On Friday, 31 July 2020, Ahmadi Muslims living in the UK celebrated Eid-ul-Adha. Due to the coronavirus outbreak, there are still limitations on offering prayers in mosques and while some were fortunate to offer their Eid prayers in mosques, many Ahmadis offered their Eid prayers in their homes.
Hazrat Amirul Momineen, Khalifatul Masih V, may Allah be his helper, arrived in the Mubarak Mosque, Islamabad at 10:32am and led the Eid prayer. Thereafter, Huzooraa delivered the Eid Sermon to the worldwide audience via MTA International.
After reciting the Tashahud, Ta‘awuz and Surah al-Fatihah, Huzooraa said that today, all Muslims would be celebrating Eid-ul-Adha and in some places, they would be offering it the following day.
This is celebrated to commemorate a great sacrifice that was offered over 4,000 years ago. Despite such a long lapse of time, a Muslim does not face any difficulty in remembering this sacrifice.
Many Muslims celebrate this Eid for mere celebratory purposes and perform other rituals for the sake of showing off. A true believer, however, remembers the essence and significance of the sacrifice that is celebrated on Eid-ul-Adha; they remember it as it ought to be remembered.
The sacrifice being spoken of relates to a father and son and one that brings immense pain to the reader. This incident has been preserved in the Holy Quran and become a standard for all true believers to follow till the Day of Judgment. Even today, when reflecting over this incident, one becomes extremely moved.
It is no ordinary thing that an elderly man is bestowed offspring, and that too around the age of 90, and he is told to slaughter his son in a dream; then, taking the dream to be a literal command, he accepts the desire of his Lord and seeks to fulfil it. This was the great sacrifice of Prophet Abrahamas; he was prepared to sacrifice his son in the way of Allah. Not only was the father offering this sacrifice, the son too was prepared to accept this command happily.
The son’s answer has also been preserved in the Holy Quran
یٰۤاَبَتِ افۡعَلۡ مَا تُؤۡمَرُ ۫ سَتَجِدُنِیۡۤ اِنۡ شَآءَ اللّٰہُ مِنَ الصّٰبِرِیۡنَ
“‘O my father, do as thou art commanded; thou wilt find me, if Allah please, of those who are patient.’” (Surah al-Saaffat, Ch.37: V.103)
This was an exemplary answer in terms of sacrifice. In this manner, the youth were also told that this is the precedent to follow when offering sacrifices.
For the elderly, a 90-year old man showed the best example of sacrifice. For the youth, a young boy made a precedent.
On our part, it is not enough to merely remember this; rather, we should assess our pledge where we affirm that we will be ready to offer any sacrifice.
It is stated that Prophet Abrahamas was very compassionate and tender-hearted (Ch.11: V.75). Thus, one can judge from this how much sacrificing his son would have hurt him. Yet, he was willing to make this sacrifice. One can also understand that when Muslims send salutations upon their noble Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, why they also offer prayers on the soul of Prophet Abrahamas. He was prepared to offer this sacrifice as he had a special understanding of the status of Allah the Almighty. Due to this incident, Prophet Abrahamas was to be given immense reverence. His sacrifice became a distinguishing factor.
When we pledge to make all forms of sacrifice, we should bear in mind that it is only a blessing of Allah that He enables us to make sacrifices and ultimately be rewarded. Otherwise, our sacrifices are nothing when compared to the great sacrifices of Prophet Abrahamas and Prophet Ishamelas.
Many Ahmadis are witness to the fact that upon their humble and, in comparison, insignificant sacrifices, they are bestowed with even more blessings in return. This passion of sacrifice should not be a temporary one; rather, this should be an ongoing attitude. Only then can we say that we are endeavouring to live up to the pledge of offering every sacrifice.
The sacrifice and faith of Abrahamas and Ishmaelas was, indeed, exalted. Upon lifting the knife to sacrifice his son, Prophet Abraham was told that verily, his dream had been fulfilled.
After this, they did not cease in offering sacrifices; rather, they both continued to offer sacrifices, so much so that Prophet Abraham’sas wife and mother of Prophet Ishmaelas was also included so that men were told that their piety should be made manifest upon the women so as to have the best example for women.
Thus, we observe that after this incident, another great example of sacrifice is when the mother and son were to live independently and in fear. This was also readily accepted. Accordingly, Prophet Abrahamas took his son Ishmaelas and wife Hajiraas to a place where no person lived, where there was no water or any other such provisions available. They were only provided a bottle of water and a bag of dates and they knew that when it finished, they would not have water at their disposal, nor any other provisions. However, as this was a command of Allah, they desired to fulfil it for His pleasure. When Hazrat Hajiraas was still unaware of this and when she realised herself, she asked Abrahamas, “Where are you going?”
