'We Ransomed Him with a Great Sacrifice'

  • Publish date:27/09/2014
  • Section:Highlights
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The Messengers and Prophets of Allah The Exalted are the best of creatures. Allah The Exalted chose them and rendered them role models for us to follow on their footsteps. Among the Prophets who were mentioned many times in the Noble Quran is Ibraaheem  may  Allah  exalt  his  mention. He is the father of all the Prophets, the Imam (leader) of monotheists and the intimate friend of Allah The Exalted, which is the highest level of love.

Allah The Almighty has pointed out some of the incidents in the life of Ibraaheem  may  Allah  exalt  his  mention in the Noble Quran. Furthermore, his call for the Haneefiyyah (true belief) and the Oneness of Allah The Exalted, facing his people, suffering from a great deal of harm and rejection and finally declaring his disassociation from Shirk (associationism) and its people, even if they were his family and kin. Allah The Exalted highly praised him in the verse (what means): {And [of] Ibraaheem (Abraham), who duly fulfilled [his obligations]} [Quran 53:37]

Furthermore, Allah The Almighty Says (what means): {Indeed, Ibraaheem was a [comprehensive] leader…} [Quran 16:120]

The life of Ibraaheem  may  Allah  exalt  his  mention is rich in the incidents that one can look up to and imitate. We shall elaborate on one of these incidents that indicate his perfect submission to Allah The Exalted and his steadfastness in facing the tests and trials he was put to.

As soon as Ibraaheem  may  Allah  exalt  his  mention enjoined his father and his people to worship Allah The Exalted Alone without any partners, they constructed for him a furnace and threw him into the burning fire. However, Allah The Exalted rescued him from their evil scheme and rendered them the most debased. Then, the story of Ibraaheem  may  Allah  exalt  his  mention that is a series of trials, took another turn. Ibraaheem  may  Allah  exalt  his  mention abandoned his people leaving his father, family, home and everything he owned behind only for the Sake of Allah The Almighty. He declared his absolute submission to Allah The Exalted firmly believing that He would guide him and grant him success. Allah The Almighty Says (what means): {And [then] he said, "Indeed, I will go to [where I am ordered by] my Lord; He will Guide me.”} [Quran 37:99]

Ibraaheem  may  Allah  exalt  his  mention was lonely as he did not have any children [yet], so he supplicated Allah The Exalted to grant him a son. Allah The Almighty Says (what means): {“My Lord, Grant me [a child] from among the righteous."} [Quran 37:100]

Allah The Exalted fulfilled his supplication and Ibraaheem  may  Allah  exalt  his  mention was given good tidings of a forbearing boy; Ismaa‘eel  may  Allah  exalt  his  mention.

One can imagine how happy such an old and lonely man, who had left his people and family, would be with that child! Old as Ibraaheem  may  Allah  exalt  his  mention was, Allah The Exalted bestowed upon him the blessing of fatherhood. He was given Ismaa‘eel  may  Allah  exalt  his  mention. Soon, that obedient son grew up just as his father’s deep love for him. When Ismaa‘eel  may  Allah  exalt  his  mention was old enough to accompany his father, he started helping his father out in his affairs. The old father did not get the chance to enjoy the company of his precious son and aspire goodness for him, when he saw in a dream that he was slaughtering his own son!

Here comes the plain and hard test, or as Allah The Exalted named it “the clear trial.”

What a grave and burdensome matter! How hard is it for a father to take the life of his own son! He was not even asked to allow his son to join the army and fight for the Cause of Allah The Exalted, or to assign a hazardous job for him that would cause his death. Instead, he was ordered to slaughter his beloved son with his own hands. Ibraaheem  may  Allah  exalt  his  mention did not even hesitate or delay fulfilling the order of Allah The Almighty. He fully and submissively adhered to the order with no anger, resentment or indignation. Ibraaheem  may  Allah  exalt  his  mention told his dutiful son about his dream so as to make it easier for his dear son to accept it and also to test his patience. The well-behaved son replied as Allah The Almighty Says (what means): {…He said, "O my father, do as you are commanded. You will find me, if Allah wills, of the steadfast."} [Quran 37:102]

When the critical moment came, and Ibraaheem took his son, may Allah exalt their mention, and positioned him on the ground with his face down, Ismaa‘eel  may  Allah  exalt  his  mention kept still and they both showed their sincere submission,  satisfaction and trust in Allah The Almighty. Allah The Almighty Says (what means): {And when they had both submitted and he put him down upon his forehead.} [Quran 37:103]

Ismaa‘eel  may  Allah  exalt  his  mention was about to be slaughtered by his own father, yet he was obedient to Allah The Exalted and of course to his father as well. The righteous father and son obediently carried out the order of Allah The Exalted. Indeed, Allah The Almighty does not want to torture His slaves with misfortunes that befall them, in fact, He wants to test the firmness of their faith, patience and trust in Him. In the case of Ibraaheem and Ismaa‘eel, may Allah exalt their mention, they passed the hard trial, the aim behind it was successfully achieved and the vision was fulfilled. Allah The Almighty called upon His dutiful slave Saying (what means): {We called to him, “O Ibraaheem, you have fulfilled the vision." Indeed, We thus reward the doers of good.} [Quran 37:104-106]

Due to the fact that Ibraaheem  may  Allah  exalt  his  mention was willing to sacrifice the most precious thing a man owns i.e. his own son, Allah The Exalted ransomed him with a great sacrifice i.e. a ram, and preserved goodly remembrance for him among the coming generations. Furthermore, Allah The Almighty gave him good tidings that he would have another child i.e. Is-haaq  may  Allah  exalt  his  mention and that he would be among the Messengers of Allah The Almighty. Allah The Almighty Says (what means): {And We ransomed him with a great sacrifice. And We perpetuated (praise/favorable mention) to him among the later generations.} [Quran 37:107-108]

From that day on, offering a sacrificial animal for Allah The Exalted has become a voluntary act of worship for all people to imitate Ibraaheem  may  Allah  exalt  his  mention and follow on his footsteps. Moreover, Allah The Almighty has commemorated the great story of Ibraaheem and Ismaa‘eel, may Allah exalt their mention, in His Book to demonstrate the essence of faith and the fruits of obedience and submission to Allah The Exalted. Thus, the whole nation of Islam would know who Ibraaheem  may  Allah  exalt  his  mention whom they imitate and whom they have inherited his heritage and beliefs, is. The Muslim Nation would know for sure that Islam is the only religion that all the Messengers of Allah The Exalted came with, and comprehend that the essence of Islam is absolute and unconditioned submission to Allah The Almighty and His injunctions with no hesitation or delay, even if they were against one’s own desires.

One should believe that Allah The Exalted does not try His slaves to torture them or to hurt them, in fact, the aim of such tests and trials is to make them come to Allah The Exalted submissively and with no delay and without putting anyone or anything before Him.

If Allah The Exalted were to see this full submission in one’s heart and know His slave's sincere willingness to please him, He shall exempt him from sacrifices and pain and reward him for that [as if he had undergone them] and shall honor him just like He honored Ibraaheem  may  Allah  exalt  his  mention before.

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