Monday, 28 December 2009

The Sacrifice of an Israelite

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

The Festival of Sacrifice, ‘Iyd al-Adhha’ is a major event in Islam.  The entire hajj is the Sunnah of Abraham (a.s.).  Abraham (a.s.) is viewed by the Jews as the Patriarch of their people.  There was once an ascetic of Bani Isra’il who had been devoted to God’s worship for four hundred years.  Once, he addressed God as such, “O my Lord!  If You had not Created all these mountains, Your humble servants would have travelled the whole world to see Your wonders.”

The prophet of the time was Commanded by God to go and say to the ascetic, “It is not your business to interfere in Our Kingdom.  And since you had the audacity to challenge Our Will, We have Struck your name from the Book of the Blessed and Entered it into the Book of the Cursed.”

Hearing this, the ascetic felt overjoyed and prostrated on the ground in gratitude.

“What is the occasion of thanksgiving on being condemned?” asked the prophet of God.

He replied, “My jubilation is not because I am condemned, but because my name is at least in the Books of my Lord.  But I have a request to make.”

“What is it?” asked the prophet.

He said, “Please make my body so large that the whole of Hell is filled by me and there is no room for anybody else left except in Paradise.”

The Answer from God was, “The trial you went through was not intended to condemn you, but to announce to the world that you and those recommended by you shall find a place in Paradise.”


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