What Can I Sacrifice?
The Hajj season is here: May we all make an intention to complete Hajj this year and may our intention be accepted, Amin.
Dhul Hijja culminates in the sacrifice or “Qurban ”, commemorating Hazrati Ibrahim AS total submission to Allah SWT and sacrificing his first born son Hazreti Ismail AS. Additionally it shows the total submission and sacrifice that Ismail AS showed in agreeing to and even encouraging his father to fulfill the commands of Allah SWT. These two images show in one event the holy relationship between Allah SWT and his holy Prophets as well as the echo of that relationship between a Sheykh and his murids.
Submission is a lifelong process and everyone struggles with it. The example of Ibrahim AS and Ismail AS is an endless inspiration to imitate their submission. Tarikat is a special path that elaborates on these images of submission and sacrifice: it demands that you discover yourself by agreeing to obliterate your idea of yourself. It can feel scary, but it’s something that must come about eventually if we want to achieve the control of our egos and rise to higher stations with the permission and blessings of our Sheykh.
Though we will never reach the station of Ismail AS in his submission, it is incumbent on us to try and imitate that willingness to cease being “ourselves” according to our understanding in exchange for our spiritual selves. We also cannot comprehend the level of submission and duty of Ibrahim AS, but we can see the echo of that in the duty given to our Sheykhs: the difficult job of having to bear the truth about us, to us, with love and discipline. This is not an easy task: the ego refuses and lashes out when confronted, or lives entrenched in angry denial that is so stubborn to shatter. Our Sheykhs stand firm in the firing line of the lower beasts within us, often enduring rebelliousness and abuse. Still our blessed murshids carry on in the tradition of telling hard truths that breaks our egos but heals our hearts, wrapped in the mission of the Holy Prophet AS, to save our souls. May we be ready to sacrifice for the sake of our Sheykhs, the Holy Prophet AS and the most supreme pleasure of Allah SWT, Amin.