Madinat al-Muslimeen Islamic Message Board
|02/21/01 at 18:33:30|
I'm looking for an article(s) that discuss lessons from the life of Ibrahim alaihis-salaam. If you have any handy, can you please post them up in the next day or so?
|Re: Story needed|
|02/22/01 at 03:08:52|
wa alaykum as salaam wa rahmatAllahi wa barakatuh,
I don't know if this is what you were looking for, but it's a good article.
The Story of Ibrahim's Sacrifice
from [url=http://www.members.home.net/arshad]Arshad's Cool World [/url]
Brothers and Sisters, all of us know the story of Ibrahim's (saw) sacrifice and we say that it was a test by Allah (ta'ala). But do we really understand what Ibrahim went through? Do we appreciate what it was like to be Ibrahim (saw)? Can we grasp in thought what happened? Why is it that we regard Ibrahim (saw) as the father of faith? What was it that he achieved?
Ibrahim (saw) is distinguished in the Quran with the title of khalil-ul-Allah (the intimate friend of Allah). In surat an-Nisa, Allah says: "For Allah did take Ibrahim for (an intimate) friend" (4:125)
He is also described in surat an-Nahl as a model: "Ibrahim was indeed a model. Devoutly obedient to Allah, and true in faith, and he joined not gods with Allah" (16:20).
Ibrahim was born among the star- and idol-worshipping people of Chaldea, in the home of Azar, his father, the idol-maker of the tribe. Ibrahim was among the kuffar, but not of them, like a spring of tawheed (monotheism) arising out of the swamp of shirk (polytheism). The Quran tells us in surat al-An`aam: "Lo! Ibrahim said to his father Azar: Do you take idols for God? For I see you and your people in manifest error?" (6:74).
From the revolt in the house of Azar, his father, Ibrahim went on to challenge the polytheism of his people. Indeed Ibrahim is know as history's great idol- smasher, as the founder of monotheism and the crusher of ignorance.
There are numerous verses in the Quran which describe how Ibrahim argued against idol-worshippers, his rational arguments against sceptics and those who worshipped celestial bodies, how he deals with unbelievers, how he preaches to his people. For instance, in surat al-Baqara Allah says : "Hast thou not turned thy vision to one who disputed with Abraham about his Lord, because God granted him power? Abraham said:`My Lord is He who giveth life and death.' He said:`I give life and death.' Said Abraham: `But it is God that causeth the sun to rise from the East: Do then cause it to rise from the West.' Thus was he confounded who (in arrogance) rejected Faith. Nor doth God give guidance to a people unjust." (2:258)
In another example in surat al-Anbiya : We bestowed aforetime on Abraham his rectitude of conduct, and well were We acquainted with him. Behold! he said to his father and his people, `What are these images to which ye are (so assiduously) devoted?' They said, `We found our fathers worshipping them.' He said, 'Indeed ye have been in manifest error -- ye and your fathers.' They said, 'Have you brought us the Truth, or are you one of those who jest?' He said, `Nay, your Lord is the Lord of heavens and the earth, He who created them (from nothing): I am a witness to this (truth). And by God, I have a plan for your idols -- after ye go away and turn your backs.' So he broke them to pieces, (all) but the biggest of them, that they might turn (and address themselves) to it. They said, `Who has done this to our gods? He must indeed be some man of impiety!' They said, `We heard a youth talk of them: he is called Abraham.' They said, `Then bring him before the eyes of the people, that they may bear witness.' They said, `Art thou the one that did this with our gods, O Abraham ?' He said, `Nay, this was done by -- This is their biggest one! Ask them, if they speak intelligently!' So they turned to themselves and said, `Surely ye are the ones in the wrong!' Then were they confounded with shame: (they said) `Thou knowest full well that these idols do not speak!' (Abraham) said, Do ye then worship, besides God, things that can neither be of any good to you nor do you harm ? Fie upon you, and upon the things that ye worship besides God! Have ye no sense?' They said, `Burn him and protect your gods, if ye do (anything at all)!' (21:51-68)
As usual, when falsehood is defeated on intellectual grounds it resorts to plotting and oppression. The response of his people to his da`wa is given in surat al-Ankabut: "So naught was the answer of (Ibrahim's) people except that they said: Slay him or burn him " (29:24) Ibrahim could have given up his message and his beliefs to save himself from the fire of Nimrod. Nut he chose martyrdom. He chose to die for Allah's message to live. He chose to step into the fire of ignorance and tyranny in order to save humanity from the fire of ignorance and tyranny. So he was cast into the fire.
