EID Al Adha- one of the strongest symbols of obedience is just around the corner. As I write this, millions of our brothers and sisters are fulfilling Hajj, the 5th responsibility of a believer. I hope and pray that we get the opportunity to follow suit very soon.
On the day of EID, we remember the acts of obedience performed by Prophet Ibrahim and his family. God ordered Ibrahim to take his wife Hajar and their son Ismael to an uninhabited, barren, distant land and leave them there alone. He submitted and obeyed. When Hajar realized what was happening, she cried out, “Ibrahim! Are you going to leave us in this valley where no people live?” She repeated the question yet she received no answer, so she asked him, “Did God order you to do this?” He replied, “Yes.”
So she said, “Then God will not let us perish.”
After a while Ismael began to cry due to acute thirst. The worried mother began running all around the place seeking respite. God answers her prayers by making a stream gush out near Ismael’s feet. Till this date, every visitor to the holy mosque in Mecca re- enacts the actions of Hajar. They run between the hills of Safa and Marwa 7 times and then goes on to drink from the wells of Zam Zam. The very spring that had quenched Ismael’s thirst is continuing to soothe the parched throats of believers even today. As I stood at that very spot and moistened my lips with those droplets I imbibed a valuable lesson from Hajar,- If you put your trust in god and strive relentlessly, you will find success at your feet. God honored Hajar by making her an eternal role model of submission. A beacon for millions around the world to draw inspiration from.
Furthermore, when their son Ismael became older, Ibrahim received a command from his Lord to sacrifice him. He submitted and so did his son. The family of Ibrahim was a family of obedience and submission. They were tested and tried again and again, but the result was always submission and obedience.
Eid is an annual reminder that this life is a test and we must be obedient if we wish to be successful. Once a year, believers of every ethnic group, social status, and culture are reminded and given the message: Surrender to God, submit to God. Are we hearing this message?
Just as Prophet Ibrahim was tested throughout his life to see if he would submit or not, so will we be tested to see whether we submit to God’s commands or refuse! Know that toils, struggles, and hardships will accompany our quest to obedience. But if we obey, we will be rewarded with true and eternal success.
Ibrahim submitted, Ismael submitted, Hajar submitted and through their submission they won eternal glory. And now, we must submit. What are we waiting for? This is the message of Hajj; this is the message of `Eid. We have heard the message.
It’s time to submit…