Jamaat Ahmadiyya al Mouslemeen
EID UL ADHA Sermon of Hazrat Amirul Momeneen Zafrullah Domun
06 NOVEMBER 2011
At Bait-ul-Rahma Mosque
Les Guibies, Pailles
After reciting the Tashahhud, the Ta’uz and the first chapter Al Fatiha of the Holy Quran Imam Zafrullah Domun read verses 101-114 of Surah Al Saffat, and then he said:
Today is Eidul Adha, usually known as the festival of sacrifice. This year, alhamdo lillah we have the opportunity to celebrate Eid on the same day that it is being celebrated by the pilgrims in Saudi Arabia. Usually, as I said in my Jummah sermon we, in Mauritius celebrate it after one and sometimes two days. Anyhow I take this opportunity to extend my Eid greetings to you and to all Muslims around the world. As this day brings joy to the heart of a majority of Muslims let us pray and hope that Allah, out of His Mercy enables all of us to be happy. However we cannot forget those who suffer. There are some who suffer because they are poor and they do not have enough to eat or drink or even have a place to sleep. There are also those who may be sick and suffer pain. There may be even others who do not know the love of close family members. There are also those who are old and who do not have anyone to care for them. On this Eid day let us be thankful to Allah for what He has given us but let us not forget those who may be deprived of what we enjoy. Let us remember them in our prayers so that Allah out of His Infinite Mercy may alleviate their pain and deprivation with the means at His disposal. Ameen.
Although this Eid has a very close link to the Hajj which is the fifth pillar of Islam, yet the vast majority of Muslims do not assemble in Mecca for the occasion. According to some recent statistics there are approximately about 1.5 billion Muslims in the world. But for the Hajj there will be about 1.8 million foreigners and about seven to eight hundred thousand Saudis who are participating. In total this figure is approximately one fifth of one per cent of the Muslim population of the whole world. Hence for the majority of Muslims they stay at home and celebrate Eidul Adha by going to the mosque for two rak’at prayers and then by sacrificing an animal or by taking one-seventh participation in the sacrifice of a bigger animal like a camel or a cow or a bull.
As we have repeatedly heard since we were young children the sacrificing of animals on the occasion of Eidul Adha is to remind us of the action of the great Prophet Ibrahim. He had seen in a dream that he was slaughtering his son Ismail whom he got from his wife Hagar in his old age. The Holy Quran speaks of this incident in the verses which I read at the beginning. It says:
“And he prayed “My Lord grant me a righteous son.”So we gave him the glad tidings of a forbearing son.”(37:101-2)
We understand from other sources that although Abraham did not have children for a long time, yet he never despaired of the Mercy of Allah and he continued to pray to Allah. He asked Allah for a son who would be doing virtuous deeds. Eventually Allah answered his prayers and granted him a son which he qualified as “halim”. Among other meanings the word halim means “soft-hearted, kind and magnanimous”. So, that was the innate qualities of the son that Allah gave Abraham in acceptance of his prayers.
In the next verse Allah says
“And when he was old enough to run along with him, he said “O my dear son I have seen in a dream that I offer thee in sacrifice. So consider what thou thinkest of it” He replied “O my father do as thou art commanded; you will find me if Allah pleases among those who are patient.”(37:103).
From this verse we understand that Ismail was quite young when his father asked his opinion about the dream that he had previously seen. He did not arbitrarily impose upon his son that the latter will have to submit to him. He respected his son and he asked his opinion about what he wanted to do. Now we can also appreciate the innate qualities of Hazrat Ismail when he told his father to do what he was told. He did not revolt or object to what his father was telling him. Is he not an exemplary son who could show such submission to the will of his father? To him his father could not do him any wrong. Whatever he would decide would be to his own benefit. So he voluntarily accepted to be slaughtered because he understood there was a command of Allah to that effect. Like father like son as we say. Abraham had understood from his dream that he should slaughter his son and he was ready to do it. He understood that he was given this son by Allah and Allah can do whatever he pleases. Since he was so submissive to Allah he was ready to carry out Allah’s commandment. Both had submitted to this commandment of Allah and they were ready to carry it out as we learn in the next verse: “And when they both submitted and Abraham had thrown him down on his forehead”. Just imagine such a scene. How difficult it was for Abraham to do this. But yet for the love of Allah he was ready to sacrifice his own son which he got late in life. Although we cannot question Abraham’s belief and confidence in Allah, yet we have to admit that it should have been very difficult for him to do that.