But Allah had a different plan for Ibrahim and he was unhurt by the grace of Allah (ta'ala) : "But Allah did save him from the fire. Verily in this are signs for people who believe" (29:24). Allah also says : "We said `O fire! Be cool and a means of safety for Ibrahim' " (21:69). his miracle did not refrain the idol-worshippers from continuing for very long years their plots, persecution, abuse, cruelty and isolation against Ibrahim but he remained uncompromising, unshakeable in his beliefs, patient in his suffering, gentle in his manners until he made his hijra (he migrated) to the lands of Aram nad Canaan.
He left the land of his fathers to become a stranger in the land of promise.
Brothers and Sisters, it was indeed a land of promise. A land where Ibrahim continued a lifetime of struggle, da`wa, movement, bearing alone the heavy responsibility of the mission of Tawheed (monotheism) in an age of darkness, oppression, prejudice and ignorance. Ibrahim did not have children. And throughout his century of prophethood and service of God, as Ibrahim grew older, his desire to have a son grew stronger. The now old Prophet Ibrahim desperately longed for a son but his wife Sarah was barren.
"O my Lord! Grant me a righteous son!" (37:100) was his call to Allah.
Against every expectation, Allah fullfilled his promise of making Ibrahim the seed of a great line of Prophets, the root of the great universal religions. "So we gave him the good news of a forbearing boy" (37:101).
Allah brought mercy to the agedness, loneliness, hopelessness and anguish of his trustworthy Messenger. For Ibrahim, Ismail was not just a son for a sonless father, he was the end of a life of waiting, the reward of a century of suffering, the fruit of his life, the hope after despair and the young boy of an old father.
Ismael being the promise of future generations was in some sense the whole world for Ibrahim.
So there was joy and rejoicing in Ibrahim's house as Ismail was quickly growing under the sun of his father's love.
But Allah decided that it was not to remain so.
Brothers and Sisters, Ibrahim was to be tried once more. Ibrahim had a vision in which he was commanded by Allah to slaughter his only son.
Brothers and Sisters, why should Ibrahim, whose entire life was devoted to prophethood, to Jihaad, to removing ignorance, to laying the foundations of tawheed be tried once again?
Is it because man should not rest ?
Is it because man should not be deceived by 100 years of Jihad and victories ?
Is it because he should not think of himself without weakness ?
Is it for the fact that whatever we fix our eyes upon in this world will blind us ?
And finally, is it because the higher the spiritual height we reach, the greater is the danger of falling ?
Brothers and Sisters, it is not possible to convey in words what it must have meant for Ibrahim to be commanded by Allah (ta'ala) to sacrifice his only son Ismail. The magnitude of the pain does not allow the imagination to enclose it. It inspires fear and trembling.
How can Ibrahim take his beloved son, the fruit of his life, the joy of his heart, the meaning of his living and staying, his Ismail, and hold him on the ground, put a knife to his throat and kill him ?
If it were only the slaughter of Ibrahim at the hand of Ismail, how easy! But no! The young Ismail must die and the old and aged Ibrahim must remain!
Ibrahim, the steel-like idol-smasher must have felt torn apart!
Within him, there must have been a war, the greatest jihad. Which war? The war between God and Ismail! The difficulty of choice!
Who should Ibrahim choose?
Love of God or Love of self?
Prophethood or Fatherhood?
