Once upon a time in a far off land lived a pious man named Abraham. He believed in one true God and worshiped Him day and night. One day when Abraham was asleep, he saw a dream, a strange and terrible dream, which made him shiver. When he woke up, he became very anxious but did not find the courage to share his dream with others. The next night when Abraham went to sleep again, he saw the same dreadful dream. This time he became more worried than before but still he could not decide whether to tell anyone of his odd dream or not. The third night, Abraham woke up again terrified by the same horrible dream. He thought in mind that this recurring dream must be true and thus decided to tell his young son Ismail about it as this strange dream was related to his beloved son. He called Ismail and told him that he had seen a very dreadful dream. Ismail became worried on seeing his father’s fright and inquired him about the dream. Abraham told his son that he saw he was carrying a knife in his dream and was slaughtering Ismail with it for Allah’s sake. On hearing his father’s words, Ismail became quiet for some time and then asked his father what did he think of this dream? Abraham told his son that had been seeing this dream for three continuous nights, but would leave the decision to his son. To Abraham’s surprise, Ismail, upon hearing it, persuaded his father to fulfill Allah’s desire without any hesitation. Abraham complied with his son’s wish and started preparing for the sacrifice. He covered his eyes with a piece of cloth so he could not see his son dying. When Abraham was about to sacrifice his son in the name of Allah, he heard the voice of an angel descended upon Earth with a lamb. He told Abraham that his sacrifice had been accepted by Allah Almighty blessing him and his family with great honor.
Dear Kids! Do you know who was this blessed man and why was he shown this dream by Allah Almighty? This religious man is our dear prophet Abraham (A.S). He (A.S) is shown this dream by Allah Almighty to inform the whole world and the generations to come about the real meaning of sacrifice. Sacrifice means to surrender one’s needs and desires for someone else’s sake. An individual has to submit all his personal wants and wishes for the greater cause and the greater good. Through this sacrifice of Abraham (A.S), Allah wants to tell His believers and followers that they have to put aside their own wishes and desires to fulfill Allah’s commands. This sacrifice teaches us that we always have to put Allah’s desires ahead of our own.
In order to commemorate this sacrifice of Abraham (A.S), Muslims, all around the world, offer the sacrifice of sheep, lambs, goats and camels every year on 10th of Zil-Haj. This day is celebrated by the name of Eid-ul-Adha where animals are sacrificed and their meat is distributed among the poor. It not only reminds us of the great sacrifice of Abraham (A.S) but also tells us to follow in his footsteps to be a pious and devout Muslim.
Dear Kids! Hope you have enjoyed the story behind Eid ul-Adha and understood the real meaning of sacrifice. May Allah Almighty guide us towards the right path. Amen!