Eid-ul-Adha 2010 (1431 A.H.) Message

by Hazrat Ameer (V) Prof. Dr. Abdul Karim Saeed

قُلۡ اِنَّ صَلَاتِیۡ وَ نُسُکِیۡ وَ مَحۡیَایَ وَ مَمَاتِیۡ لِلّٰہِ رَبِّ الۡعٰلَمِیۡنَ ﴿۱۶۲﴾ۙ لَا شَرِیۡکَ لَہٗ ۚ وَ بِذٰلِکَ اُمِرۡتُ وَ اَنَا اَوَّلُ الۡمُسۡلِمِیۡنَ ﴿۱۶۳﴾

“Say: My prayer and my sacrifice and my life and my death are surely for Allah, the Lord of the worlds — No associate has He. And this am I commanded, and I am the first of those who submit” (The Holy Quran, 6:162–163).

Dear brothers and sisters,

Assalaam-o-Alaikum Wa Rakhmatullahi Wa Barakaato Hoo.

Eid-ul-Adha is synonymous with animal sacrifice, so we often refer to it as ‘Qurbani Eid’. It is true that sacrifice of an animal is an important devotional part of this festival to remind us of the sacrifices of Prophet Ibrahim [Abraham], Patriarch of the Abrahamic Faiths, namely Christianity, Judaism and Islam.

I have used the words ‘sacrifices of Prophet Ibrahim’ and not sacrifice by him, as the intent to sacrifice his son Ismail [Ishmael] was not the only sacrifice he made; his entire life from youth to old age was full of trials and sacrifices. The steadfastness with which he faced them is an example for all mankind to follow. He always submitted himself to the will of Allah.

As we sacrifice the animal that we consider as ‘ours’ because we paid for it, will we remember that we ourselves belong to Someone? Someone who is our Creator and Sustainer; Who is Master of all we own and in Whose hand is our very existence. He may take back our life whenever He pleases. We should not forget that our sacrifice of the animal is only to remind us of the verses I have quoted.

Eid-ul-Adha is a spiritual occasion, which Allah has ordained as a reminder of our higher objectives in life; objectives that get us closer to Him. It reminds us every year to be submissive to the commands of Allah just as the helpless animal that we sacrifice is submissive to us. It is a reminder to search our souls to see if our prayers, our outwardly sacrifices, our very life and death is for Him and Him alone. Are our hearts filled with idols and desires to which we are submitting or are we submitting to Him alone?

If that is not the case, then our sacrifice today will be a physical act completely devoid of the spirit and spirituality behind it. Such rituals lack the power to get us closer to Allah as He Himself states:

لَنۡ یَّنَالَ اللّٰہَ لُحُوۡمُہَا وَ لَا دِمَآؤُہَا وَ لٰکِنۡ یَّنَالُہُ التَّقۡوٰی مِنۡکُمۡ ؕ

“Not their flesh, nor their blood, reaches Allah, but to Him is acceptable observance of duty on your part” (The Holy Quran, 22:37).

Dear brothers and sisters,

Let us not forget that the path of Hazrat Ibrahim was path of Unity of God which had been long forgotten by his followers. It was Prophet Muhammad, may peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, who re- established this Unity in the world. Allah has ensured that this lesson of Unity will forever be saved through the everlasting message of the Holy Quran and the example of the last Messenger [Muhammad], may peace and blessings of Allah be upon him.

Let us take this opportunity to remind ourselves that we have a special duty to make Allah our only object of worship and sacrifice. We as Ahmadis have taken a pledge to

‘Keep Religion above all worldly needs and desires’

and thus have to make every sacrifice Allah asks of us to uphold our faith and spread it in a peaceful way.

I pray that Allah grants us the strength and conviction to serve in His path and make every sacrifice for His cause. I pray He grants us the strength to spread peace and harmony in the world through the message of Islam, a religion of peace and tolerance. Ameen.

I wish you all and your families and friends a very happy Eid-ul-Adha.

Please share this message with all your family, friends and members of your Jamaats [branches].

Professor Dr. Abdul Karim Saeed
Ameer and President
Worldwide Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement

November 2010