Loyalty to God or loyalty to family?
Faith or Emotion?
Truth or Reality?
Consciousness or Instinct?
Responsibility or Pleasure?
Duty or Right?
Tawheed (Monotheism) or Shirk (Polytheism)?
Advancing or Remaining?
To Become or To Be?
And finally, God or Ismail?
What should Ibrahim choose?
Brothers and Sisters, Ibrahim did not choose immediately. He doubted and wavered under the crushing force of pain and anguish. Only after the third vision did he finally decide to carry out Allah's command. This is reflected in the hajj ritual of stoning the three idols representing Iblis who tempted Ibrahim to disobey Allah.
When a `truth' enhances one's earthly life, most people become seekers of truth. But when a truth opposes life and leads to problems, loss and dangers the seekers of truth are few in number.
Iblis works wherever he finds traces of fear, weakness, doubt, despair, envy selfishness and even great affection towards someone or something. Iblis sometimes blows logical reasons, intellectual and religious justifications to achieve his ends.
For instance we may imagine that, under the powerful crush of his pain and distress, Ibrahim could have used many justifications. Perhaps the meaning of dhebh (slaughter) is just metaphorical and means kill your `ego'. Perhaps `Ismail' might be a general noun and not Ibrahim's son. Perhaps ``slaughter Ismail'' actually means ``slaughter the love of Ismail''. Ibrahim could have also tried many interpretations of his vision.
But Ibrahim, khalil-ul-Allah, the intimate friend of God, had faith in Allah and he knew that Allah (ta'ala) demanded the sacrifice. Abraham's conscience would make a mockery of all these logical justifications and reasons.
Ibrahim chose the Love of God over the Love of self, Prophethood over Fatherhood, Loyalty to God over Loyalty to family, Truth over Reality, Consciousness over Instinct, Responsibility over Pleasure, Duty over Right, Tawheed over Shirk. He preferred Advancing to Remaining.
Ibrahim chose God and gave up Ismail.
Brothers and Sisters, in Mina, an amazing and frightening conversation between a father and a son took place.
Ibrahim said to Ismail : "O my Son, I see in a vision that I offer you in sacrifice. Now see what is your view?" (37:102)
What frightening words for a child to hear !
Ismail could have kept silent. He could have asked Ibrahim to refrain.
But Ismail had also faith. He submitted to Allah's will. Realising his father's distress, Ismail gave him these comforting words : "O my father ! Do as you are commanded. You will find me, if Allah so wills, patient and constant" (37:102)
Allah-u-Akbar! Allah-u-Akbar! Allah-u-Akbar!
Ibrahim had consulted his son who willingly offered himself to Allah's command. The choice of Ibrahim was sacrifice. That of Ismail was self-sacrifice: Martyrdom.
This gave Ibrahim strength. Ibrahim tied his heart to God, he took the Ismail of his life in one hand and the knife of his faith in the other and he walked until he reached the place of sacrifice. Ibrahim was suffering while believing and at every moment it was possible for him to retract and turn back. Yet he layed Ismail on the ground, putting his face away from him to give strength to his crushed soul and paralysed hand. And so he slaughtered Ismail. But, by Allah's grace, the knife did not cut.
Ibrahim received a sheep and was called by Allah :
"O Ibrahim! You have confirmed the Vision Thus indeed do We reward those who do right This is indeed the manifest trial!" (37:104-105)
Allah-u-Akbar ! Allah-u-Akbar ! Allah-u-Akbar !
Brothers and Sisters, Ibrahim gained everything and kept Ismail. This means that the God of Ibrahim is not thirsty for blood like the Inca gods or Hindu godesses were thirsty of blood.
It is the people, the servants of God who are hungry, and hungry of sheep meat.
And, symbolically, the only blood shed in this story is the blood of Iblis.
Brothers and Sisters, this means that from the very beginning God did not want Ismail to be slaughtered. He wanted Ibrahim to be the slaughterer of Ismail. When he became so, the slaughter became useless.
