Eid ul Azha Mubarak!
Modern world is a world of individual growth. Every aspect of a human being’s life is considered of value if it is able to “progress”. This is an offshoot of history’s shift to a world order where profit is king. This paradigm shift has been bolstered over the years through discourses that supplement this idea. For instance, the stories that show the journey of an individual from “rags to riches”. Such ideas of individual growth and profit obscure the many obstacles that people coming from different socio-economic conditions face in their journey. It disguises privilege as “merit” and profit as growth.
In such a machiavellian schema, the idea of sacrifice is revolutionary. It decenters a human being from their position of self-interest to a position of submission. In the modern world which worships rationality as universal, our observance of “faith” in Allah’s commandment radically subverts the hegemony of rationality and acknowledges the supremacy of divine wisdom.
Sacrifice is beyond “ifs” and “buts”. It is an unflinching and unsweavering declaration of your faith and submission to Allah swt.
Kashmir Observer got in touch with some of our readers. Following are their responses to our question “As a muslim, what does sacrifice mean to you?”
“When I first heard the story of Prophet Ibrahim’s reverence and devotion towards Allah SWT as a child, I was not only in awe but also in a conflicted state. Could I ever have the same amount of devotion and unwavering faith? Over the years, as I crossed my teenage years I have come to realize the personal and subjective importance of Eid Al Adha. This is one of those auspicious days where I as a Muslim can show my devotion towards Allah SWT. The sacrifice of a goat is not only to enjoy the meat that Allah SWT has blessed us with, but it is to let go and seek forgiveness of the sins I have committed. It is me sacrificing my anger, jealousy and distrust to forge a path of devotion and love. It is also a time that reminds me of the beauty and importance of a family. That one meal served with the kurbaani meat, shared by the entire family, on the dining table is enough to let go of all our rifts and arguments. This festival not only reminds me about the beauty of Islam but the sacrifice I offer also instills in me my faith that makes me go back to my younger self, telling her ‘It is going to be alright’”
“As the Muslim world is gearing up to celebrate Eid-Al-Adha and preparing to offer animal sacrifices on this day, it is important to understand the essence of sacrifice. I think that the act of sacrificing establishes a connection between today’s Muslims and those who have lived before us. It is a continuation of the act started by Prophet Ibrahim (A.S.), as all Muslims, who came after Prophet Ibrahim (A.S.) perform (ed) the act to remember his legacy. Moreover, the act embodies the message that for any Muslim, submission to Allah (SA.W.) is important. If the act of sacrificing is taken as a reference, a Muslim should be able to understand that (s)he is expectedto sacrifice his/her desires/precious things so that the will of Allah (S.A.W) prevails. Finally, the act serves as a means of sharing and socializing, as Muslims distribute sacrificial animals among the needy people, relatives, and neighbours”
“Sacrifice for me is : something that is important and valuable for you but you give up and offer that to Allah just for His happiness. From Muslim perspective, the motive of sacrificing is offering something to Allah that is dear to man.For me it also means submission to the will of God,as revealed in Quran”
“As a Muslim, sacrifice to start with means remembering the instance when Hazrat Ibrahim, for the love of Allah and to obey His command went on to sacrifice his son without any questions. This leads us to believe the power of one's faith in their Lord. Secondly, it enables and inspires us to value the afterworld more than our worldly material possessions, be it our wealth, our children or anything that's dear to us. We have to sacrifice our desires and wishes (no matter how much they mean to us) for the sake of our Lord. Lastly, it's a practical experience of what Hazrat Ibrahim must have gone through when he went on to sacrifice his dearest son. We buy animals, take care of them, develop a bond with them and at the end, sacrifice them to fulfill the orders of Lord Almighty”
“To me, it means cultivating the spirit of surrender. To be a Muslim means to surrender to Allah's will in all tribulations and tests He puts you to and sacrifice one of the many but major pathway to attain that submission. It should detach us from the lure of this world because nothing here belongs to us. We ourselves don't belong to us. We belong to him. Sacrifice reminds us that”
“I believe that the purpose of sacrifice is to give up what we cherish the most but unfortunately we witness that this festival becomes a contest, where most people become more haughty and claim moral superiority by engaging in extravagance.We forget that gloating over our purchase of the biggest animal doesn’t elevate us in the moral hierarchy, rather it defies the whole purpose of sacrifice.We should lay more emphasis on the essence of sacrifice which is to give up what we value the most”
“In the current times of systemic identity crisis Muslims are faced with, the message of the event of sacrifice on Eid al Adha is ever so important to us. To me it signifies the highest of beliefs I hold as a Muslim: Ultimate submission to the Will of Allah. To keep going in hard times holding onto the wisdom of Allah with sabr and tawwakal”
“Sacrifice means a submission to the divine will and an assertion of one's compliance to it. Besides, it is also a practise to perform a communal identity - to recognise one identifies with this group or Community”
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