Sacrifice = Role Model

Significance of Sacrifice in Islam

Muslims from all over the world anticipate the annual three-day celebration of a historical event that took place thousands of years ago during the time of Prophet Abraham [pbuh]. This occasion, known as Eid-ul-Adha or the Festival of Sacrifice, is a representation of two significant Islamic events: the culmination of the Hajj (or pilgrimage to the holy city of Makkah, Saudi Arabia), and the sacrifice that God (Allah) commanded to Prophet Abraham of his beloved son, Ismail. Allah says:

الْمَالُ وَالْبَنُونَ زِينَةُ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا ۖ وَالْبَاقِيَاتُ الصَّالِحَاتُ خَيْرٌ عِندَ رَبِّكَ ثَوَابًا وَخَيْرٌ أَمَلًا

“Wealth and children are [but] adornment of the worldly life. But the enduring good deeds are better to your Lord for reward and better for [one’s] hope.” (Surah Al-Kahf 18:46)

Sacrifice is one of the things that correlated with Islam. We are heard many times about sacrifice, which is sometimes, pretty hard to do by anyone. When you sacrifice something, or anything that you like or love, it means that you learn to let it go. No matter how hard you hold and insist, it will (and must) be gone away and there is nothing you can do, except let it go. That is why sincerity is needed in sacrifice. Insha Allah, He will replace it with one better, as we believe Him. Allah says:

فَإِن لَّمْ يَسْتَجِيبُوا لَكَ فَاعْلَمْ أَنَّمَا يَتَّبِعُونَ أَهْوَاءَهُمْ وَمَنْ أَضَلُّ مِمَّنِ اتَّبَعَ هَوَاهُ بِغَيْرِ هُدًى مِّنَ اللَّهِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الظَّالِمِينَ

“But if they do not respond to you – then know that they only follow their (own) desires. And who is more astray and one who follows his desire without guidance from Allah? Indeed, Allah does not guide the wrongdoing people.” (Surah: Al-Qasas 28:50)

When we got some blessing from Allah, it means that Allah wants us to share what we get with other people who may need our help. Perhaps we want it all, and unwillingly to share. But if we find out more, there is their right as much as 2.5 per cent. And we supposedly do not feel heavy to share. Otherwise, it will be granted by Allah with one bigger than we got, and become a more blessing to us. This subtitle means that with sacrifice, we can get a chance for thankful to Allah. We never know how and when we got that chance, although sacrifice is just one of many ways to thank. Allah says:

أَفَرَأَيْتَ مَنِ اتَّخَذَ إِلَٰهَهُ هَوَاهُ وَأَضَلَّهُ اللَّهُ عَلَىٰ عِلْمٍ وَخَتَمَ عَلَىٰ سَمْعِهِ وَقَلْبِهِ وَجَعَلَ عَلَىٰ بَصَرِهِ غِشَاوَةً فَمَن يَهْدِيهِ مِن بَعْدِ اللَّهِ أَفَلَا تَذَكَّرُونَ

“Have you seen (he) who takes (as) his god his desire and Allah let him go astray knowingly, and upon his hearing and his heart and puts over his vision a veil? Then who will guide him after Allah? Then will not you receive admonition?”(Surah Al-Jathiyah 45:23)

A good Muslim is always able to place the unity, interests, and safety of the nation and state as a common interest. He is able and willing to sacrifice for the benefit of society, religion, and country. He will set aside his interests for the benefit of the people. For example, Abu Bakr as-Siddiq willingly surrenders all his property for the glory of Islam. Allah says:

كَلَّا بَلْ تُحِبُّونَ الْعَاجِلَةَ  وَتَذَرُونَ الْآخِرَةَ

“No! But you love the immediate And leave the Hereafter.” (Surah Al-Qiyamah 75:20-21)

So it is with Umar bin Khattab, Uthman ibn Affan, Abdurrahman bin ‘Auf, and so on. They are competing to sacrifice what they have for the common good as if they were fighting over the spoils of Khaimah (wealth taken by force in enemy at war) as in the wars of Uhud. Allah says:

وَلِكُلِّ أُمَّةٍ جَعَلْنَا مَنسَكًا لِّيَذْكُرُوا اسْمَ اللَّهِ عَلَىٰ مَا رَزَقَهُم مِّن بَهِيمَةِ الْأَنْعَامِ فَإِلَٰهُكُمْ إِلَٰهٌ وَاحِدٌ فَلَهُ أَسْلِمُوا وَبَشِّرِ الْمُخْبِتِينَ

“To every people did We appoint rites (of sacrifice) that they might celebrate the name of Allah over the sustenance He gave them from animals (fit for food). But your God is One God: submit then your wills to Him (In Islam): and give thou the good news to those who humble themselves.” (Surah Al-Hajj 22:34)

Indeed, sacrifice is the essence of life and we should leave no stone unturned to sacrifice our money, comfort and time for the sake of Allah. We should make an effort to live true to the expectations of the spirit of sacrifice that the festival of Eid al-Adha stands for.