God, from the beginning, wanted Ismail to be the slaughter of God. And when it happened, his sacrifice became useless.
Mankind has needs but God has no needs. He is Self-Sufficient. Allah (ta`ala) in His Wisdom raised Ibrahim to the highest peak of sacrificing his Ismail without sacrificing Ismail. Allah (ta`ala) promoted Ismail to the highest peak of being the great sacrifice of God without bringing any harm to him.
This event is not about the torment and torture of mankind but about the perfection of humanity, the freedom from the prison of instinct and selfishness and about the elevation of spirit.
This momentous event also teaches us, through Ibrahim, that human life, Ismail's, Ibrahim's, everyone's, acquires its meaning and value from God -- The Source of Creation -- and not from nature. It signifies that the good things in life, represented by Ismail, derive their value not from the mere fact that they exist and can be valued, enjoyed and delighted in, but from God, The Source of Creation Himself. Ibrahim was, in some sense, giving back Ismail to receive him again on the proper basis.
Brothers and Sisters, different people organise differently their loyalty to God, to the family and to the nation or the state. A secular mind owes and absolute duty to the nation (and the family) whereas a religious conscience owes absolute duty to God. For a secular mind Ibrahim was willing to MURDER Ismail but for a religious conscience he was willing to SACRIFICE Ismail. Ibrahim therefore instructs that we should owe absolute duty only to God and it is our relationship to God which ought to transcend and determine out relation to family/nation and not vice-versa.
Brothers and Sisters, there still is a lot to understand and discover about this momentus event. These are only a few possible meanings. Only a few, and just possible, because as Ibrahim taught us to be less complacent and more critical about having attained faith, we should be less complacent and more critical about having attained understanding.
Brothers and Sisters, the Ismail of Ibrahim was his son. But you, who is your Ismail? What is it?
Your degree ? Your reputation ? Your position ? Your money ? Your home ? Your car ? Your beloved ? Your family ? Your knowledge ? Your title ? Your dress ? Your fame ? Your soul ? Your spirituality ? Your Beauty ?
Your strength ? Your career ?
How does one know ?
Well, you know this yourself. One can only give its signs to you.
Whatever is in your eyes which holds the place of Ismail in the eyes of Ibrahim !
Whatever weakens you on the way of faith !
Whatever stops you in your movement !
Whatever brings doubt to your responsibility !
Whatever has enchained your freedom !
Whatever leads you to compromise and justification !
That very thing which deafens your ears before the Message of Truth !
Whatever calls you to remain with yourself !
Whatever causes you to flee from your duty !
Whoever or Whatever keeps you behind in order to remain with her/him or it !
Brothers and Sisters, these are the signs of our Ismail's. Let us search for them in ourselves and let us slaughter them to move towards Allah (ta'ala) and to remove the real knife from the throat of oppressed Muslims from Bosnia to Kashmir, from somalia to Palestine and else where.
Brothers and Sisters, let us revolt against the heartless worshippers that we have become.
Remember our Eid is not a Eid of victory. It is the Eid of sacrifice (adha).
|Re: Story needed|
|02/22/01 at 09:20:39|
How about something with Ibrahim and Sarah?
|Re: Story needed|
|02/22/01 at 10:53:59|
I specifically wanted one on the story of the command to sacrifice Ismail alaihis-salaam, but the story posted by se7en was the only one i could find.
No matter, insha'llah.
|Re: Story needed|
|02/22/01 at 11:26:31|
Good research assignment Kashif, jazak Allah khairen, here's what I came across from the book Hajj the Pilgrimage.
The Sacrifice of Ismail
Your dear son, the fruit of your life, your joy, your reason for being, the meaning of your existence, your son, no, your Ismail - Knock him down as a lamb and offer him as a sacrifice! Hold his limbs under your feet so he cannot escape. Hold his head by grabbing his hair in your hands, cut his carotid, but hold him under your feet until you feel he cannot move anymore. Then - stand up and leave him alone! Oh "obedient" one and "Servant" of God! This is what God wants from you. This is the "call of your faith" "the spirit of your message". This is your responsibility - Oh "responsible man"! Oh "father of Ismail"!
