The Spirit of Sacrifice

The Spirit of Sacrifice
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Eid al Adha will be celebrated with great gaiety and fervor in Kashmir. The spirit behind the occasion of this Eid is the commemoration of Hazrat Ibrahim’s (AS) spirit of sacrifice. It may be recalled that Allah Subhanahu wa ta’ala had ordered Hazrat Ibrahim (AS) to sacrifice his son, Hazrat Ismael(AS), on this very day. In an act of supreme obedience to Allah’s will and command, Hazrat Ibrahim(AS) set to obey this command and offered his son for sacrifice only to discover that Allah provided him with a ram. In the measure and nature of a test of Hazrat Ibrahim (AS), which prophet passes eminently and ably, Eid al Adha is celebrated to remind Muslims of the spirit of sacrifice. In lieu of this, Muslims (financially able) are enjoined to offer on this auspicious day, halal animals like goats, sheep, camels and so on, as a sacrificial offering. While there is an element of symbolism to all this, but the sad saga is that we appear to focus more on the symbolic aspect of the offering over its substantive aspect, that is, the spirit of sacrifice. For example, how many of us scout and scour our respective mohallas and localities to find and help the poor, the needy and the vulnerable? How many of us go the extra yard to make Eid special for the orphans, the specially abled and the deprived? How many of us make Eid special and worthy of remembering for the children of the deprived segments of society? The list of questions can go on and on but the point of elucidating these is to put into perspective the fact that we, both as individuals and society, have forgotten the spirit of sacrifice that Eid Al Adha symbolizes and enjoins us to remember and imbibe in our lives. We splurge monies on delicacies, indulge in conspicuous consumption, spend exorbitantly but forget about the needy and the vulnerable. It is largely our self centeredness that makes us oblivious to our duties and obligations towards the deprived. But, Eid al Adha is meant, among other things, to remind us of these. Before we embark and our journey of merely taking care of ourselves and families is set in stone, it is imperative that we introspect, individually and collectively, on our condition and imbibe the spirit of Eid al Adha in us. Let this Eid be the day(s) that we do this and emerge as individuals and society that is a caring, sharing and an empathetic one!

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