeeded by his two sons Prophets Ishaaq and Isma’il, is often viewed as the founder of all the Semitic faiths. Both Jews and Muslims view this time of year as a period of religious observation, with Muslims commemorating the sacrifice made by Prophet Ibraheem through Eid-Al-Adha and Jews observing Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.
The Hajj season, followed by Eid Al-Adha, is also one of the times where Muslims from across the world come together to connect with one other. We celebrate on the same day and we commemorate the same events. For Palestinian Muslims, this is a time of year many are able to also connect with the global Muslim community, as travel restrictions are eased somewhat to allow
pilgrims to go to Mecca.
The Udhiyyah, or sacrifice, is made for the sake of Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala), alone, helping us to focus on our faith, trust in God and being aware of our blessings. The willingness of Prophet Ibraheem to give up the love of his own son in devotion to Allah (SWT) helps us to reflect on the true meaning of sacrifice. Whilst we consider this a time of great celebration, it highlights the sacrifices we must be prepared to make for love. The Prophet Ibraheem understood the beauty of sacrifice, and so the mercy of Allah (SWT) meant that he was eventually spared the loss of his son.
Whilst we commit the Udhiyya for the sake of Allah (SWT) only, the fact that a portion is recommended to be gifted to the needy shows the importance of sharing our blessings as a form of sacrificing our worldly goods. There are many hardships that mothers, fathers and even children make when they are struggling against crushing poverty. Palestinian refugees are a prime example of this; parents will feed their children before themselves, often going without nourishment for so as to spare their children the pains of hunger. Many children will forego school in order to help their parents in the fields, and families will risk perilous journeys and dangerous jobs to better the lives of their loved ones.
At this time of year, it is important for us to act on our love and let Palestinian families know that their sacrifices and struggles have not gone unnoticed by their brothers and sisters. We should want them to celebrate, and to have their burdens eased so they too can feel the spirit of these blessed days.
We know how difficult their situation is, from the lack of access to adequate food supplies and unsafe drinking water to the threatening suggestion of violence that continually hangs over the Palestinians. This is a time to remember all those who struggle in our prayers, but also with our actions. I pray that the spirit of these ten days stays with us and we do not forget all those who have and continue to make sacrifices to survive, and all the ways we can support them, insh’Allah.