Ibrahim had two alternatives - either to follow the cry of his heart and "save" Ismail or to follow the order of God and "sacrifice" him! He had to choose one! "Love" and "truth" were struggling inside him (love which was his life and truth which was his faith)! Had Allah asked for his own life, it would have been much easier! Ibrahim gave his life for the cause of Allah and this was why he felt "obedient" to God. This was a "selfishness" and a "weakness" for him. What is good and beautiful for certain people is considered bad and ugly for an honorable man like Ibrahim. He was the closest to God. (Note the relativity of moral values in Ibrahim's school! What a different interpretation.)
Oh Ibrahim, "give up your Ismail"! "Doubt" - how killing and dangerous it is! A,s a result, one seeks refuge in an "explanation and justification". This happens when the heart hates but the faith loves! His "responsibility" wants him to give up his son, but it is very difficult to do. He tries to find a means of evasion. What is worse than a wrong "interpretation" is the right "explanation" (i.e. to rely on one "fact" and to deny another "fact")! And more disastrous is when "falsehood" has "wisdom" as a sword in one hand and "religion" as a shield in the other!
"SACRIFICE YOUR ISMAIL" - How do I know the meaning of this command? How can I be sure that the word "sacrifice" does not have a figurative meaning like "sacrifice your soul" which means do not be the slave of your instincts and avoid their temptation! How do I know that the pronoun "you" in "your Ismail" is referring to me and I am the receiver of this call? Why is not this a collective call which in figurative meaning is an individual call ? How do I know "Ismail" refers to "my Ismail" and it is not again a figurative word?'
How do I know that from a grammatical point of view, in the phrase "sacrificing Ismail", Ismail is not a noun in the genitive case which replaces the noun governing the genitiveand the latter omitted? This very often happens in the Arabic language as well as in the Holy Quran. For example, "asked the village" means "asked the people of the village" and here to "sacrifice Ismail" means to "sacrifice for the love of Ismail".
Let us suppose all these possibilities are impossible; none of the given meanings are correct and the command is as simple as everyone understands it. "Sacrifice your Ismail" - how do I know this has to be done right away? There is no time limit in this order as any written law. It is the duty of wisdom to choose the time taking into consideration the circumstances, policies, possibilities and potentials. The Holy Quran says to participate in Holy War but the time and form of this war depends on circumstances adopted by wisdom. Another example is the tradition where one is ordered to search for knowledge.
"Searching for knowledge is a must for every Muslim man and woman."
No one is forced to do it at a given time; even if he does it at the very last hours of his life when he is in bed dyingg he has obeyed the command and performed his duty! Another example is the Hajj which is the duty of every Muslim. Many wait until they have lived their life freely; towards the end of it, they may decide to perform Hajj. This is a duty which can be fulfilled at anytime. These believers think it is a responsibility they have towards the hereafter, not towards life. They feel most religious laws are for the blessing and forgiveness in the after-life, not for the benefit of their education progress and perfection in the life before death.'
How do I know, from a methodical point of view, that this imperative sentence "sacrifice your Ismail" is a "must" and not a recommendation? Most likely it is the latter one! This is not like the order of "and give the poor due"where everyone should give the needy his share.
Rather it is like this verse of the Quran II: 188
And eat not up your property among yourselves in vanity nor seek by it to Sain the hearing of the judges that ye may knowingly devour a portion of the property of others wrongfully.
It is a despicable action in the eyes of God. The order in this verse is for our guidance. This type of order, the order of revelation, is to remind us of the judgment of our wisdom.
