Saturday, October 27, 2012

Eidul Adha 1433 Hijri - Reflections

Bismillah.

We were listening to some heart-opening Eid tausiyah yesterday, 10th of DhulHijjah 1433 Hijri. Alhamdulillah several Eidul Adha TV programs in Malaysia have been serving a feast for the soul. 

One Malaysian khatib who spoke at Arafah said we should think deeply of how special Arafah is. Why of all places Allah had chosen Arafah as the place of meeting for Adam, the father of humanity and Hawa. And ponder why it is said haji alhajjul Arafah - Hajj is Arafah

Indeed there are endless meaning to hajj rituals if we care to contemplate deep enough and long enough. Why do we have to throw so many pebbles over so many jamrah for 3 days? If we understood the wisdom of throwing pebbles and if we could perform it well enough, we should come back from hajj devoid of satanic influences.

***
Allahu Akbar Allahu Akbar Allahu Akbar
La ilaha illAllah wallahu Akbar
Allahu Akbar
wa lillah hil hamd

Eidul Adha according to Prof. Dr. Hasnan Karim, should be, and is in fact merrier than Eidul Fitr because Eidul Adha is celebrated for 4 days. We get to recite eid takbeer on four days from the 10th to 13th of DhulHijjah. It's sunnah to recite it after each of the obligatory prayer on all four days. Whereas the time for us to make takbeer during Eidul Fitr is very short (from Maghrib of the last day of Ramadhan until the morning after, when the khatib recites eid khutbah). But people tend to regard Eidul Fitr as a more joyous occasion that we would celebrate if for the entire month of Shawal. And sadly, many of the celebrations are not in line with the rules of shari'a. We are inclined do things that make us more forgetful and more distant from Allah.

Eidul Adha presents us with a bigger chance to gain Allah's mercy and forgiveness. Still we should take advantage of both Eid to supplement any shortcomings of our amal and multiply our good deeds. Those whose hearts are alive would grab these opportunities.

***
Allahu Akbar Allahu Akbar Allahu Akbar
La ilaha illAllah wallahu Akbar
Allahu Akbar
wa lillah hil hamd

There are plenty of lessons to learn from the stories of Ibrahim, Siti Hajar and Ismail. We must appreciate this family of three who went through a great deal. Before the sacrifice episode, Prophet Ibrahim had already been presented with a test. He had to leave his wife Siti Hajar alone with their baby Ismail at a deserted place. Siti Hajar, though puzzled at first, immediately obliged when she was told it's an order from Allah.

Think about how obliging Siti Hajar was. Prophet Ibrahim himself was strikingly obliging. He didn't delay in acting on Allah's command although it was to slaughter his only child, his little boy whose arrival he had waited for so long. And subhanallah, Ismail, so young yet so obliging too. He said, if indeed it's a command from Allah, he would be patient about it. Imagine someone at his age could understand the weight of a command from Allah and offered his patience.

All three in the family made some great sacrifices. Siti Hajar sacrificed security and certainty when she was  left alone with her baby. But she had faith. She said, "If it was an instruction from Allah, something good must come out of it." Indeed something great did come out of it - zamzam, subhanallah. Zamzam which served as a catalyst for Islamic civilization and growth to this very day. And Prophet Ibrahim, as we all know, sacrificed his love of a dear child Ismail. And Ismail being the obedient and spiritually mature son he was, despite his young age, had patiently sacrificed his life, well almost.

They all have some common traits. They did not hesitate in fulfilling God's command. They did not doubt it. They were willing and hasten in making sacrifices to carry out Allah's command.

Eidul Adha is a time to reflect on this extraordinary family.

Allahumma salli 'ala Sayyidina Muhammad 
wa 'ala ali Sayyidina Muhammad
kama salaita 'ala Ibrahim wa 'ala ali Ibrahim...


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