Here is the importance of sacrifice in Islam:

  1. Sacrifice = Media to Thankful to Allah SWT
  2. Sacrifice = Long-Term Project and Process
  3. Sacrifice = Media to Get Closer to Allah
  4. Sacrifice = Give Opportunity to Others
  5. Sacrifice = Lighten the People Burden
  6. Sacrifice = Cultivating the Concern
  7. Sacrifice = Learn to Feel Enough
  8. Sacrifice = Prioritizing Worship
  9. Sacrifice = Bring Positive Vibe
  10. Sacrifice = Cultivate Empathy
  11. Sacrifice = Life-Lesson
  12. Sacrifice = Surrender
  13. Sacrifice = Sincere
  14. Sacrifice = Control
  15. Sacrifice = Role Model
  16. Sacrifice = Self-Cleaning
  17. Sacrifice = Formula of Glory
  18. Sacrifice = No Expecting Reward
  19. Sacrifice = Implementation of Islam
  20. Sacrifice = Always Help Each Other
  21. Sacrifice = Focus on Common Goal
  22. Sacrifice = Providing Good Guidance

It is very important to understand that the sacrifice itself, as practised by Muslims, has nothing to do with apologizing for our sins or using the blood to wash from sin. This is a misunderstanding by those of previous generations. Sacrifices contribute to the success of our struggle. They strengthen our inner spiritual and moral resources and develop qualities of character which are essential to our struggle at every level of our existence. Allah says:

لَن يَنَالَ اللَّهَ لُحُومُهَا وَلَا دِمَاؤُهَا وَلَٰكِن يَنَالُهُ التَّقْوَىٰ مِنكُمْ كَذَٰلِكَ سَخَّرَهَا لَكُمْ لِتُكَبِّرُوا اللَّهَ عَلَىٰ مَا هَدَاكُمْ وَبَشِّرِ الْمُحْسِنِينَ

“Will not reach Allah their meat and not their blood but reaches Him the piety from you. Thus He subjected them to you so that you may magnify Allah for what He has guided you. And give glad tidings (to) the good-doers.” (Surah Al-Hajj 22:37)

Sometimes, we do not know what happens to our family/friends/people we know; what kind of problem they had; what solution we can give. And sometimes, they need something which we had and love very much, so we are not willing to give them. In this case, we are not only learning how to let something go,  but also learning how to feel what they feel, and give the best solution that we have. That is called empathy. Allah says:

وَفَدَيْنَاهُ بِذِبْحٍ عَظِيمٍ

“And We ransomed him with a sacrifice great.” (Surah As-Saffat 37:107)

When you sacrifice something, it means that you give something. Furthermore, you surrender yourself to Allah about his Qada and Qadar. Nobody knows about their destiny, so our job is to keep believing Allah SWT with obey all of His commandments and stay away from what is prohibited.No one can say it is easy, but there is nothing we cannot do. We just believe that Allah will replace anything that we sacrifice with something equal or more than prior, unexpectedly. Allah says:

قُلْ إِنَّ صَلَاتِي وَنُسُكِي وَمَحْيَايَ وَمَمَاتِي لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ

Say, “Indeed, my prayer, and my rites of sacrifice, and my living, and my dying (are) for Allah, Lord (of) the worlds.” (Surah Al-An`am 6:162)

Sacrifice the thing that you have does not mean allowing something to go. If we see from another perspective, it can be interpreted as throwing something that you never used anymore. For example, if you had a lot of pair of shoes that you never wear again, which is in pretty good condition, you can give them to someone who needs them. We know it will be pretty hard when it started, but when we do it, it will be fun. And it will clean your wealth from something unlawful, because this is a part of zakat, and zakat is not always in money. Allah says:

خُذْ مِنْ أَمْوَالِهِمْ صَدَقَةً تُطَهِّرُهُمْ وَتُزَكِّيهِم بِهَا وَصَلِّ عَلَيْهِمْ إِنَّ صَلَاتَكَ سَكَنٌ لَّهُمْ وَاللَّهُ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ

“Take from their wealth a charity, purifying them and cause them to increase by it, and bless [upon] them. Indeed, your blessings (are a) reassurance for them. And Allah (is) All-Hearer, All-Knower.” (Surah At-Taubah 9:103)

The more often we reach out to lighten others, meaning we are increasingly ‘polishing ourselves’ to become a noble person, which is liked and remembered by the wider community. That means is, sacrifice is the lesson that we never get in school. It is acquired in life, which is always been tested to us, and sometimes we never know whether we passed it out or not; only Allah knows it. But we always had a chance to learn and practice it as long as we live in the world.