Around two million Muslims have recently completed their hajj to Makkah. Muslims throughout the world remembered the way of Ibrahim (Abraham) and celebrated `Idul-Adha, the festival of sacrifice.
The story of Abraham is of particular relevance to Muslims, Christians and Jews as they all share it. We are all encouraged to follow Abraham’s way of trust, reliance and patience. The Qur’an tells us, ‘And when his son (Isma`il) was old enough to walk with him, (Abraham) said: ‘O my son! I have seen in a dream that I am slaughtering you as a sacrifice to God, what do you think?’ (Isma`il) said: ‘O Father! Do as you have been commanded, God willing, you will find me to be from the patient ones.’
When Abraham and his son submitted themselves to God’s will and prepared for the sacrifice, in His mercy, God stopped them. They had passed the test.
Our trials are very different today. But we must remember the virtues of facing our difficulties with patience and trust in God.
Abraham prayed to God, ‘O Lord! I have settled my family in a valley with no vegetation, by Your sacred House (the Ka’bah in Makkah); in order that they may offer prayers, so fill some people’s hearts with love towards them, and provide them with fruits so that they may give thanks.’
Abraham is also celebrated by Christians during their season of Advent. Now they prepare for Christmas and its message of peace.
Dear God, as we celebrate our festivals we pray for places where there are tensions and violence.
God as we rejoice and celebrate, we remember people around the world who are unable to do so. We ask you God to remove their pain and suffering and to bring back happiness and joy to their lives, amin.