The Honest Sacrifice : Loss of Festiviy

Farooq Ahmad Peer

Even though the festival of Eid ul Adha is a symbol /representation of joy, happiness, merriment, recreation, and enormous feasting but present prevailing scenario in the valley does not give a sense that the appended attributes/ features are visible anywhere. A radical change is being be witnessed in the celebration of the Festival in the valley of Kashmir due to spread of Covid 19 Pandemic which has taken the whole world off guard and napping. There would be a great change in the celebration from when the festival of Eid would bring in a certain amount of satisfaction in spite of the meager and minuscule resources people would have or had. By and large we as young persons would in time and routine in which we celebrated Eid was outstanding. Early in the morning the family would sit together and in spite of the different amount of income of people or families, the members would find solace in each other’s company mainly due to the fact that we were not living in a sense of fear, war, threat, insecurity and horrendous feelings, pandemic or disease around. There was no news of pandemic, death or crackdown but was a life full of joy and solace and the present upshot these times the families hardly enjoy that kind of sitting and togetherness now. Later, I would leave for Eid prayers and after offering prayers, would roam around watching people meeting with love and respect for each other, which shall be missed due to the panic of social distancing now on this occasion of Eid. The sacrificial meat had a taste which nothing in this world could match but sadly saying, the taste has diminished, the flavor has descended and the tanginess has gone off and the most tragic on this Eid that due to threat of virus the animal sacrifice is to be done while following all safety and cautious measures. Earlier, I used to wait anxiously for the arrival of sacrificial meat from our neighbors, but on this occasion that entire craze is gone away for something which used to be very special, something which had a fine attraction for me. Though we weren’t rich people, yet there was a sense of affinity, love, bond of kinship and satisfaction and peace of mind. It is true that the changes have taken place in every sphere of life and human relationships have also undergone change. Our life has changed from love to hate, peace to turmoil, life to death and what is more to happen; only the Divine Power in the skies knows.
Abraham was given the happy tidings that Allah was pleased with them, and their position would be elevated. This act of the Honest Sacrifice of Abraham and his son Ismael became an essential part of the Hajj for all times, and is celebrated in the form of Eid al-Adha.
Honest Sacrifice: Prophet Ismail (AS) was the eldest son of the Prophet Abraham (AS). Hajar or Hagar, an Egyptian princess and one of the wives of Abraham delivered him. It is believed that Allah Commanded Abraham (Ibrahim) to leave his wife Hajar and his child son Ismael in Hejaz, Deep South in the desert of Arabia where the city of Makkah exists today. The place of Makkah was an uninhabited and barren piece of land those times. Abraham as a submissive and devoted worshipper of Allah obeyed and accomplished the Command of the Creator and the Maker of the Universe by taking and disposing of the child Ishmael and his wife in the deserts of Arabia. Due to scorching and sweltering heat the child Ismael felt parched and thirsty and the mother taking pity upon the innocent child roamed and ran here and there to find out any spot or source of water. She ran several times between the two hills (Al-Safa and Marwa), trying to quest for water and help. She could not find out water and however, the child Ismael while wailing, suddenly, jolted and scuffed the soil with his heels and by the Will of Allah, a spring of fresh water gushed out. This spring runs with boundless fresh water to this day, and is treated as holy water (better known as Zum Zum) by pilgrims in Makah. The act of the running or strolling between the two hills by Hajar, the mother of Ishmael got converted into a significant and remarkable occurrence that Allah reckoned it as a compulsory component of the Hajj ritual for all times to come. Ismael grew up and could now share the responsibilities and works of his father Abraham who had been commanded to visit and find out his left family now. After re-union with his family, the father Abraham saw in a dream or vision, that he sacrificed his only son to please Allah. On seeing the same dream on three successive nights, he informed his son Ismael about it. As a devoted and submissive son, Ismael requested his father to sacrifice him to please Allah and thereby submit before His Will and Test. “Then, when (the son) reached (the age of) (serious) work with him, he said: “O my son! I have seen in a vision that I offer thee in sacrifice: now see what thy view is!” (The son) said: “O my father! Do as thou art commanded: thou will find me, if Allah so wills, one of the steadfast!” (The Holy Quran). Finding his son submissive, Abraham or Ibrahim took his son Ismael to Mina, laid him on the ground, and tied his arms and legs with a cord. As he placed his knife on the throat of his son, the Archangel Jibril or Gabriel (AS) appeared and announced that the trial of their ultimate submission to Allah was accepted. Just then, by the Grace of Allah, a heavenly, healthy and beautiful ram appeared there to be sacrificed in place of Ismael. Abraham was given the happy tidings that Allah was pleased with them, and their position would be elevated. This act of the Honest Sacrifice of Abraham and his son Ismael became an essential part of the Hajj for all times, and is celebrated in the form of Eid al-Adha.
Tail Piece: Sacrifice is to cleanse ourselves, bring change in mind and heart, Fight for righteous goal, purify our generations and work for salvation and dignified way of life.
(The author is Director Academics at J&K Board of School Education. Views are his own) [email protected]

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