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Allah favours those who abide by His Commands

Muslims worldwide celebrate Eid al-Adha to revive the Sunnah of Ibrahim and Ismail (as). It has important lessons for today in the holy land of Palestine, especially in Gaza.

Two billion Muslims celebrate Eid al Adha as part of the sunnah of Prophet Ibrahim (as) in his submission to Allah’s command to sacrifice his son Ismail (as).

Allah did not want human sacrifice; it was a test for Ibrahim and Ismail (as).

What we are doing today is not just a ritual but an intimate part of prophetic history that we see being relived in Palestine today.

We will discuss the details shortly.

First, however, let us recall that all of our ibadaat are our creaturely attitude to Allah.

These consist of several parts:

1: Ma‘arifah (awareness) of Allah (swt);

2: The acts of ibadaah that we perform are meant to express our gratitude to Allah for all His blessings;

3: The tests from Allah to determine the level of our Imaan.

This is the most difficult part.

In His infinite mercy, Allah (swt) has provided us guidance through revelation.

He has also revealed Himself to us through His attributes in the noble Qur’an.

Left to his own devices, man (the generic ‘man’ meaning both men and women) is incapable of distinguishing right from wrong.

If we look around the world, we see death and destruction wrought upon innocent men, women and children in Ghazzah by people that have abandoned Allah and His laws.

How ironic that al-Ard al Muqaddas–the holy land—is drenched in the blood of innocent children and women.

By latest count, 37,500 have been killed and 85,000 injured.

At least 15,000 children, perhaps more, are among the dead.

How could a land that is blessed by Allah (barakna haw lahoo, in the words of the noble Qur’an) be engulfed in such heart-wrenching suffering and killings, especially by people who claim be descendants of Ibrahim (as)?

To understand this, let us recall what Allah (swt) said to Ibrahim (as) after he fulfilled numerous trials and tribulations.

The trials and tribulations included being thrown into the fire (but saved through Allah’s miracle); exiled from his place of birth; granted a son (Ismail) at a very old age but then Allah asked him to leave the mother and child in the barren valley of Makkah.

When they ran out of their meagre provisions, the child was dying of thirst but Allah sprang water through the spring of Zam Zam to save both.

When the child (Ismail) grew up to be a few years old, Ibrahim (as) had a vision that he was sacrificing his son.

This he understood to be a command from Allah.

The father and son willingly surrendered to this divine command.

After fulfilling all these tests, Allah (swt) gave Ibrahim (as) the glad tidings of being appointed the Imam (leader) of all mankind (2:124).

Ibrahim (as) took nothing for granted.

He asked Allah whether his progeny were included in this honour?

The divine response is very instructive: “My Covenant does not include those who perpetrate dhulm on earth.”

Those who claim to be descendants of Ibrahim (as) through his son Is’haq and his son Yaqub (hence their designation as Bani Israel), are in violation of Allah’s commands by perpetrating dhulm on a horrific scale.

Allah categorically excluded them from His covenant: La yanalo ahd-e dhalimeen! (2:124).

After these extremely challenging tests, Ibrahim and Ismail (as) built the Ka‘aba that today is the centre of focus for more than two billion Muslims.

Ibrahim (as) built it as a place of worship and prayed to Allah to make it an abode of peace for those who believe in Allah and the Day of Judgement;

رَبِّ اجْعَلْ هَٰذَا بَلَدًا آمِنًا وَارْزُقْ أَهْلَهُ مِنَ الثَّمَرَاتِ مَنْ آمَنَ مِنْهُمْ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ (Al-Qur’an: 2:126).

He did not build it to claim exclusive right to it or possession of it.

He built it for the benefit all of humanity.

If you want to see the contemporary equivalent of Ibrahim, Ismail and Hajr (as), you will find them among the Palestinians, in the holy land.

And you can also see the ungrateful, rebellious people in the holy land: the illegal zionist usurpers.

Let us recall what Allah says about these people in the noble Qur’an:

“Because of this We ordained for the [legalistic] Children of Israel that if anyone kills a human being—unless it be punishment for murder or spreading corruption in the land—it shall be as though he had killed all mankind…” ((The Ascendant Qur’anSurah al-Ma’ida: 32).

This was revealed after the Bani Israel were rescued from the Pharaoh’s army and taken safely across the Red Sea into the Sinai Peninsula.

Once out of harm’s way, Allah commanded them to enter Palestine.

They flatly refused and said to Musa (as), “You and your God go into Palestine; we will stay put here until those people (the Palestinians) are out of there.”

Allah punished them by making them wander in the desert for 40 years.

The descendants of those people are today laying claim to the holy land.

What have they done to deserve such favour?

These corrupters and rejectors of Allah’s commands are perpetrating a genocide of the original inhabitants of Palestine.

They have murdered more than 37,000 people.

In Allah’s words, this is like killing the whole of humanity 37,000 times over!

We need to consider our responsibility in this situation.

While we cannot help our brothers, sisters and children in Palestine by being there with them physically, we can help in other ways.

We can donate to get food, water and medicines to them.

Every bit counts; big or small.

We must speak out on their behalf.

Millions of students at university campuses are doing precisely that.

We must walk for them by participating in rallies.

And finally, we must remember them in our du‘as.

That is the least we can do.

Our Palestinian brothers and sisters and children have shown us what true Imaan is.

They have shown what it means to make a sacrifice for the sake of Allah that Ibrahim and Ismail (as) made, which we are celebrating today.

We must rise to the occasion; we must become the generation that brings about change in the world for the betterment of all humanity.

Do not wait for others; you have the capacity to do good.

May Allah’s peace, blessings and mercy be upon you all.

Zafar Bangash