If we disregard all the explanations and interpretations stated above, it is obvious from His command that the Almighty God wants to remind us that the love for a child is nothing. To submit to the truth, you must give up all interests which pre-occupy your thoughts and prevent you from communicating with God. Since Ibrahim's love for Ismail kept Him busy and may have caused him to forget his responsibility, Allah ordered him to "Sacrifice Ismail" so that he would submit totally to the will of Allah. As was said earlier, to SACRIFICE YOUR ISMAIL means to disregard the joy and love of Ismail The same essence may be derived from the following verse of the Holy Quran VIII: 28:
And know that your possessions and your children are a test.
After all these wise and legitimate explanations, examples of verses, stories, measures of methodical science and rationalizations for all purposes of good, it is a sin to kill someone!!! One cannot attribute such a sinful command to the most merciful and exalted Allah!
Yes an "explanation"to find an "escape" is used when it is hard to accept the fact; and to accept the responsibility is contrary to one's wishes and dreams. When "fact" and "justice" are only "by-standers of life", many men will speak of "justice" and "human rights". They may justify themselves by doing "some good deeds" along with their daily routines, continuing their business and living their happy life without disturbances! When "fact" and "justice" are "concurrent with life", they are used as a capital, a tool, a fame, a rank, a job and a license for living. People not only speak of justice, but consider themselves righteous and wish to serve others.
BUT when "truth clashes with one's daily life", then the supporter of the truth and justice is going to be in trouble and in danger ... He has to shoulder a very heavy responsibility, find his way through the dark and stormy night and face all the hazards and pitfalls. The farther he goes in this way, the fewer his companions become until he is left with a few friends or none at all! He has to leave behind whatever and whoever is an obstacle in his way, especially those who live in thF darkness of oppression and are used to it.
Almighty Allah is ordering you to sacrifice your life and your love and to go on; but evil temptations force you to stay and follow them How? - By the explanations! That is, by making alterations In your faith in order to cope with worldly demands. As such you will not be accused of being an unbeliever or rebellious against God and disloyal to people! Here "explanation" means "to certify the false as truth". You may call it whatever you want - a social, moral, scientific, psychological, dialectical or intellectual explanation. What difference does it make? But in Hajj and in the biography of Ibrahim the great who was victorious in all his trials honest, righteous, sincere and struggled in Jihad to defend the "absolute truth", Allah called it - "the evil explanation"! Ibrahim s clear and strong wisdom was weakened by these questions - How do I know? How can it be? I only heard this message in my "dream", he said. Satan strengthened the "love for his son" in his heart and made him rationalize a means of "escape"! This was the first time, the First Jamarah and he refused to sacrifice his son!
Ibrahim "you must sacrifice your son"! The message was clearer. This created struggle inside the great hero of human history. Because of Satan's temptation, he felt doubt, fear and weakness. He was defeated in the conflict between Allah and Satan. In the depth of human nature there exists a contradiction between love and wisdom, life and faith,for one's self or for God
... This is the nature of man - a phenomenon between human and animal, nature and God, instinct and wisdom, heaven and earth, this world and the hereafter, love for one's self and love for God, reality and truth satisfaction and perfection, being and becoming, slavery and freedom, carelessness and responsibility, belief and disbelief, for "me" and for "us" and finally the one "who is" and one "who should
It was the second day. Ibrahim weighed his love for Ismail against his responsibility to Allah. Ismail's life was in danger. Satan attempted to deceive Ibrahim just as he persuaded "Adam to eat from the "forbidden fruit" in the Garden! As any man with dialectic potentials - mud and the spirit of God - Ibrahim was in doubt whether he should choose his "son" or the "message".
Quran XCI: 8
And inspired it (with consciousness) what is wrong for it and right for it.
Oh Prophet of God, the message is your responsibility!
Oh Prophet of God, do you want to remain a father to your son?
Do I have to sacrifice Ismail with my own hands?
Yes! I must sacrifice my son for the cause of Allah.
Emotional obligations are the least important when compared to my ideology.
Shall I remain the father of Ismail or carry on the message?
