Salaam dear young friends, and hope you are all hale and hearty. May God Almighty protect you from all calamities and grant you happiness in both the worlds.
Well, two days back on the 9th of Zi’l-Hijjah, most of you might had the chance to participate in the special rituals of the Day of Arafah, when Hajj pilgrims gathered on the plain of the same name, to spend the day in prayers and supplications for developing the proper cognizance of God Almighty, as the Prophets had done, including Abraham and the Father of the human race, Adam.
As you all know, it is a day of great blessing when the Mercy of the All-Merciful God is at its peak, eager to envelope in its affectionate embrace all those beseeching the Lord Most High for forgiveness of sins and faults, however insignificant.
In the Islamic Republic of Iran, mosques, husseiniyas and holy shrines, were crowded to their capacity of the Day of Arafah, as the faithful gathered for the rituals, especially the recitation of the famous supplication taught by the Martyr of Karbala – a supplication that is a treasure trove of moral virtues, self-enlightenment, gratitude to the One and Only Creator for His infinite mercy, and firming of the resolve for promoting and defending in society humanitarian values, even if it means sacrificing one’s own life in the process.
Yes friends, speaking of sacrifice, reminds us of the 10th of Zi’l-Hijjah, the Day of the Feast of Sacrifice (Eid al-Adha) – which was yesterday. The day is celebrated throughout the world by Muslims with the special Eid Prayer as thanksgiving, and often the sacrifice of a ram. This is in memory of Prophet Abraham’s earnest endeavour to sacrifice his young son Ishmael in the way of God, which was accepted in the Divine Court, but with a ram sent miraculously from heaven as substitute for the Patriarch’s son.
The Holy Qur’an informs us in ayah 107 of Surah Saff: "We ransomed him with the Zibhin Azeem (Great Sacrifice)”.
This is a reference to the martyrdom of Imam Husain (AS) in 61 AH (680 AD), in the full limelight of history, in order to salvage Islam and all humanitarian values, since the sacrifice of Ishmael in antiquity would not have served such a perennial purpose.
Now we understand why the faithful recite the special Ziyarah (salutation) for the Martyr of Karbala on the day of the two Eids – al-Fitr and al-Adha.
Do remember us in your prayers and supplications on this day and also tomorrow. Happy Eid al-Adha; God bless you and goodbye, until we meet again next week.