Traditionally, as soon as the people get free from celebrating the Eid-ul-Fitr, they start planning for Eid-ul-Azha. In this context, the ones who are in a position to perform sacrifice, they begin reserving a certain amount of money for this purpose. The real excitement becomes apparent when the announcement of the moon-sighting of Zil Hajj is formally made; people visit the cattle market so as to get the best animal in their town. The ones, who get it as per their choice, share the whole story of how they bargained, what problems they faced in the process and how they missed even a better one just because the seller did not accept their bid.
As the Eid-ul-Azha gets closer, there is a tremendous increase in the number of sacrificial animals including bulls, camels, goats and sheep. Wherever the looks reach, we find young men and kids moving around their localities holding the ropes of their animals decorated with lots of jewelries like a bride. It looks as if they are making their animals get married on Eid. People compare their animals with others` and whose animals are more beautiful, expensive and stronger than the others`, pride depicts from the faces of owners. In addition to this, even the nights are celebrated as ”Ratt Jagas” by the people in the joy of having the sacrificial animals among them.
The question is, why do we express our pride and happiness on this occasion? Are we happy just because of the reason that we have been able enough to follow the Sunna of Hazrat Ibrahim (A)? Is it the real fact that fills us with so much joy?
As per the teachings of Islam, when Hazrat Ismail (A) reached the age of young youth, Hazrat Ibrahim (A) was given the command by God to sacrifice his son. When Hazrat Ibrahim (A) told his son about his revelation, he readily accepted his father’s order. Then, when Hazrat Ibrahim(A) lay his son down, upon his forehead, and was about to sacrifice him, a voice called out to him, telling him that he had fulfilled the vision and had passed the test of God successfully. Then, Hazrat Ibrahim (A) was rewarded with a momentous sacrifice, which is usually believed to have been a sheep.
To tell the truth, it was an incredible trial for the patriarch as his only son was being asked to be offered to God. In fact, God did not want Hazrat Ibrahim (A) to sacrifice his only son in His way. Rather, He just wanted to test him, and he successfully passed it. The unmatched sacrifice of Hazrat Ibrahim and his son Hazrat Ismail (A) pleased God so much that He made it a maxim for all the Muslim to follow it till the judgment day. Thus, Eid al-Adha is religiously celebrated by Muslims not only to honor the willingness of the prophet Hazrat Ibrahim (A) to sacrifice his young first-born son Hazrat Ismail (A), but also to express the gratefulness to God that they were allowed to sacrifice the animals instead of their sons.
Taking into account the real message of the Eid-al-Adha, are we following the Sunnah of Hazrat Ibrahim (A) with the same intention? Are we offering our sacrifices in the same way that God wants from us? Was Hazrat Ibrahim (A) also happy and feeling pride in the same way that we are while offering our sacrifices these days? God forbids, if we had been required to sacrifice our own sons like Hazrat Ibrahin (A), would we be as happy and excited as we remain on every Eid-al-Adha? Moreover, would we compare our sons, to be sacrificed on Eid-al-Adha, with those of others in the same way as we do with our animals? Would we be giving similar pet names like ”Dabang”, “Shehenshah”, ”Salman Khan”, “Raja” or “Shehzada” to out sons and brothers being sacrificed? Would we dare to celebrate “Ratt Jagas” with them just one day before they are to be slaughtered? No, of course not! Not speaking of doing all these things, we could not even dare to think of these. Then, why do we perform such activities which, instead of pleasing God, can make Him furious?
In fact, God is very kind and generous to all His creature. Therefore, we need to reform ourselves. We should offer our sacrifices not only without any show off, but also to express our gratefulness to God Who saved us from sacrificing our sons by allowing the animals for this. However, if we do not do so and keep being involved in the same activities , not speaking of the animals, even if we start sacrificing our own sons, God would reject them……May Allah help us reform ourselves and may always keep us on the right path ….Aameen!