We are now in the sacred month of Zulhijjah, a time that brings forth the profound theme of ‘Sacrifice’. While the symbolism of Prophet Ibrahim’s (a.s) willingness to sacrifice his son Ismail (a.s) is central, there is another crucial concept that we as Muslims should heed: Tawakkul (trust in God).

The Essence of Tawakkul

Tawakkul is the act of placing complete trust in Allah’s wisdom and plan. It reflects our faith that, regardless of the circumstances, Allah knows what is best for us. Tawakkul involves a surrender of control, allowing our hearts to find peace in the knowledge that Allah’s decree is just and perfect. This trust becomes a source of strength and solace, especially during times of uncertainty and hardship. 

The Quran beautifully encapsulates this in Surah At-Talaq (65:3):

Surah At-Talaq (65:3)

“And He will provide him from (sources) he never could imagine. And whosoever puts his trust in Allah, then He will suffice him.”

The Meaning of Sacrifice

Sacrifice, on the other hand, is the act of giving up something valuable for the sake of Allah. This is beautifully exemplified in the story of Prophet Ibrahim (a.s), who was willing to sacrifice his son Ismail (a.s) in obedience to Allah’s command. His unwavering commitment is commemorated during Eid al-Adha, where Muslims around the world perform the Qurbani (sacrifice) of an animal, symbolizing their readiness to give up worldly attachments for the pleasure of Allah. 

The Quran narrates this profound event in Surah As-Saffat (37:103-105):

Surah As-Saffat (37:103-105)

“Then when they submitted ˹to Allah’s Will˺, and (Prophet) Ibrahim laid him on the side of his forehead ˹for sacrifice˺, We called out to him, “O Ibrahim! You have already fulfilled the vision.” Indeed, this is how We reward the good-doers.

The Interconnection of Tawakkul and Sacrifice

While Tawakkul and sacrifice are distinct, they are deeply intertwined. Sacrifice requires Tawakkul – a profound trust in Allah that our sacrifices, whether physical, emotional, or financial, are recognized and rewarded by Him. It is this trust that enables us to make sacrifices with a willing and open heart. 

In Surah Al-Baqarah (2:286), Allah assures us:

Surah Al-Baqarah (2:286)

“Allah does not require of any soul more than what it can afford. All good will be for its own benefit, and all evil will be to its own loss. ˹The believers pray,˺ “Our Lord! Do not punish us if we forget or make a mistake. Our Lord! Do not place a burden on us like the one you placed on those before us. Our Lord! Do not burden us with what we cannot bear. Pardon us, forgive us, and have mercy on us. You are our ˹only˺ Guardian. So grant us victory over the disbelieving people.””

Embodying Tawakkul and Sacrifice

As we reflect on these concepts during Zulhijjah, let us strive to embody both Tawakkul and sacrifice in our daily lives. By doing so, we can cultivate a deeper connection with Allah and enrich our spiritual journey. 

The Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w) said: “Islam is built upon five pillars: to testify that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah, to establish prayer, to give Zakat, to perform Hajj, and to fast during Ramadan.” (Hadith Narrated by Imam Al-Bukhari)

Let us take this time to renew our commitment to Allah, trusting in His divine wisdom and making sacrifices that draw us closer to Him. In doing so, we not only honor the legacy of Prophet Ibrahim (a.s) but also strengthen our faith and devotion.

May Allah accept our acts of worship, grant us strength in our sacrifices, and deepen our trust in His wisdom. Ameen.