We understand from the following verses that Allah was trying him seeing how far he could go in his submission to carry out Allah’s commandments. But, as Allah says in another place in the Holy Quran Abraham waffa meaning that he was true to his promise. This was the man who was ready to sacrifice his son for the love of his God. But Allah also is most generous to those servants who are ready to sacrifice what is most dear to them for Him. So Allah saves such people. In the case of Abraham we learn from the next two verses that Allah says:
We called on him “O Abraham thou hast indeed fulfilled the dream.” Thus do we reward those who do good. That was indeed a manifest trial (37:105-6).
Once Abraham had shown his readiness to sacrifice his son, Allah called upon him to desist from the actual act. Allah tells him that his readiness to fulfill that dream had in fact fulfilled the dream. There was no need to carry out the act in fact. Allah says that it was a great trial in itself. Since Abraham had shown his readiness to carry out such a great sacrifice Allah established a new practice a new sunnat through him. Allah says “And we ransomed him with a mighty sacrifice”. Instead of the sacrifice of a human being Allah gave him a ram to be slaughtered. This practice was followed by generations and generations after him and will continue incha Allah till the end of days. This is how Allah rewards those who do good and He says “And we left for him a good name among the succeeding generations. Peace be upon Abraham !Thus do we reward those who do good”(37:109-11) Thus the practice of sacrificing animals was started through Abraham and although he lived almost more than 4000 years ago we still remember him and what he did. The Holy Quran has preserved his story for all future generations to know and to learn from.
In the remaining verses of this ruku Allah says:
"Surely he was one of our believing servants
And we gave him the glad tidings of Isaac, a prophet and one of the righteous.
And we bestowed blessings on him and on Isaac. And among their progeny are some who do good and others who clearly wrong themselves."(37:112-14).
We see that Allah speaks quite eulogiously of him and how He gave him another son from his first wife and blessed them with His Favours. Isaac was a prophet and among those who did good deeds. But yet after them came another generation from among their descendants. Some did good deeds and others took the wrong path and they wronged their own selves. As a passing remark we may observe here that with the passing of time some of the descendants of even prophets leave the right path as it happened with the descendants of Hazrat Ibrahim as. When one understands how misguidance sets in where previously there was guidance one may easily understand how misguidance can settle itself amongst a people who was properly guided before.
Now one may ask what is it that Allah wished to preserve with the establishment of animal sacrifice as part of the Muslim festivals. Definitely it could not be just the slaughtering of animals per se. As we have said previously Allah says “we ransomed him with a great sacrifice”. Abraham was ready to sacrifice his son. One may say that he was ready to sacrifice what was most precious to him at that moment in his life. So should Muslims be ready to sacrifice what is most precious to them for the sake of Allah. Today Allah is not asking us to sacrifice our sons. Allah wants us to obey his commandments as spelt out in the Holy Quran. What are these commandments? According to some counts there are about 700 of them. But the main ones are that we should not associate anyone with Allah, that we should avoid all major sins like murder, robbery, bribery, adultery, breaking family ties, speaking lies etc. The list is not quite long but well-known. Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad has taken great pains to help all Ahmadi Muslims to understand what is expected of them. He has written many books but in his book “Noah’s Ark” he has made it very clear what Allah wants Ahmadis to do. Several times in his malfuzaat he has also spoken lengthily about the innate qualities of Hazrat Ibrahim in order to impress upon his followers how important this readiness to submit to Allah should be copied. Unfortunately we know that these days those who have the reins of his Jamaat temporarily in their hands have ignored his teachings and are trying to replace them by their own. Eidul Adha comes once every year to remind us that Muslims should always be ever ready to develop a faith in Allah like that of Hazrat Ibrahim. First of all Muslims should never allow shirk to find its place amongst them. Under no circumstance they should ever consider any one or any system above Allah. Once a system is forcing the people to do things that Allah has forbidden or to stop doing what Allah has prescribed that system is evil because it wants to take Allah’s place in people’s heart.
