Almighty Allah treats His special and dearly loved people in amazing ways. They have to go through hard tests to prove their deep respect to Allah.
Our holy Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (peace is upon him) said that prophets have to go all the way through testing according to their status.
Hazrat Ibrahim (peace is upon him) was highly honored Prophet and Messenger. He did his best though, his trials were very hard.
Nimrod the ruler claimed himself the God. He was very uncertain within, so worshiped idols that were carved from stones.
Hazrat Ibrahim refused to bow down his head before the stone idols.
Hazrat Ibrahim (peace is upon him) invited Nimrod to believe in oneness of Allah. Hazrat Ibrahim told Nimrod that Allah is the creator of this universe. All praise is to Almighty Allah. It’s only Allah who is to be worshiped.
Hearing this Nimrod got very angry. Nimrod asked his men to throw Hazrat Ibrahim in a fire.
Hazrat Ibrahim (peace is upon him) was saved by Allah’s angels.
The second trial of Hazrat Ibrahim was when almighty Allah asked him to sacrifice his most dear thing in the name of Allah.
This unique example is mentioned in holy Quran.
Hazrat Ibrahim was very old so was his wife. They had no children so they very earnestly had prayed to Allah to give them children. Allah almighty blessed them with a son Ismail (peace is upon him). Ismail was very dear to both parents.
Hazrat Ibrahim (peace is upon him) saw in his dream that Allah is asking him to sacrifice his son, Ismail in the name of Allah. He saw this dream constantly for three nights. The dreams of prophets and messengers are true.
One can easily imagine how difficult it is to sacrifice the child who was born in old age and that too after constant begging and praying Allah.
Hazrat Ismail was just a small child then. A very brave heart was needed to sacrifice such an adorable child. But Allah had asked so there was no way to ignore or disobey.
The problem was not to take life of the child but was necessary to get his say-so too. It was the Prophet’s trial.
Hazrat Ibrahim told his dream to Hazrat Ismail. Hazrat Ismail at once understood so he said: “Father! If Almighty Allah wishes it, then please go ahead. You will find me among the grateful and firm people.”
Hazrat Ibrahim (peace is upon him) embraced his son warmly.
Next day both the brave father and bold son went to a far away mountain. Hazrat Ibrahim lay his son down on a stone.
Hazrat Ismail saw his father’s hand shaking while holding a sharp knife.
Hazrat Ismail (peace is upon him): “Father! Tie my hands and legs first then fasten a cloth and cover your eyes so you don’t see me in pain. May be your hands shake and you fear to do your duty.”
Hazrat Ibrahim (peace is upon him) did the same as Hazrat Ismail suggested him.
Hazrat Ibrahim was just about to cut his son’s throat when Almighty Allah asked him to hold.
Almighty Allah: “O, Ibrahim you have truly proved your obedience. You realized your dream. Though it was very tough trial but you have come out very successfully. Open your eyes and kill the sheep. I have accepted your sacrifice.”
Hazrat Ibrahim (peace is upon him) thanked Allah to see the sheep lying instead of his son on the same stone. He then killed the sheep.
Dear children this was the height of obedience of the great Prophet Hazrat Ibrahim (peace is upon him). It was so much liked by Almighty Allah that it was made the basic part of Hajj. This act of sacrificing sheep, goat, cow or camel is carried out every year on 10th of Zilhajj around the world by all Muslims who can afford. We call this festival of sacrifice and obedience as Baqra Eid or Eid-ul-Azha.
This is mentioned in holy Quran in Soorah As-Saffa’at.
“When my wishes are fulfilled I feel happy,
For this is how I wanted;
When my wishes are unfulfilled I feel happier
For this is how Allah wants.
And what Allah wants for me is better than what I want!”