Pakistan celebrates Eid-ul-Azha today with religious zeal and fervour. Also known as the Muslim “Festival of Sacrifice”, Eid-ul-Azha is celebrated at the end of the Hajj to commemorate and recall Abraham AS’s trials, his love, devotion and obedience to The Creator, his strength and purity of heart and a willingness to make the greatest sacrifice of all.
Sacrifice requires purity of purpose and a profound conviction. While prayer teaches us spirituality, sacrifice teaches us commitment. Sacrificing an animal started from the times of prophet Adam AS when his sons were asked to offer sacrifice. While the sacrifice of one son was accepted, the other son’s was not, because his intentions were not pure. The Qur’an tells us about this incidence in Surah Al-Ma’eda, 5/27. The true spirit of sacrifice is to yield to the will of The Creator, to approach His blessings and attain His pleasure by sacrificing out of the countless blessings He has bestowed upon us.
Muslims all over the globe are going through gruelling and difficult times.
If we look at Libya there is devastation, destruction and chaos all around.
Iraq is besieged by sectarian violence, suicide bombings and massacres. Balkanization is in process!
Presently in Palestine, there is a temporary silence on atrocities and undeclared siege under the cloak of “victorious agreement” just waiting for the next trigging effect!
Sudan is overwhelmed by droughts, civil war and breakdown. Not even in news!
Syria is beleaguered by the ever growing number of refuges, camps filled with homeless people, cities destroyed and egos of fighting machines intact. Breakdown or breakthrough, confusion all around!
Iran and Saudi Arabia are engaged in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and Pakistan; saving the day with proxy warfares in the name of national interest and religious duty!
Pakistan is home to political crisis, sit-ins, policy blunders, economic deprivation, war of narratives, TTP, Zarb e Azb, IDPs, floods and geo political challenges. A leaderless nation, engaged in battle after battle. Survival mode is on, waiting to bounce back in international arena!
In these interesting times, a sense of helplessness in International affairs and clueless attitude of the Muslim leaders about their domestic issues is creating a vacuum where external enemies are exploiting their weaknesses and internal enemies such as Al Qaida and TTP have become a menace. This is the picture of some of the Muslim Ummah’s prominent players on the world map, while across the globe jubilations of Eid ul Azha, has approached us again.
Over three million Muslims gathered in Islam’s holiest of places and performed Hajj. If not everyone, most of them must be carrying the thoughts and images of prevailing situation back home, images of destruction, devastation, chaos and deprivation, images of crisis and leadership vacuum. Hence, the climax of the Hajj was filled with emotional and spiritual moments. People praying for the betterment of their countries and praying for the betterment of the larger community they are part of, the community they call Ummah.
Pakistan, unlike other Muslim countries is enjoying the status, where on one hand it is facing a political and policy crisis and on the other hand, successfully carrying out a fight against an uncontrollable menace of Al-Qaeda and Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan. For some, it is taken as a nation state with no vision and a state in isolation; for others, it is a “Warrior State”, capable of changing the paradigm of policies of all major stake holders, regionally and globally.
The Eid of Sacrifice in Pakistan, amidst such compelling times, is a reminder to all those who may have lost faith in the ideological grounds and power potential of Pakistan because of a “political crisis show”, which may have over-shadowed every other important issue.
Whether Pakistan’s enemies accept it or not, Pakistan has survived the worst rounds of its current battle. Perhaps it is time to bounce back in the arena of intelligent warfare, with more clarity of vision and its long term targets.
Perhaps, Pakistan’s policy elite should also learn from the spiritual leader of Afghan Taliban. Whether one likes it or not, the figure head of the Afghan Taliban, time and again, sends out a message, which shows the evolution of their language, gestures, policies and strategies. They are determined and look upon their goals with conviction.
It is a duty of clerics and scholars of Pakistan that they play their role reassured their people, their Nation, that they have an important role to play in the resolution of many crisis at home and outside, where outreach of Pakistan is much more influential and effective to countries like India, even in these worst times.
The “Eid of Sacrifice” has many great lessons for us. It is not just a legacy of Prophets or some rituals. In fact, it is a tradition to uphold the beacon of Faith, which gives one hope in the darkest of times. It is a chapter whereby one learns about the submission to Allah’s will, selflessness and steadfastness in the most challenging of times. After all, following the great test of sacrifice, Ibrahim (AS) emerged as a strong character, Ismael (AS) emerged as a leader and from his blood line Muhammad (SAW) took the lead of one of the greatest Nation in the history of mankind.
یہ فیضانِ نظر تھا یا کے مکتب کی کرامت
سکھاے کس نے اسمعیل کو آدابِ فرزندی
Was it book‐lesson, or father’s glance, that taught
The son of Abraham what son should bear?
We should all join in the prayers of over three million Muslims from across the globe, for the betterment of our present and for a long term sustainable policy, driven by the legacy and teachings of Prophet Ibrahim (AS) and Prophet Muhammad (SAW); lessons, which will give us a vision with clarity of the path we have to walk upon and with a strong mind and heart, which will not shatter in the midst of afflictions and tests.