Allah never ceases to try his dear ones. He says in the Holy Quran: “Do men think that they will be left alone because they say, ‘We believe,’ and that they will not be tested? And We did test those who were before them. So Allah will surely distinguish those who are truthful and He will surely distinguish the liars from the truthful.”(29:3-4)
So Allah keeps putting His People to trial. This is the way the sincere are distinguished from those who are not. Through the trial that Allah has imposed upon Jamaat Ahmadiyya mainstream many have already failed. They stuck to the letter of texts but they failed to grasp the essence. Members of Jamaat Ahmadiyya mainstream should have been a model of behavior for all other Muslims to follow. In fact many times they have even made this claim. But when Allah tried them, most have shown how they are not sincere with Allah as they declared. They have not dared to show their insincerity through arguments but like misguided and leaderless Muslims they have shown it by their capacity to hate and to spread hate within society. Allah tried them so that they might show their sincerity like Hazrat Ibrahim as but the majority amongst them have shown their insincerity by allowing the dirtiness and ugliness buried deep in their heart to surface. In other words when Allah has sent to them some of His representatives like the people of old the majority have rejected these people because they believed erroneously that they (mainstream Ahmadis) are better than them. Thus despite their many declarations to the contrary mainstream Ahmadi Muslims have shown that they are as prejudiced and evil minded and ignorant of the true teachings of Allah as the bulk of people are. What a pitiable situation!
You will see many amongst them will slaughter many animals on this Eid day but they will allow their animal self to manifest itself freely on every occasion. Thus, unfortunately many have still to learn what it means to slaughter an animal in commemoration of the sacrifice of Ibrahim. I will end with this quotation from Hazrat Masih Maood as which will help all of us to think about the real meaning of sacrifice. In the “Revealed Sermon” he said:
'O! Servants of Allah, ponder over this day of yours, the day of Adha (lambs sacrificed in the morning); for in it are put secrets for the intelligent;…And, certainly, in our religion, this action is counted as one of those that draw one near to Allah, to Whom be praise. And this is understood to be the riding beast which resembles the lightning in its speed and brightness. And it is for this reason that the animals to be sacrificed are called Qurbani (from Qurb meaning nearness); as it has been said that all those who perform it sincerely and devotedly and faithfully see more of Allah and become nearer to Him. And, surely, this is one of the greatest virtues (Nusuk) of the Shariah; and that is why it has been called Nasikat (sacrifice). And Nusuk in the Arabic language means obedience and worship and this word is also used in the sense of slaughtering these animals. So this community of meaning proves conclusively that the true worshipper is he who kills his self and its faculties and all his beloved ones simply to please his Lord, the Creator and Sustainer. And the strong winds of nothingness blow over him and his very atoms are carried away by the violent gusts of this storm. And he who ponders over these two common meanings of the word Nusuk and studies this point with a thoughtful mind and with his eyes open, will not have the least doubt and hesitation to admit that it points to the fact that the worship which saves one from eternal loss is the killing of the Nafs-e-Ammara (the uncontrollable spirit or the spirit prone to evil). It should be stabbed at the throat with the spears of Inqita‘ (cutting away of all connections and turning towards God) towards Allah, the Benefactor, the Governor, and the Powerful. And the various kinds of bitterness involved therein should be borne patiently so that the soul be saved from the death of inexperience, negligence and forgetfulness. And this is what Islam really means and herein lies the true realisation of complete submission and obedience. And a Muslim is he who bows down his neck before Allah, the Creator and Sustainer of all the worlds. And for Him he sacrifices the she camel of his self and throws her down on her forehead, and he does not forget his own death at any moment”.
This is only an extract from a very long revealed sermon. One may read about it at www.alislam.org. Let us hope and pray that Allah keep all of us on the right path and He keeps our children and their children and all their coming generations on the right path. May He enable us and the coming generations to develop the faith of Abraham of Ismail and of Hagar in us. May He help us to be the real standard bearers of the teachings of Islam in our daily lives. May He enable us to have the faith that will allow us to make all the necessary sacrifices that may be demanded from us incha Allah. Eid Mubarak to All once more.