the grace of Allah Almighty, the Muslim World is celebrating Eidul Adha
(Tobaski) in the coming days and here in The Gambia we are celebrating on
Monday 12th September 2016. The Eid-ul-Adha reminds us of the sacrifice of the
tenderest sentiments of mankind – the sacrifice of one’s offspring which is the
hardest of all. Majority of people, rather more will be found to be sacrificing
themselves for the good and benefit of their children. The sentiment
constituting our solicitude for our offspring has prevailed in the human race
regardless of time, place, colour and creed. Eid-ul-Adha therefore points
towards sacrifice of the strongest and most universal of sentiments of
humankind when thousands of years ago Allah Almighty commanded Prophet
Abrahamas to sacrifice his eldest son Hadhrat Ishmaelas for His sake. Hadhrat
Abrahamas was unmindful of his own feelings and those of his wife Hagaras due
to the immense love he had for his Lord and Creator. The huge lesson here for
us is the unity in the family which, if adhered to, can prevent all sorts of
domestic conflicts. The unequivocal obedience, humility and steadfastness that
was shown by Hadhrat Hagar and her child in the barren land of Mecca for many
years in the absence of Hadhrat Abrahamas is unparalleled.
Muslims all around the world commemorate this great sacrifice spiritually and symbolically every year. Our frequent chanting of “Allah-o-Akbar” in Eid prayers is a sign of our glorification of the sacrifice of Hadhrat Abrahamas and is a verbal admission on our part that in his sacrifice we have witnessed the glory and greatness of Allah Almighty. Islam is pre-eminently a religion of self-sacrifice. It means the sacrificing of oneself to Allah Almighty—perfect obedience. It also means peace, meaning thereby that perfect peace can be attained only by a true spirit of self-sacrifice and obedience, a practical proof of our love and devotion towards Allah Almighty.
Many occasions come and go in our lives and their significances are little pondered over by the majority. Be they religious, cultural, national or tribal, they all mark some sort of significance and cause us to reflect on a certain event or events which represent some importance in the lives of the people concerned. But, as pointed out by the Holy Qur’an, it is not the outward act the mere form of which is the real object when we slaughter the animals on the morning of Eid-ul-Adha, it says: Their flesh reaches not Allah, nor does their blood, but it is your righteousness that reaches Him. (Ch.22:V.38).
Anything material is not needed by nor acceptable to Allah Almighty. It is only a symbol of our readiness to lay down our lives and all in the cause of truth. It is for this reason that the one who offers the sacrifice, while slaying the animal, is required to say: “In the name of Allah, Allah is the Greatest.” The size and cost of the animal should not distract us from our true purpose which is the fear of Allah Almighty. True Islam requires us to sacrifice everything in the way of Allah Almighty as our beloved, the Holy Prophet Muhammadsaw did throughout his life and which is testified to by Allah Almighty Himself who commanded him thus: Say, ‘My prayer and my sacrifice and my life and my death are (all) for Allah, the Lord the worlds’ (Ch.6:V.163).
But it is a matter of extreme sorrow and grief that some people are not aware of these hidden verities of the teachings of the Noble Holy Quran, and they do not follow this exhortation. To them, Eid means no more than the putting on of new clothes and eating and drinking plentifully along with their family, relatives and friends. On the extreme contrary, we should reflect on our inner conditions and try by all means to reform ourselves.
My dear compatriots, this month is the last of our year according to the Islamic calendar and almost coming to the end in the solar calendar which both require sacrifices from us for the sake of Allah Almighty. We should know therefore, that the sacrifice of the soul is real and always on-going and the sacrifices of sheep and animals are like shadows and symbols which do not reach Allah Almighty unless and until our inner souls realise and practise the true sacrifice.
Whereas great emphasis has been placed on worship and sacrifice during this period, there is also the requirement to be mindful of the poor and needy. We should not stop at merely feeding them on Eid Day. We should not break the ties with the less fortunate but rather we should assess their needs from time to time and continue to help them whenever we can. In as much as we fulfil those rights due to Allah Almighty, we should always be cautious of those rights due to our fellow beings as well, for these two work hand in hand in attaining the true spirit of worship. We should be mindful of our worship, particularly the five daily prayers no matter how busy our schedules may be in preparation for the highly awaited Eid-ul-Adha.
We take pride in the peace and harmony of our beloved country, but we should also remember our fellow Muslim brothers and sisters and humanity at large who are less fortunate than us. Muslim countries are fighting and killing one another and inflicting suffering on their fellow Muslims unjustifiably even on days like this. These actions are completely contrary to the blessed words and practices of the Holy Prophet Muhammadsaw that a true Muslim is one through whose hands and tongue other peace loving people are safe. These acts in fact fall under the lowest standards of basic morality. The Promised Messiah and Imam Mahdias the founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at says: “Moral values are the ladder to all progress. God Almighty never wastes the faith of a person who acts kindly towards others. When a person does a deed for winning the pleasure of God Almighty and deals with his weak brother with compassion, then that person’s sincerity strengthens his faith. But it should be remembered that moral values displayed as a show off are not regarded as values by God Almighty and in the absence of sincerity, they serve no use” ((Malfoozat, Vol.7 pp 281- 282).
I hereby convey to you the Salaam, Prayers and Eid Mubarak of the Supreme and Spiritual Head of the Worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at, His Holiness Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (may Allah strengthen him). He is always praying for the peace, security and stability of our dear and beloved motherland and the entire humanity. On behalf of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at The Gambia, I convey to you all my deepest and warmest Eid Mubarak.
May Allah Almighty make the Eid a source of peace and unity for the entire Muslim Ummah. May He establish in our hearts the love and desire to wholly submit to Him and selflessly serve His creation. May we witness many more Eids in peace, security and harmony in The Gambia and all over the World under His divine protection and compassion. Ameen.
Baba F. Trawally