Holidays become meaningless when their original purpose and
meaning are forgotten. In such instances, the holiday becomes
merely an occasion for festivity and indulgence. So, why do we
celebrate this holy day of `Eid Al-Adha?
The story of `Eid Al-Adha is the story of testing Prophet
Ibrahim’s faith in Allah. Both the Qur'an and the Torah record
the high drama narratives of the story. The Qur'an has recorded
what Prophet Ibrahim said to his son,
(O my son! Surely I have seen in a dream that I should
sacrifice you; consider then what you see.) (As-Saffat 37:102)
(He said: O my father! do what you are commanded; if Allah
please, you will find me of the patient ones.) (As-Saffat
At the last split second, Allah interrupts the sacrificial
process. He, the Exalted, intervenes saying,
(We called unto him: O Abraham! "Thou hast already
fulfilled the vision.) (As-Saffat 37:104-105)
Ibrahim passes the test and a ram was substituted for sacrifice
in place of his son. Thus, the father and the son became role
models for true Muslims; those who fulfill Allah’s will before
their own. Ibrahim, after waiting for so long for an heir promised
by Allah, is now required to sacrifice him. Isma`il, on the other
hand, was asked to make the supreme sacrifice; his own life.
So, the pressing question is: what is the moral and the
significance of the story? The moral of the story is that: Allah
does not demand human sacrifice, but trust and obedience as a
basis for His worship.
The story was about a trial of the will and the faith of both
the father and the son. Ibrahim was tested on the priorities of
his faith, love, and trust. Isma`il was tested for Allah’s
Self- Sacrifice, as a significance of the story, is a meaning
worthy of celebrating in `Eid Al-Adha. Isma`il promised to be
patient if his self-sacrifice was really required.
What does `Eid Al Adha mean to us; Muslims? Like Ibrahim and
Isma`il, we also, their descendants, are to be tested for our
faith and obedience. We qualify by traveling a three-fold path to
peace, faith, and unity. Our pilgrimage is strewn with
temptations, obstacles, and distractions. Our free will is tested
and we must sacrifice to reach our objective of getting closer to
In our lives we strive for getting closer to Allah, and
achieving our goals in tawhid:
First, Muslims must avoid self-indulgence. Our achievement
through our mental faculty must be tempered with piety
(humility) lest our attainment make us arrogant and cause us
to be cut off from the blessing of nearness to Allah.
Second, we must sacrifice worldly pleasures. We should not
let worldly pleasures distract us from the deeper meanings and
noble pursuits in our daily lives especially on this noble
So, `Eid Al Adha is the day of:
1. Self-judgment, whereby we reinforce our faith, and
assess and judge our actions and behavior.
2. Recognition, appreciation, and remembrance.
3. Celebrating Allah’s blessings and the revelation of
4. Reconfirming tawhid and the Oneness of Allah.
Have a happy and blessed `Eid