Sunday, 5 October 2014

Abraham (a.s.), the Friend of Allah (s.w.t.)

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

The following is adapted from the text of the ‘Iyd al-Adhha sermon by Mawlana Waffie Mohammed on the 05th October 2014.

Today is the day of sacrifice.  It commemorates the great sacrifice of Abraham (a.s.), as he was inspired to sacrifice his only son, Ishmael (a.s.), because of what he saw in a vision.  He told his son:


Then when (the son) reached (the age of) (serious) work with him, he said, “O my son!  I see in vision that I offer thee in sacrifice: now see what is thy view!”  (The son) said, “O my father!  Do as thou art Commanded: thou will find me, if Allah so wills, one practicing patience and constancy!” (Surah asw-Swaffat:102)

Abraham (a.s.) was prepared to do anything to please his Lord, as Allah (s.w.t.) Tells us in the Qur’an that Abraham (a.s.) became His friend due to devotion and submission.  His entire life did he dedicated to Allah (s.w.t.).  He declared the following:


… “Truly, my prayer and my service of sacrifice, my life and my death are (all) for Allah, the Cherisher of the Worlds.” (Surah al-An’am:162)

Because of his conviction that there is only one Creator of the skies and the earth, and that no creature could ever be like the Creator, he was prepared live a life of submission to the Creator.  About his faith, Allah (s.w.t.) Says:


Who can be better in religion than one who submits his whole self to Allah, does good, and follows the way of Abraham the true in faith?  For Allah did Take Abraham for a friend. (Surah an-Nisa’:125)

The sacrifice which we commemorate today is the climax of his manifestation of sincere appreciation of the Favours of the Lord on him.  Allah (s.w.t.) Tells us in the Qur’an that Abraham (a.s.) is indeed a model for mankind.  He did not preach tribalism or racism; he was neither a Jew nor a Christian, but one who firmly believed that no creature could ever be like the Creator.  Allah (s.w.t.) Says:


Abraham was indeed a model devoutly obedient to Allah, (and) true in faith, and he joined not gods with Allah: He showed his gratitude for the Favours of Allah Who Chose him and Guided him to a straight way.  And We Gave him good in this world, and he will be, in the hereafter, in the ranks of the righteous. (Surah an-Nahl:122)

As a model for mankind, we know the following from Abraham’s (a.s.) life.  He was very obedient to the Commands of Allah (s.w.t.); he took his wife and only son to the barren wilderness of Makkah and left them there alone as Commanded.  He prayed to Allah (s.w.t.) and was certain that his Lord would Take Care of them.  His prayer was:


“O our Lord!  I have made some of my offspring to dwell in a valley without cultivation, by Thy Sacred House; in order, O our Lord, that they may establish regular prayer: so Fill the hearts of some among men with love towards them, and feed them with fruits: so that they may give thanks.” (Surah Ibrahim:37)

When his only son became a teenager, Abraham (a.s.) was Ordered to sacrifice him.  This, he willingly undertook.  Allah (s.w.t.) Says:


Then when (the son) reached (the age of) (serious) work with him, he said, “O my son!  I see in vision that I offer thee in sacrifice: now see what is thy view!”  (The son) said, “O my father!  Do as thou art Commanded: thou will find me, if Allah so wills, one practicing patience and constancy!” (Surah asw-Swaffat:102)

He was firm in his belief that creatures cannot help anyone.  It is only the Creator Who Helps.  Allah (s.w.t.) Says:


Behold, he said to his father, :O my father!  Why worship that which heareth not and seeth not, and can profit thee nothing?” (Surah Maryam:42)

He was firm in his belief that there is only one Creator of the entire universe.  Abraham (a.s.) was always grateful for Allah’s (s.w.t.) Mercies on him and his family.  Allah (s.w.t.) Says:


He showed his gratitude for the Favours of Allah Who Chose him and Guided him to a straight way. (Surah an-Nahl:121)

Abraham (a.s.) submitted completely to Allah (s.w.t.).  He prayed as follows:


… “Truly, my prayer and my service of sacrifice, my life and my death are (all) for Allah, the Cherisher of the Worlds.” (Surah al-An’am:162)

He knew how to persevere with patience.  He preferred the fire than to compromise with the people regarding their practice of idol worshipping.  He prayed patiently for a righteous son who would be willing to carry on his mission.  Because he was so strong in faith, Allah (s.w.t.) Says about him:


Who can be better in religion than one who submits his whole self to Allah, does good, and follows the way of Abraham the true in faith?  For Allah did Take Abraham for a friend. (Surah an-Nisa’:125)

In addition to knowing about the life of Abraham (a.s.), Muslims are Commanded to perform the hajj; and sacrifice an animal.  Allah (s.w.t.) Says:


And complete the hajj or ‘umrah in the service of Allah... (Surah al-Baqarah:196)

And:


The sacrificial camels we have made for you as among the Symbols from Allah: in them is (much) good for you: then pronounce the Name of Allah over them as they line up (for sacrifice): when they are down on their sides (after slaughter), eat ye thereof, and feed such as (beg not but) live in contentment, and such as beg with due humility: thus have we made animals subject to you, that ye may be grateful.  It is not their meat nor their blood that reaches Allah: it is your piety that reaches Him... (Surah al-Hajj:37)

As we remember today, the dedication, humility and willingness to submit to Allah (s.w.t.) by Abraham (a.s.) and his family, let us all silently make a promise to ourselves that we will endeavour to live for the sake of Allah (s.w.t.) and utilise all the gifts He has been Pleased to Bestow on us for earning His Pleasure in this life and a place in the Garden of Bliss in the Hereafter.


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