Why do we make Qurbaani?

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Nabi Ebrahim (‘alaihis salaam) was a very great and special Nabi – he was known as ‘Khaleelullah’ which means ‘the special friend of Allah Ta‘ala’.

Nabi Ebrahim (‘alaihis salaam) always wanted to have children, but for years and years and years, he did not have any children. Finally, when Nabi Ebrahim (‘alaihis salaam) had waited for a long, long time, and he was now 86 years old, Allah Ta‘ala blessed him with a beautiful baby boy – Nabi Ismaa‘eel (‘alaihis salaam).

A few years later, when Nabi Ismaa‘eel (‘alaihis salaam) was no longer a small baby, but was now a young boy, running around, playing and helping his father, Nabi Ebrahim (‘alaihis salaam) had a dream. In his dream, he saw that he took a knife, placed it on the throat of his beloved son, Nabi Ismaa‘eel (‘alaihis salaam) and slaughtered him!

Nabi Ebrahim (‘alaihis salaam) knew that the dream of a Prophet is not just a dream – it is a message and a command from Allah Ta‘ala. So, through the dream, Nabi Ebrahim (‘alaihis salaam) knew that Allah Ta‘ala wanted him to slaughter his son. Nabi Ebrahim (‘alaihis salaam) was always ready and happy to do whatever Allah Ta‘ala told him, so he was ready to slaughter his son, even though he loved him so much. But, he wanted to see if his son was also ready to make Allah Ta‘ala happy and do what Allah Ta‘ala told them to do.

Nabi Ebrahim (‘alaihis salaam) went to his son, Nabi Ismaa‘eel (‘alaihis salaam) and told him about the dream. When he heard the dream, Nabi Ismaa‘eel (‘alaihis salaam) immediately said, “O my father! If this is what Allah Ta‘ala wants you to do, then you must do it!”

Nabi Ebrahim (‘alaihis salaam) and Nabi Ismaa‘eel (‘alaihis salaam) started walking together to the place where Nabi Ebrahim (‘alaihis salaam) would slaughter him. But as they were going, Shaitaan came to them! Evil Shaitaan did not want them to make Allah Ta‘ala happy, so he tried to stop Nabi Ebrahim (‘alaihis salaam) from going to slaughter Nabi Ismaa‘eel (‘alaihis salaam). Shaitaan tried three times, but every time, Nabi Ebrahim (‘alaihis salaam) took seven stones and threw them at shaitaan, making him run away. The places where he threw these seven stones are called the jamaraat, and when people go for hajj, they also throw seven stones at these places, to remember Nabi Ebrahim (‘alaihis salaam).

Finally, when they reached the place of slaughter, Nabi Ismaa‘eel (‘alaihis salaam) lay down on the ground. Then, Nabi Ebrahim (‘alaihis salaam) picked up the knife and put it on his throat. He loved his son so much, but he had to listen to Allah Ta‘ala and do what Allah Ta‘ala said. Nabi Ebrahim (‘alaihis salaam) started to press the knife onto the throat of Nabi Ismaa‘eel (‘alaihis salaam), but Allah Ta‘ala stopped the knife from cutting him and he was safe!

Then Allah Ta‘ala told Nabi Ebrahim (‘alaihis salaam) that He did not really want Nabi Ebrahim (‘alaihis salaam) to slaughter his son. Rather, Allah Ta‘ala wanted to test Nabi Ebrahim (‘alaihis salaam) and see if he loved Allah Ta‘ala more or he loved his son more. If he loved Allah Ta‘ala more, then he would listen to Allah Ta‘ala and slaughter his son.

Nabi Ebrahim (‘alaihis salaam) passed the test and showed Allah Ta‘ala that he loved Allah Ta‘ala more than anything else in the world. Allah Ta‘ala was very happy with him and sent a sheep from Jannah to Nabi Ebrahim (‘alaihis salaam). Nabi Ebrahim (‘alaihis salaam) slaughtered the sheep, and that is why every year, Muslims make qurbaani and slaughter animals – so we can remember Nabi Ebrahim (‘alaihis salaam) and how he always listened to Allah Ta‘ala.

Lessons:

1. We must always listen to Allah Ta‘ala and do what Allah Ta‘ala tells us to do.

2. We must love Allah Ta‘ala more than we love anything else.

3. We must not try and copy Nabi Ebrahim (‘alaihis salaam) and slaughter someone, because we are not the Nabi of Allah Ta‘ala. Knives are dangerous, so we must not play with knives.

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