"Allah is the Protecting Guardian of those who believe. He bringeth them out of darkness into light." — Holy Qur'an 2:257
Idd-ul-Adha: The Greatest Sacrifice of Hazrat Ismail (a.s.)
Ya Ali Madad and Idd Mubark. On the occasion of Idd-ul-Adha, may Allah grant material, spiritual and intellectual happiness to Muslims all over the world, and to all those who have submitted their wills to He Who is Above All Else. Ameen.
Let us reflect on the three sacrifices of Hazrat Ismai'il (a.s).
Wisdom of Sa'y: "Sa'y means to struggle, run, endeavour, achieve. Hazrat Ibrahim (a.s.) and Hazrat Isma'il (a.s.) were the two examples of the Imam and his heir. When Hazrat Isma'il (a.s.) was given the Supreme Name (bol or Ism-i-azam), he progressed in it and when he started to run with his father in spirituality, i.e. when the dhikr became automatic (ajampiya jamp) and the chain of Israfili and Izra'ili miracles started, Hazrat Ibrahim (a.s.) said to him: O my son, I saw in a (luminous) dream that I was sacrificing you. " (See verse 37:100).
In addition to its meaning of "running " in the physical world Sa'y (running), also applies in the stages of spirituality (in the spiritual world) and in the ranks of intellectuality (in the luminous world), by which is meant to advance with the speed of lightning. Here the secret that Hazrat Isma'il (a.s.) was sacrificed in three ways is surprising and worth pondering:
Thus, it should be remembered that Hazrat Isma'il's (a.s.) first sacrifice was in the form of a (luminous) dream, the second in wakefulness and the third in spirituality, which was the greatest one."
- Firstly, in the dream which Hazrat Ibrahim (a.s.) mentioned. It is very probable that Hazrat Isma'il (a.s.) had seen himself being sacrificed (dhabih).
- Secondly, his external and physical sacrifice which God accepted and by His mercy resurrected him. It is on the basis of this kind of sacrifice that he is called Dhabihu'llah.
- Thirdly, the great sacrifice (dhibhin 'azim), which was the sacrifice of his spiritual death.(Source: Psalms of Lovers, pp.80-81)
There is a ray of golden light in understanding the concept of spiritual death for people who are on the path of tariqat and haqiqat. This can be described as follows:
"The Wise Qur'an is the Book of heavenly and Divine wisdom, in which all the injunctions which are apparent are for all, the common as well as the chosen people, but the injunctions which are hidden in wisdom-filled allusions are only for the chosen, as God says; "On no soul does God place a burden greater than it can bear." (2:286). Thus, the Holy Qur'an indicates to the people of tariqat and haqiqat that they should experience spiritual death before the physical death and become enriched with the everlasting wealth of knowledge and recognition."(Source: Manifestations of Wisdom, p.27)
Therefore, in my opinion, the clearest and the greatest lesson from Hazrat Ismail's (a.s.) sacrifice can be described as follows:
Each one of us has to the sacrifice nafs-i amara (the commanding soul) with the practice of dhikr and bandagi so the doors to the spiritual and luminous worlds open up. Real success lies in making the inward journey from the physical world through the spiritual and luminous worlds into the world of oneness. This path also leads to the creation of Sunshine in one's heart.
May our beloved NOOR Mowlana Hazar Imam grant you, your family, your Jamat and the worldwide Jamat luminous (noorani) and spiritual (ruhani) ta'id (help) to advance materially, spiritually and intellectually, and may he grant you Sunshine in your heart and bestow upon you the inner vision of the Truth. Ameen.
Peace, barakat, light, tayid, and a 'golden noorani didar',
Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2006