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One of the most important lessons we need to learn from Eid ul Adha is that the meat of the animals we sacrifice and their blood does not mean anything to Allaah. What He wants to get out of it is the piety that results from our obedience to His directives and the directives of His Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم regarding the 'eid and other divine injunctions. So, as we celebrate this 'eid, let us remember our obligations to worship Allaah accordingly and follow the Sunnah of His beloved Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم in all our endeavors. 

The animals we slaughter do not find it easy when we slaughter them. As we obey Allaah by slaughtering them; they also obey Allaah by submitting themselves for the sacrifice. I once read a hadith reported Jundub ibn Junaadah رضي الله عنه where the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم was reported to have said that Allaah would deal with everyone justly on the Day of Judgment. He will not be unjust to anyone. Even the horned animals that attacked another animal unjustly in this world would be given the opportunity to take its revenge before Allaah orders them to turn to sand or dust. There are authentic narrations recorded from Abu Hurayrah, `Abdullah bin `Amr, and others رضي الله عنهم concerning this.

Indeed, Allaah has created human beings perfectly and gave them honour over and above other creatures. He made animals for us to eat and enjoy. He created the plants and water that we eat and drink. As human beings, we must not take this honour for granted. We must take it to be al-amaanah (trust) that we have taken upon ourselves as Allaah mentioned at the tail end of Suratul Ahzaab (Q33:72). 

There is no gainsaying in the fact that on the Day of judgment, some human beings would be worse than animals because after all, animals would not enter hell and they will not enter Aljannah. On that Day, those who refuse to embrace Islaam, those who deny the Last Day (and many other signs of Allaah) and those who toy with their deen by neglecting the true message of the Qur'an and the Sunnah would prefer to become sand than to enter hell. SubhanaLah! In some very familiar verses of the Qur'an, Allah says;

ذَٰلِكَ الْيَوْمُ الْحَقُّ ۖ فَمَنْ شَاءَ اتَّخَذَ إِلَىٰ رَبِّهِ مَآبًا ;إنَّا أَنْذَرْنَاكُمْ عَذَابًا قَرِيبًا يَوْمَ يَنْظُرُ الْمَرْءُ مَا قَدَّمَتْ يَدَاهُ وَيَقُولُ الْكَافِرُ يَا لَيْتَنِي كُنْتُ تُرَاباً

"That is the True Day; so he who wills may take to his Lord a [way of] return. Indeed, We have warned you of a near punishment on the Day when a man will observe what his hands have put forth and the disbeliever will say, "Oh, I wish that I were dust!" [Q78:39-40]

So, as we celebrate and slaughter these Rams and other animals; we must also sacrifice our bad deeds for good deeds. We should abandon all acts that would make all the animals we slaughter better than us on the Day of Judgment. We must avoid all actions that can put us in the state of wishing that Allaah makes us dust just to escape hell-fire. Of course this wish would not be granted because Allaah سبحانه وتعالى  has promised that hell-fire would be kindled withhuman beings and stones (Q66:6). 

Very importantly, we should use this period of 'eid to further call the non-Muslims in our family, environment and places of work to embrace Islaam and let them know the consequences of dying upon a path other than Islaam. It is not part of the Sunnah to neglect the calling of non-Muslims to Islaam with wisdom and pleasant words. We should not equally relent in our efforts towards calling our Muslim brothers and sisters to the proper 'aqeedah and manhaj. We must keep encouraging goodness and forbid evils. When Ibn Katheer رحمه الله was explaining Verse 40 of Suratun Naba': he said;

"It has been said that he will only wish for that when Allaah passes judgement between all of the animals that were in the worldly life. He will rectify matters between them with His just wisdom that does not wrong anyone. Even the hornless sheep will be allowed to avenge itself against the sheep with horns. Then, when the judgement between them is finished, He (Allah) will say to them (the animals), "Be dust.'' So they will all become dust. Upon witnessing this, the disbeliever will say: Wish that I were dust! meaning, `I wish I was an animal so that I would be returned to dust.'"

We pray Allaah illuminate our mind towards His words and the Sunnah of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم. May Allah spare ourlives to witness many more eid on earth with sound health. May Allah save us from the torments of the hell-fire.

First written on 11th Dhul Hijjah, 1435 AH (6th October, 2014)

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