Another year of Islamic history nears its end, with another festive season of pilgrimage and sacrifice. For the 1424th time in a row, a huge procession of Muslims goes to the blessed city to declare their ultimate submission to their Lord, while those left behind join in this declaration of the most honourable submission through the sacrifice of animals. Once again, Muslims are reminded of what it takes to be true to the One. Once again, they are reminded that it is not the blood or the flesh that Allaah requires, but the piety and submission of the heart.
Once again, the entire Muslim Ummah is trained in some of the highest human qualities through some of the greatest acts of worship. Hajj renders all Muslims equals, all the differences of caste, colour, creed, wealth and status are dissolved, and a highly diverse body of individuals is rendered a uniform group, assembled in one place, wearing one uniform, performing a single action for the Only One. It brings home to all the ultimate oneness of their purpose and destiny as well as the need of oneness of action. As long as it is the same Almighty we worship, the same place we ensemble and the same actions we perform, what might cause us to strive for conflicting aims that cause one to harm the other or crush him?
And the sacrifice brings it up to a new level, raising the Muslims from mutual cooperation and unity to mutual sacrifice. Muslims all over the globe relive the moment when our father Ibraaheem offerred his own son for sacrifice, and our Lord accepted it, replacing the son with a lamb. It is a recurring reminder that if one but wills to offer his all to his Lord, the Lord accepts and blesses the sacrifice, meagre though it might be. It reinstates in the Ummah the highest human value of sacrifice – sacrifice for one’s brethren, for the Ummah as a whole and, ultimately and most importantly, for Allah.
And only a fortnight after the departure of this Eid, the first day of the Islamic year, marking the anniversary of the migration of the Prophet, shall dawn upon the Ummah. The recurring events of Hajj, sacrifice, and Hijrah complete the story of the greatest events in human history. With the building of Kaabah, the greatest House for the worship of the Almighty was set up on the surface of the Earth. With the sacrifice of his own son, Ibraaheem (Peace be upon him) laid the foundation of all that is good and noble in humans, and one from the offspring of that son left his own home to build the greatest nation in the name of the Almighty. These events sum up our own duties in life as the Ummah of the greatest Man that ever was. We are entitled the duty of declaring the greatness of our Lord and calling the people and paving before them the way to worship Him alone, to sacrifice our all in His way and for the betterment of Ummah, and to water the nation of Islam with our blood and sweat.
On 14th August, 1947, this golden history was rewritten with the blood of our forefathers, and another nation was built in the name of the Almighty One, to give His creation the freedom and the opportunity to worship Him alone. It is now our duty as Muslims and as Pakistanis to protect this land with our blood, to sacrifice our all to make it a safe haven for its inhabitants. Allah has given our country the honour of being looked upon as the fortress of Islam, and this places upon us the duty of safeguarding it from all evil, external as well as internal.
We congratulate our nation for being the bearers of this light in this age of darkness and wish them a blessed Eid – one that reignites the hearts with the glory of achievements past and present, and warms the blood to sacrifice all to safeguard this hard-earned glory and further build upon it.