Five days into Eid and I still remember the two pretty white sheep that my brother and his wife sacrificed this time.
They had come to our home almost a year ago. Cuddly little things they were when they first arrived. My nephews and I used to play with them in the garden. In a matter of few months, they had become fully grown sheep. I recall when their wool was shorn and we used to marvel and laugh at how different they looked. Throughout the year, it was actually only a few times that I had spent time with them. And yet, I miss them even when Eid has passed.
Usually, our mind doesn’t wander back to our sacrificial animals so frequently but just those few moments of association had built a bond not to be broken easily. Because humans are made to love and have affection, this is how they’re created.
Imagine if this creation of love and affection is told to sacrifice, not sheep, but his own son. How would he ever relent to that? The bond of humans with their pets is strong. The bond of humans with other fellow humans is stronger. The bond of humans with other people who they know is stronger still. The bond of humans with their relatives is even stronger. And the bond of man with his kids is incomparable to any other bond in this world. This makes the bidding of sacrificing one’s own son seem odd and out of place. And yet, there was this man who not only accepted and obeyed but also did the deed with all his heart in it.
Did he not love his son enough? Yes, he did. Maybe even more than usual. Because his child was not your usual everyday son but one who was obedient and of the best character. Who could help not adoring such a kid, let alone his father?
How could he do this then? Surely, it was because the One who had commanded to do this act was more beloved to this man than any other human on this earth. Most beloved, because that’s how great is the One who told him to sacrifice his own son. So great that he did not have to question. This man knew His Wisdom, His Love, His Mercy, His Greatness surpasses all others. Because He is the Creator of that man and of all mankind.
I wonder if we also know and believe in the Greatness of our Creator, what would we be willing to sacrifice? Would we sacrifice our time, energies, efforts, resources, desires, negative thoughts and lifestyles for Him? But perhaps, we do not know Him truly…