July 9, 2022
This week, Muslims worldwide celebrate Eid al-Adha, or the Festival of Sacrifice. This holiday commemorates the story of the prophet Ibrahim, visited by Allah in a dream and asked to sacrifice his son Ismail as a sign of his devotion to Allah. He nearly does so, only to be stopped at the last minute with the substitution of a lamb for the boy. In the Koran, Ibrahim and Ismail are both prophets, and Ismail is the forefather of the prophet Muhammad.
The story speaks of a father’s willingness to sacrifice his beloved child to show his devotion to God. Abraham was so devoted to God that he was willing to do this heartbreaking act because God comes first.
I understand the valuable lesson as it’s framed above, and it is a meaningful one. However, I also wonder what other lessons we might get from this story. Are there other insights that might have meaning for us?
How about if we move past the literal choice Ibrahim faced in this story (God or my child?) and instead consider this question – what do we hold so close we leave no room for the holy? What must we release to create that inner spaciousness to find our own connection with the divine? How do we do that?
Let’s take a look at this question tomorrow, as we wish a joyous Eid al-Adha to all who celebrate this festival!
Love to all,