Hazrat Musleh-e-Maudra has beautifully explained this and says that due to his tender-heartedness, it was difficult for Abrahamas to suppress his emotions. When asked repeatedly by Hajiraas where he was going, Abrahamas – who was conflicted with the love for his family and the understanding that telling them the reality could hurt them even more – remained silent. Hazrat Hajiraas finally asked, “Has God instructed you to do this?” Abrahamas did not utter anything and could only point towards the sky – as if to point towards Allah – to which Hazrat Hajiraas replied, “Then Allah will not waste us!”
It was impossible for them to find any sympathiser, let alone any provisions! However, the companionship of Abrahamas had trained Hazrat Hajiraas to such a degree that she was resolute in her belief that Allah would not waste them. This, indeed, must have caused God Almighty to declare also that He would not waste them. Not only were they not wasted, but a great nation was born from among their progeny, among whom was the Seal of all Prophets, Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him.
Hazrat Hajiraas and Hazrat Ishmaelas disregarded worldly pleasures for the sake of Allah and Allah caused the whole world to submit to Hazrat Ishmaelas as a result. During Hajj, the great sacrifice of Hazrat Hajiraas is remembered and practiced symbolically, thus honouring her in this world. Today, the world is forced to remember her and learn that a sacrifice offered with true faith in Allah is never wasted.
On this day, we recall the exalted level of sacrifices of this family. However, we should ask ourselves whether it is enough to just remember them. Of course not. We must make this as the precedent in our lives. Every woman should look up to the standard of faith of Hazrat Hajiraas.
Some Lajna members have said that they do not repeat the words of their pledge where they offer to present their children for sake of Allah. If they truly have faith in Allah and desire His pleasure and nearness, then this thought can never creep into one’s mind. If this a pledge, then every Ahmadi man, woman, elder and child should endeavour to make this their goal.
When Ahmadi men endeavour to make Abrahamas their example, then their spiritual standards will be automatically adopted by their wives and children. First and foremost, men should make it a point to asses themselves. If they desire for their wives and children to be pious, they should first improve themselves.
When all of us will follow the path of Abrahamas; when every woman wishes to follow the example of Hajiraas and when every child endeavours to tread the path of Ishmaelas, then they will find God coming to their help.
In this time, the most ardent devotee of the Holy Prophetsa – Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas– has been called “Ibrahim” in revelations. Thus, if we have accepted this “Ibrahim” for our spiritual progress, the victory of Islam and to be closer to Allah the Almighty, then we all must endeavour to become Ishmaels and every woman must endeavour to become a Hajira. Only then can we partake of the blessings of this age.
If every one of us pledges to give precedence to faith over the world then this can happen. We should be ready to offer every form of sacrifice; many of us have and are already offering such sacrifices.
Huzooraa said that he wished to address those mothers who remain silent during their pledge in regard to offering their children for Allah. Some mothers say that they fear for giving their children such a meagre allowance. There are some Waifeen-e-Nau who are so used to their incomes that when it comes time to offer their services for the Jamaat, they say that they cannot survive on such a small allowance. When you have offered your children for the sake of the Jamaat, then such thoughts should not arise. And when Waqifeen have made a pledge, they should not follow it up with such remarks.
The youth and Waqifeen should offer their services for serving the Jamaat as missionaries and doctors and other such fields. The level of our sacrifices should be much higher. There should be substance in our emotions when reading the details of exalted sacrifices of people in the past.
We should reflect on how we can bring to the world the true message of Islam; how we can remedy the many ills of today. This should be the mindset of every Waqif-e-Nau.
Huzooraa said that the objectives he had just presented are the objectives of the Jamaat. Merely reading sacrifices of the past do not bring about revolutions. Every mother, every Ahmadi should increase their levels of sacrifice.
Towards the end, Huzooraa prayed that we may remember our duties and that every Eid may bring new horizons of our victory. May we reap the blessings of our sacrifices as did our forefathers.
Huzooraa said to remember all aseeran-e-rah-e-Maula (those imprisoned due to their Ahmadiyyat) who are offering sacrifices for the sake of the Jamaat in jails. There is also an Ahmadi lady in prison, only because she accepted the Imam of the age.
Huzooraa said to remember the Shuhada (martyrs) in our prayers. We should remember missionaries and Waqifeen in our prayers. May Allah protect all those offering their services in Africa and other parts of the world for the sake of the Jamaat.
We ought to pray for anyone who is living in difficulties and for all those struggling to live freely, e.g. in Pakistan.
In Pakistan, more than before, people have stirred up trouble by saying that any Ahmadi making a sacrifice would be punished. May Allah protect all Ahmadis from such harms. May we fulfil the objectives of the Promised Messiah’sas advent – to carry the flag of Islam to the corners of the world and to establish tawhid (the unity of Allah).
In some places, even in Africa, attempts have been made to seize our mosques. May Allah protect us from all such onslaughts.
Before leading the community in dua, Huzooraa said that the Friday Sermon would commence at the usual time.