Eid-ul-Adha 2013 (1434 A.H.) Message
by Hazrat Ameer (V) Prof. Dr. Abdul Karim Saeed
لَنۡ یَّنَالَ اللّٰہَ لُحُوۡمُہَا وَ لَا دِمَآؤُہَا وَ لٰکِنۡ یَّنَالُہُ التَّقۡوٰی مِنۡکُمۡ ؕ کَذٰلِکَ سَخَّرَہَا لَکُمۡ لِتُکَبِّرُوا اللّٰہَ عَلٰی مَا ہَدٰىکُمۡ ؕ وَ بَشِّرِ الۡمُحۡسِنِیۡنَ ﴿۳۷﴾
“Not their flesh, nor their blood, reaches Allah, but to Him is acceptable observance of duty on your part. Thus has He made them subservient to you, that you may magnify Allah for guiding you aright. And give good news to those who do good (to others)” (The Holy Quran, 22:37).
Dear Sisters and Brothers,
Assalaam-o-Alaikum Wa Rakhmatullahi Wa Barakaato Hoo.
As I wish you a Very Happy Eid-ul-Adha, I would like to remind you through this message that the main aim of human life is to foster nearness to Allah through prayer and sacrifice. Verse 2 of Chapter 108, Al Kausar states:
فَصَلِّ لِرَبِّکَ وَ انۡحَرۡ ؕ﴿۲﴾
“So pray to your Lord and sacrifice” (The Holy Quran, 108:2).
The Hajj (Pilgrimage) is a means of reminding us of these two important aspects of expression of our desire to be close to Allah. The acts of devotion that the Muslims perform during the Hajj are only an outward expression of the deeper spirit that they signify.
As we celebrate Eid-ul-Adha, it is important to remind ourselves of the Quranic verse which I have cited above. The most important aspect of all Islamic devotional acts is the spirit that it conveys and with what intent it is performed.
The word Qurbani (sacrifice) is derived from the Arabic word which is akin to seeking Qurb or nearness to Allah. So, it is imperative that we do not lose sight of the spirit behind the sacrifice. It reminds us of the need to sacrifice completely the animal passions that threaten to devour our souls and prevent our progress to attain the goal to be ‘friends of Allah’. Today, as we slaughter the animal, we must remember to place a knife on the neck of the animal within us. The animal we sacrifice today has been made subservient to us to remind us of the need to remain subservient to Him in whose hand is our life.
Today we pay homage to Hazrat Ibrahim (Abraham), may peace be upon him, who through his life full of sacrifices and unconditional submission to Allah became a role model for all mankind. More important than the outward celebration of Eid is the lesson to be learnt from the life of Hazrat Ibrahim, may peace be upon him, making him our role model for piety, faith in Allah and steadfastness in all trials. The ultimate submission to Allah’s will was his willingness to sacrifice his son Hazrat Ismael [Ishmael], may peace be upon him. This son had been gifted to him in his old as an answer to his prayers. Thus, when tried, Hazrat Ibrahim, may peace be upon him, did not hesitate for a moment to sacrifice what was most precious to him, his son. Hazrat Ismail, may peace be upon him, was equally submissive to the command of Allah.
Eid, which signifies real and recurring happiness is, in the spiritual sense, only possible if we succeed in following the footsteps of Hazrat Ibrahim, may peace be upon him, and be always prepared to submit to Allah without any hesitation. We should always be prepared, like him, to succeed when tested. Today is the day to make a firm resolve that, when commanded by Allah, like him we should be able to say:
اَسۡلَمۡتُ لِرَبِّ الۡعٰلَمِیۡنَ ﴿۱۳۱﴾
“I submit myself to the Lord of the words” (The Holy Quran, 2:131).
I wish you a very Happy Eid and pray that we will be able to grasp and follow the real spirit of Eid and sacrifice.
Professor Dr. Abdul Karim Saeed
Ameer and President
Worldwide Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement
14th October 2013