Eid ul-Azha (Festival of Sacrifice)
What do we commemorate at this festival? The sacrifice of the son of Ibrahim? But what is the reason for celebrating this?
This son was born to Ibrahim when he was alreay very old. When God told him to sacrifice his son, he obeyed him.
Ibrahim's son asked, "Where is the sacrifice?"
(The reason for sacrifice: Man can only near God through sacrifices. He needs a substitute).
Ibrahim answered, "God will provide." When he began to sacrifice his son, God's angel stopped him and provided a ram in place of his son.
God provided a substitute for his son on this hill, which later became Jerusalem, the place where Hazrat Isa sacrificed his life for our sins. Only his sacrifice could free us from our sins and bring us near to God.
- The reason for sacrifice is forgiveness of sins and entrance into God's presence.
- The sacrifice of animals is imperfect and only a sign pointing towards the perfect sacrifice.
- In al-Masih God provided this perfect sacrifice.