Eid ul-Adha (‘Festival of Sacrifice’) is one of the most important festivals in the Muslim calendar. The festival remembers the prophet Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son when God ordered him to.
It was a test from Allah, as Prophet Ibrahim a.s have been the most obedient his whole life. However, he had no child. Parenthood and love of children can be the most difficult test of character, so Allah gave him Ismai’il a.s. at old age from his marriage to Hajar, his second wife.
As a reminder that he must not love his wife and child more than Allah, he was instructed to leave them in the middle of the desert. He obeyed with sadness and faith that Allah will protect them both. Hajar ran seven times between hills to find water before Isma’il found the Zamzam well. The place soon flourished and become the city of Mecca nowadays.
However, the second test is much more difficult as this will guarantee death to his child.
Ibrahim a.s. had a dream which was a message from Allah asking him to sacrifice his son Isma’il as an act of obedience to God. Ibrahim a.s. asked his son of his opinion on the dream, and Isma’il agreed to be sacrificed. Ibrahim a.s. was so sad as he loved his son so much.
On their way to the slaughtering, the Devil tempted Ibrahim by saying he should disobey Allah and spare his son. This led to Ibrahim stoning the Devil with pebbles to kill the temptation and avoid any change of heart. Later, as Ibrahim was about to kill his son, Allah stopped him and gave him a lamb to sacrifice instead. Ibrahim and Ismail were so happy they praise Allah by saying Takbeer.