Satan tried again: "But I hear this message in my dream; how could it be real?" And this was the second time he refused to sacrlfice his son Ibrahim, SACRIFICE YOUR SON ISMAIL. This time the message was so clear that it was difficult to rationalize by any type of "explanation". He had no choice; the call was as plain as black and white. Satan, with all his intelligence and skill, could not do anything to change it. Denying the message would be obeying Satan. He was at the edge of a very deep valley; should he fall off. Should Ibrahim, who destroyed the idols, was a great prophet founded Islam, led the Umma (nation) ..., fall from the glorious height of tawheed to the depth of the valley of disbelief ... Not disbelief, but belief in many gods and worshipping others along with God! ! !
The Quran describes Ibrahim standing in Mina, facing Allah and Satan. He can not side with both and he can not ignore them. What a fearful story - "man" the representative of God who can act similar to God to do almost anything he wants and rule the whole world here is so weak and disabled! He has the spirit of God, yet he has weakness.
Quran IV: 28
For man was created weak.
In this world, no one is safe from falling. Like a child who has just learned to walk, you must be careful not to fall! Had not the last prophet of God been careful, he would have fallen and he would no longer have been innocent.
Quran XXXIX: 65
If thou ascribe a partner to Allah thy work will fail and thou indeed wilt be among the losers.
At the end of his life, Ibrahim, the father of the great prophets of Islam, the most exalted by human spirit and God's love, was led to the edge of this pitfall because of "his natural love for Ismail". After belng a righteous and true believer for a hundred years, Ibrahim was about to be cheated by Satan.
Ibrahim, "there is no choice for you", Allah and Satan are at your right and left. Which one are you going to choose?!? Now there is no doubt about the message. The searcher of truth hardly makes a mistake just as the honeybee finds his hive in the dark, in the storm in the desert or on the distant mountain. No, Ibrahim who lived a long and trustworthy life was not going to be cheated by Satan! Accepting the message was like jumping into a fire; and Satan, the enemy, was trying to put it out. You can not tell an enemy from a friend by what he does; this judgment should not be based on self interest.
It was obvious what Ibrahim had to do. His previous doubts stemmed from the extreme love he had for Ismail. The poor, old father desperately waited for a son for many years. It was painful, very painful! Oh, such a fearful tragedy! Ibrahim's responsibility was beyond the tolerance of an old and lonely father who had to sacrifice his son. It would have been much easier had Ibrahim been sacrificed by Ismail. Easy and joyful, but no - the young Ismail to die and the old father to survive, lonely and sad ... with his old and bloody hands!
When Ibrahim thought about the message, he was absolutely obedient, but when he thought of sacrificing Ismail, he felt an untolerable pain, breaking his bone and leaving a sad expression on his face. Satan who saw Ibrahim in such a miserable state, tried to cheat him again! Satan is the enemy of man! Wherever and whomever there is a sign of fear, weakness, doubt, jealousy, desparity, stupidity and even love, he appears to do his evll job. He entertains and keeps you from your duties so that the truth of the message will not be realized.
Quran VIII: 28
Even the love for your son is a way of "testing" you!.
The love of Ismail was a test for Ibrahim; this was his only weakness when he was confronted by Eblis (Satan). Ibrahim knew it was a clear revelation and that he had to sacrifice his son. He was sad and broken hearted. This is how Satan had the oportunity to deceive him. Taking advantage of the situation, Satan appeared before Ibrahim and whispered the same thing-"I heard this message in my dream". "No, that is enough, that is enough", Ibrahim said to himself! He made his decision and his choice was obvious - "absolute freedom of obedience to Allah" (i.e. to sacrifice Ismail). This was the last obstacle in the way of his freedom. Ibrahim decided to share the message with Ismail, so he called him. Ismail came and his father looked at him from his head to his toe. He was a victim and such a great sacrifice.
|Re: Story needed|
|02/22/01 at 18:42:14|
|Asalaamu Alaikum ;-)|
[quote]Brothers and Sisters, the Ismail of Ibrahim was his son. But you, who is your Ismail? What is it?
