Eid ul Adha has a very special meaning to muslims. It is not just days of celebration where animals are slaughtered and their meats are distributed and enjoyed. It has an inspiring story behind it: the story of love, when Ibrahim had to sacrifice his one-and-only beloved son for the sake of love to Allah.
Below is a passage from an article titled: Significance of Eid al Adha: Abraham’s Sacrifice.
Ismail being the promise of future generations was in some sense the whole world for Ibrahim.
So there was joy and rejoicing in Ibrahim’s house as Ismail was quickly growing under the sun of his father’s love. But Allah decided that it was not to remain so. Ibrahim was to be tried once more. Ibrahim had a vision in which he was commanded by Allah to slaughter his only son.
Why should Ibrahim, whose entire life was devoted to Prophethood, to Jihaad, to removing ignorance, to laying the foundations of tawheed be tried once again?
Is it because man should not rest? Is it because man should not be deceived by 100 years of Jihad and victories? Is it because he should not think of himself without weakness? Is it for the fact that whatever we fix our eyes upon in this world will blind us? And finally, is it because the higher the spiritual height we reach, the greater is the danger of falling?
It is not possible to convey in words what it must have meant for Ibrahim to be commanded by Allah (swt) to sacrifice his only son Ismail. The magnitude of the pain does not allow the imagination to enclose it. It inspires fear and trembling.
How can Ibrahim take his beloved son, the fruit of his life, the joy of his heart, the meaning of his living and staying, his Ismail, and hold him on the ground, put a knife to his throat and kill him?
If it were only the slaughter of Ibrahim at the hand of Ismail, how easy!
But no! The young Ismail must die and the old and aged Ibrahim must remain!
Ibrahim, the steel-like idol-smasher must have felt torn apart!
Within him, there must have been a war, the greatest jihad. Which war? The war between God and Ismail! The difficulty of choice!
Who should Ibrahim choose? Love of God or Love of self? Prophethood or Fatherhood? Loyalty to God or loyalty to family? Faith or Emotion? Truth or Reality? Consciousness or Instinct? Responsibility or Pleasure? Duty or Right? Tawheed (Monotheism) or Shirk (Polytheism)? Advancing or Remaining? To Become or To Be? And finally, God or Ismail?
What should Ibrahim choose?
The story of Abraham’s sacrifice is full of wisdom. Please see the original story.