By Arman Neyazi, New Age Islam
17 July 2021
In The Face Of Vanishing Acts Of Sacrifice, Humanity Is Losing The Shine Of Its Ingrained Ethics
1. Sacrifice should be the motto of our life.
2. Spreading selfish desires in absence of a sense of sacrifice are an anti-ethics of the divine-human life.
3. Sacrifice is not only laying down one’s life for someone.
Sacrifice should be the motto of our life but sadly it is not. And it is precisely the reason for spreading selfish desires that are against the ethics of the divine-human life. Sacrifice is on the top of the list that is most undesirable on our ‘to do list'. In addition, more so when it sacrifices what we expect from everybody around us for ourselves.
Sacrifice is usually taken as laying down one’s life for someone. However, it is not so. No sacrifice is small in the world of spiritualism. Sacrificing a second of our time to react in the answer of a ‘Good Morning' to our junior colleagues also bestows Allah’s mercy on us as such a small gesture makes somebody feel wanted and it brings happiness to him, which is a charity like, ‘Sawab e Jariyah’ a continuous blessing for here and hereafter for us. Small acts like, offering a seat to somebody deserving during our journey and offering our meal to someone on our way to the office are very small sacrifices at first sight but these sacrifices mean big for the people it is practised.
In the face of vanishing acts of sacrifice humanity is losing the shine of its ingrained ethics. It is transforming the world into a selfish society that thinks only of itself and not of others. Social behaviour that demands sacrifices for the fellow human being as a sense of responsibility is the essence of peace and tranquillity. To bring the sense of sacrifice with an essence of a divine responsibility our priests, Pesh Imams and fathers at the places of worship, temples, mosques and Churches will have to inculcate a sense of sacrifice in the lives of the followers through their discourses delivered as sermons.
It should be a permanent part of the religious and spiritual leader’s everyday 'to do list' to teach their followers and propagate for the masses as to what actual sacrifice means. Sacrifice is a way of exhibiting love, affection and compassion, by whatever means possible. Every kind of sacrifice, small or big, is taken as an act of God’s command and is abundantly rewarded here and hereafter.
If we study the reason the society being devoid of the sense of sacrifice, we will find that the biggest hindrance that comes between us and our ethical sense of sacrifice is our ego. It is the ego that comes between us and our godly thoughts of sacrifice in the way of our creator in the form of being brotherly with the creator of Allah, the Most Generous. The art of controlling our ego will bring compassion and peace in our persona and we will be one of the most loved creations of all the creations of Allah, the Almighty.
The history of Abrahamic religions is full of the stories of sacrifices of the Holy Prophets before the advent of Islam and the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW), his Rightly Guided Companions and Auliya e Keram who devoted their lives for the service of the human beings. There are verses in the Holy Quran and Prophetic traditions that describe the true meaning of sacrifice to guide us on the straight path of divine life.
Verses of the Holy Quran on the True Meaning of Sacrifice
"Say: Truly, my prayer and my service of sacrifice, and my living and my dying are for God (alone), the Sustainer of all the worlds, in Whose Divinity none has a share. Thus I have been bidden-and I am foremost among those who surrender themselves unto Him" ((Surah Al-An'am: 162-163)
“Indeed, Allah has purchased from the believers their lives and their properties [in exchange] for that they will have Paradise…” (Quran 9:111)
“O' you who have believed, shall I guide you to a transaction that will save you from a painful punishment? [It is that] you believe in Allah and His Messenger and strive in the cause of Allah with your wealth and your lives. That is best for you if you should know. He will forgive for you your sins and admit you to the gardens beneath which rivers flow and pleasant dwellings in gardens of perpetual residence. That is a great attainment.” (Surah As-Saf,61:10–12)
Prophetic Traditions on The Real Meaning of Sacrifice
The Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, said “A person is not a believer who fills his stomach while his neighbour goes hungry.” (Bukhari)
Abu Umamah reported: The Messenger of Allah, Pbuh, said, “I guarantee a house on the outskirts of Paradise for one who leaves arguments even if he is right, and a house in the middle of Paradise for one who abandons lies even when joking, and a house in the highest part of Paradise for one who makes his character excellent.” (Abu Dawud)
“Those whose journey is to Allah and His Prophet, his journey will be for Allah and His Prophet. And those whose journey is for this world and its content or a woman he wishes to marry, then his journey will be for what he embarked on” - (Sahih Al-Bukhari)
Abu Qatadah reported: The Prophet (PBUH) said, “Verily, you will never leave anything for the sake of Allah Almighty but that Allah will replace it with something better.” (Aḥmad)
Spiritual and Scholarly Sayings on the Virtue of Sacrifice
He alone is a Sikh who has surrendered his body, mind and wealth before his Guru and has obeyed his order. - Sri Guru Amar Das Ji
.... do not feel attached. Let your conscious mind be attached with the Formless God,.... - Guru Nanak Dev Ji
Let us sacrifice our today so that our children can have a better tomorrow. - A. P. J. Abdul Kalam
Too long a sacrifice Can make a stone of the heart. O when may it suffice? - William Butler Yeats
There is no moral authority like that of sacrifice. - Nadine Gordimer
Great achievement is usually born of great sacrifice and is never the result of selfishness. - Napoleon Hill
You can't achieve anything in life without a small amount of sacrifice. - Shakira
“Sacrifice is a part of life. It's supposed to be. It's not something to regret. It's something to aspire to.” ― Mitch Albom, The Five People You Meet in Heaven
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” ― Anonymous, Holy Bible: New International Version
There Is No Replay Button In Life
Human beings are bestowed by Allah the Most Gracious with divinely attributes of wisdom, intellect and understanding that awaken our sense of responsibility and guide us on to the righteous path. The human being knows that there is no replay button in the scheme of things of the human life, we, therefore have to act according to the lessons and teachings of our Creator for the betterment of our lives here and hereafter. May we be blessed with wisdom and strength of character to abandon what comes between us and our heavenly life hereafter.
And Allah Knows the Best.
Arman Neyazi is a columnist with NewAgeIslam.com.
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