Your degree ? Your reputation ? Your position ? Your money ? Your home ? Your car ? Your beloved ? Your family ? Your knowledge ? Your title ? Your dress ? Your fame ? Your soul ? Your spirituality ? Your Beauty ?
Your strength ? Your career ? [/quote]
Thought provoking questions
I remember hearing someone say to me, or maybe I read it somewhere that Ibrahim(as) was asked to sacrifice that which he loved most and upon reflection he chose his son.
Anyone know if this is just nonsense or is there any substance to it?
|Re: Story needed|
|02/22/01 at 19:48:28|
|The Prophet sallallahu alaihi wa sallam said|
"The best of humanity are the Prophets and then those who are most like them."
One of the characteristics possessed by the Prophets & Messengers that gave them this honoured status was their willingness to make personal sacrifices for the sake of Allah alone. At this time of Hajj however, one story stands clear above all others, and that is the story of
the Prophet Ibrahim and Allah's command to him to sacrifice his son.
Ibrahim alaihis-salaam was one of the Greatest Messengers of Allah - indeed he is described in the Qur'an as a "nation unto himself" because
he possessed all good and righteous qualities. Throughout his life, he stood up against tyranny and the worship of false gods. The sacrifices
he made were great and even at a youthful age his father disowned him when he rejected the worship of idols; his tribe cast him into a fire because he called people to worship Allah alone, yet he stood firm and unwavering in his duty to call to the worship of Allah alone.
As Ibrahim grew older, his desire to have a son grew stronger. The now old Prophet Ibrahim desperately longed for a son but his wife Sarah was barren. "O my Lord! Grant me a righteous son!" (37:100) was his call.
Then against every expectation, Allah responded to this du'a "so we gave him the good news of a forbearing boy" (37:101).
For Ibrahim, Ismail was not just a son for a sonless father, he was the end of a life of waiting, the fruit of his life, the hope after
despair and the young boy of an old father.
But Allah was to test Ibrahim once again: he had a vision in which he was commanded by Allah to slaughter his only son!
It is not possible to convey in words what it must have meant for Ibrahim to be commanded by Allah to sacrifice his only son Ismail. How
could Ibrahim take his beloved son, the joy of his heart, and hold him on the ground, put a knife to his throat and kill him ?
Yet Ibrahim stood firm and prepared to sacrifice his son.
Allah on that occasion spared Ibrahim the distress of killing his son and replaced him with a sheep. It had been a test for Ibrahim: was his
heart attached closer to Allah or Ismail?
Such a story should make us reflect upon how much we are prepared to sacrifice for Allah. We are not commanded to sacrifice our children, yet
do we take 20 mins out of our day to offer the five prayers that Allah has enjoined upon us? Do we take an hour a week to attend a talk or a
study circle where we can learn more about our religion?
History books are filled with the names of many people who sacrificed much to please Allah. Abu Huraira used to describe the poverty he lived
in in his quest to learn Islam from the Prophet Muhammad. He describes how he would sometimes lie faint on the floor of the masjid out of extreme hunger with stones tied tight to his stomach to ease the pains. He spoke of how he used to stop a person to ask about an ayah of the Qur'an, fully knowing what it meant, but hoping that he would just be invited to eat.
But, how are we in our quest to learn more about Allah's religion, even though Allah has blessed us with plush homes, plentiful food and caring
friends and family? Do we show thanks to Allah for his blessings by sending money to our poverty-stricken brothers & sisters around the world?
Muslims today number over 1 billion, yet our nation seems to face humiliation & defeat wherever we look, be it Palestine, Kashmir,
Chechnya or even in the far reaches of China. The lesson for us is that our strength does not come from our huge numbers, rather it comes from
the quality of people we have. The humiliation we face is due to our own sins and not due to the strength of those against us, and we can only
remove this by returning to the religion of Allah and all of us making our own sacrifices along the way, whether that be with our time or our wealth or more than that.
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