The Philosophy of Sacrifice/Qurbani
The celebrations in Islam are not only for enjoyment and recreation, but in fact, in the background and depth of it, there is a great hidden message. And only if we act upon it then the real spirit of the Eid and the occasion is manifested. And if the message is not made the real objective of our life then the real attribute of the occasion and day will be lost. It can also not be named as Islamic Eid or occasion because it will then be considered only a tradition which is carried out everywhere and in all nations.
However, Islam does not encourage the traditions and customs, and also there is no reward in performing them. Islamic way of life (Shari’ah) has given a new direction to the occasions of happiness and sadness which is different from the common worldly traditions and customs; and its end point is connected with Allah Almighty which is the real spirit of Islam. Every Muslim should make it his aim to achieve it and live his life according to it. The people who think that it is just enough to enjoy the happy moments or be sad over the tragic events and remain absorbed in; they do not know the real characteristic of Islamic way of life (Shari’ah) or they intentionally deviate from the Islamic instructions that is a crime and a reason leads to huge sin.
In this light, Eid-Ul-Adha is a great celebration from among the two celebrations of Islam, we should ponder over it, and make the message and instruction that we get from it a part of our life. If we adapt our days and nights according to its message then we will get the benefits and also expect to get the reward in the hereafter.
If we reflect on the philosophy of sacrifice/Qurbani then we will realize that sacrifice is not only a worship but it reminds us of a great event of love, sacrifice and respect in which Khalil Ullah and Zabeeh Ullah presented a great instance; and Allah Almighty made sacrifice mandatory for all the Muslim Ummah in response to their sacrifice. Doctor Allama Iqbal (May Allah Please with Him) has stated the following beautiful words about the philosophy of sacrifice,
‘Poor and simple and colourful is the tale of sanctuary (harem)
The extreme/end is Hussain and the beginning is Ismael
If we contemplate, then we will realize that it is true that the Qurbani/Sacrifice that was started by the forefather of the Holy Prophet (Peace and Blessings be upon Him), Hazrat Ibrahim (Peace be Upon Him) its completion was made by Hazrat Imam Hussain (May Allah Please with Him). Therefore, in the Islamic calendar we see that the first month ‘Muharram’ and the last month ‘Dhul Hijjah’ are both months of sacrifice/Qurbani which seems that from beginning of year till the end the Muslims are instructed to be patient and show their feelings of sacrifice.
(Extract from a Lecture of Sayyidi Sultan Ul Awliyaa Shaykh Muhammad Mohsin Munawar Yousafi)