The Eid-ul-Adha is not a celebration like any other. It is not a celebration of joy and rejoicing like Eid-ul-Fitr. On the contrary, it marks the spirit of sacrifice of Hadhrat Ibrahim (as), the great prophet, ancestor of our beloved Prophet Hadhrat Muhammad (pbuh).
This great sacrifice was perpetuated to serve as a lesson to humanity. Everyone knows this story. I myself have delivered several sermons on the story of Hadhrat Ibrahim (as) and his son, Hadhrat Ishmael (as). Read the sermons I have delivered in previous years on the occasion of Eid-ul-Adha; I don’t have to come back to the same topic again.
What we don’t know and what we need to know is the lesson to be learned, especially from this sacrifice. Without this particular sacrifice, Hadhrat Ibrahim (as) could not have established himself as the Comrade of Allah (Khalilullah). Imagine yourselves; after having become a father at an advanced age when you had no children, after having made many supplications (duahs) to Allah (swt) to give you a child, an heir of your own seed, and behold! When Allah (swt) grants you this child, and where He accepts your invocations, He now tests you to know how much love you have for Him… Is the love that you have for this child stronger than your love for Allah? So He tests you in this way.