Islamic history tells us an interesting story of sacrifice, faithfulness and patience. It’s a story that has become so familiar with us yet so relevant. It’s the unique story of the Prophet Ibrahim /Abraham sacrificing his son, Ishmaeel (May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon them both). It’s a story that keeps inspiring millions throughout the universe.

History tells us that the Prophet Ibrahim lived for many years without a child. He was afraid of dying childless. He prayed to Allah to bless him with a child. Faced with that difficulty, he married his maid Hajar (May Allah have mercy on her). Through that marriage, they had a son and named him, Ishmaeel. The Prophet Ibrahim loved Ishmaeel dearly. As his love for his child grew deeper on daily basis, Allah our Sublime Creator decided to put him into test.


Allah the all Magnificent asked the Prophet Ibrahim to sacrifice his lovely child for His sake. The command came in the form of a dream. The Prophet Ibrahim agreed to the command of Allah. This is an exhibition of a high and pure level of faith. There was however a challenge. The Prophet Ibrahim couldn’t have sacrificed the child without his agreement. He consulted the child and without thinking twice, the obedient child Ishmaeel is, obliged. He further gave his father hope and conviction in carrying out the command of Allah by telling the father not to fear as he Ishmaeel is going to be patient whilst he is been sacrificed. The Prophet Ibrahim got ready to sacrifice Ishmaeel. Just as he was on the verge of putting the very sharpened knife on the throat of Ishmaeel, Allah the Beneficent, the Merciful, called him and asked him to stop. He told him he has passed the test and gave him a big, fat sheep as a ransom. Thereafter we Muslims are asked to yearly emulate this action.

There are many lessons we can learn from this story of a faithful father and a patient son :

Firstly, the story tells us the rewards and benefits a person gets when he/she obeys the commands of Allah. The Prophets Ibrahim and Ishmaeel in obeying and being faithful to Allah ended up receiving bountiful rewards from Allah beyond their expectations. Not only were they ransomed with a big, fat ram, Allah equally made their names to become household names from their day till the day of resurrection. Allah has also ensured that their story has remained in history books for all generations and they will be permanent role models in this world and the hereafter. Similarly, their act of sacrificing the ram is a practice we’ve emulated and are practicing. So therefore as a people, we must all strive our possible best to obey the commands of Allah and receive His bountiful blessings. When we obey the commands of Allah, Allah will alleviate our problems for us and open for us doors of golden opportunities from sources we never expected.

Secondly, their story tells us that no one is free from the test of Allah. The Prophet Ibrahim until that difficult test was very faithful and obedient to Allah. However, that didn’t prevent Allah from putting him into test. The challenge for us shouldn’t be the test and it’s nature but rather how we’ll struggle with all our possible best to pass that test or trial. Those trials can be a doorway for numerous blessings on us. That’s why we must avoid the habit of questioning Allah when He puts us into test. They may be difficult test as in the case of the prophets Ibrahim and Ishmaeel but we must remain faithful and patient. The test that Allah puts us through be it in our lives, wealth, marriages, education, fame, power etc must not be used as an excuse to disobey the commands of Allah. The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is reported to have once said that, “If Allah loves a person, He puts him into trials”.

Thirdly, the story illustrates to us the relevance of dialogue and consultations. When the Prophet Ibrahim received the command from Allah, he neither coerced nor forced Ishmaeel to agree to be sacrificed. He consulted Ishmaeel on what Allah commanded him and Ishmaeel gave him an answer that was so pleasing and so faithful. Unfortunately for us, we’re faced with a challenge today where the opinions of children are considered irrelevant even in situations that totally affect them. Our children are dictated to be it in the families or schools (both secular and religious). This situation have made most of our children being timid and fearful. They end up growing into adults and cannot take bold decisions on their own. The situation have made others who either don’t know our values or cherish them to take control of our children and train them how they deem fit. Our children become totally strangers to us and the worse of them become hardened criminals.

Finally, the story tells us the unique role of mothers and wives in shaping history. Despite the Prophet Ishmaeel being the only child of Hajar, she was patient enough to obey the command of Allah. She did not wail nor curse her husband for trying to kill her only son. She also didn’t insult or rebuke her son for obeying to her husband’s “mere dream”. She trusted and had faith in Allah and knew that the Allah who gave her Ishmaeel wouldn’t abandon her. Similarly, Sarah who is the stepmother of Ishmaeel didn’t rejoice that the only child of her rival is going to be killed. She didn’t see it as an opportunity to make mockery and fun on Hajar. There was significantly no word of complaint or protestation from either the mother of Ishmaeel, Hajar or his stepmother, Sarah (May Allah have mercy on both of them). They both stood by their husband and supported him to carry out a very difficult test. As a family we need to emulate this unique behaviour from a unique family.

This is the end of my little piece on this great day of EID UL ADHA, 12th of September, 2016(CE). I will like on behalf of myself, my two mothers and my entire family, wish each and every person who reads this piece, Eid Mubarak. May Allah bless this day for us and accept our sacrifices. May Allah forgive us our sins and make us to die in a state that he is well pleased with us. May Allah forgive our righteous predecessors who passed away and admit them into Jannah.

Whatever that I’ve written that are correct and right, I praise Allah for that. Whatever that I’ve written that are mistakes or errors or misjudgements or outright sins, I pray for Allah’s forgiveness and all those mistakes I mine. May the Peace and Blessings of Allah be Upon the Last and Final Prophet and Messenger of Allah, Muhammad, His Family, Companions and all righteous souls till the day of judgement).

Fuseini Abdul-Fatawu


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