This week (October 13, 2013) Muslims will celebrate Eid Al-Adha, one of two major annual major eid festivals. Otherwise knows as the Festival of the Sacrifice, it is a time when Muslims reflect on prophet Abraham and the sacrifice he was willing to make for Allah, that of sacrificing his only son. Fortunately, God provided a sacrifice at the last moment and spared Abraham's son.
Sadly, Muslims miss the most significant meaning of this festival.
You see, this celebration is not simply about honoring Abraham's submission and obedience to God. It goes much deeper. The symbolism is much more dramatic than Muslims realize or care to acknowledge.
Abraham was asked by God to sacrifice his most prized possession, his first and only son, at least according to Islamic tradition. Isaac had not yet been born; Muslims believe it was Ishmael in view in this story, though he is not named in the Qur'an. At that time, and even so today still, a man's son was his progeny, his offspring through whom the family name and bloodline would continue. God asked Abraham to sacrifice something very dear and valuable to him - his only son!
We must ask Muslims the following question: Why did God demand such a sacrifice from Abraham? Why would God require Abraham to sacrifice something so dear and special to him? When pressed, a Muslim will admit that Abraham was so devoted to God and loved God so much, he would be willing to do anything for God, even sacrifice his only son if required. Abraham loved God so much, he would give his only son for God! Even Wikipedia says, "Abraham had shown that his love for God superseded all others."
How much does God love you, my Muslim friend, and how has he demonstrated His love? Would God require of Abraham something God himself would be unwilling or unable to do? Can Abraham do something God cannot do? Of course not! So if the test of Abraham's love for God is his willingness to sacrifice his only son, there is only one way God can demonstrate his love for you! And you will not find the answer in the Qur'an. You will find the answer to that question only in the Bible.
"But God demonstrated His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." - Romans 5:8
Eid Al-Adha is a reminder that Abraham loved God so much, he would sacrifice his son for God. Abraham's story is a precursor to another time, future to Abraham, but in the past for us today, when another Father would sacrifice His son to show his love for all mankind.
Prophet Yahya (John the Baptist) said when he saw Jesus, "Behold, the lamb of God which takes away the sin of the world."
Have you acknowledged God's sacrifice for you?