Recently Muslims celebrated `Idul-Adha, the festival of sacrifice and remembered the way of Ibrahim (peace be upon him).
The stories of Abraham are shared by Muslims, Christians and Jews. We are all encouraged to follow Abraham’s way of trust and reliance in God, obedience and patience. The Qur’an tells us, ‘And when his son (Ishmael) 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?’ (Ishmael) said: ‘O Father! Do as you have been commanded, God willing, you will find me to be from the patient ones.’
This story does not only teach us trust, reliance, obedience and patience but also how to communicate with our children in exercising our authority. Abraham could have dragged Ishmael off into the hills or somehow lured him there before over powering him for the sacrifice. Abraham’s approach could help many parents overcome communication and compliance problems with children. Abraham lovingly called his son, explained his dream and then asked him what he thought about it. The response was total compliance as Ishmael had been given a chance to have a say in the matter. It was not a one sided affair as many parents resort to when seeking compliance from children. This mostly leads to non-compliance and communication breakdowns.
Dear God, as we remember Abraham and his family we pray that you bless all parents and children with good understanding between them. As we enjoy our own children, we pray for families where relationships are strained. We ask You to bring back happiness and joy to their lives, amin.