Huda Kazmi shares a personal story about an important lesson she learned during the sacrifice of ‘Eid ul Adha…
I live in Nairobi, Kenya, but before I used to live in Karachi, Pakistan. And when I used to live in Pakistan I used to come to Nairobi with Mama, Baba and my two sisters, Imaan, Yusra, (my youngest one wasn’t born yet), for holidays.
We used to stay at my grandparents’ house. Sometimes we’d go for school holidays, but when we started homeschooling we went for ‘Eid and just random visits.
Once we came to Nairobi to celebrate the four day holiday, ‘Eid-ul-Adha with them. I was about five then. Of course, about two days before ‘Eid, my grandfather got the goats. But he didn’t just get one or two goats, he got several goats, unfortunately I can’t remember the exact number. The reason why he got many goats was because a lot of our family members lived in different parts of the world and some didn’t have animals available, so my grandfather used to sacrifice animals for them.
I remember my sisters and I used to name the goats. I recall passing by one of the goats. He was a yellowish white, with hardly a beard and an unusual crown of fur that stuck up, unlike the other goats. I named that one Prince. And I immediately was fond of him.
My sisters and I used to play with the goats. We basically used to untie their ropes and would let them run around the garden and we sometimes used to let them drag us along.
The day before ‘Eid, in the evening, I untied Prince’s rope; suddenly he shot off, with me clinging onto the rope; he galloped past the pink rose bush and I got a thorn stuck in my finger. I let go and started crying. I went to my grandpa and he put some Dettol for me. But I still continued loving Prince.
I often stated then, “I’m excited for ‘Eid, but I’m sad that the goats are going to be sacrificed.” And I was right about that; on the day of ‘Eid, my sisters and I watched the goats being sacrificed; but I firmly ordered everyone, including the men who were sacrificing the goats, that Prince must be sacrificed last. Then, I reluctantly watched Prince being sacrificed.
I cried the whole time, rushed out of the garden and ran to the next one, where Mama comforted me, saying that Prince was a brave goat. Then she told me the story of Ibraaheem (AS) and his son. She told me that Ibraaheem (AS) had a dream that he was sacrificing his son, Ismaa‘eel (AS); then he went to Ismaa‘eel (AS) and told him about the dream. The son said, “Oh my dear father, obey your Lord’s command and, God willing, you’ll find me patient.”
So Ibraaheem (AS) took Ismaa‘eel and prepared to sacrifice him; he blindfolded himself so that he couldn’t see his son’s face; then Allah, pleased with Ibraaheem’s (AS) sacrifice, sent the Angel Jibreel (AS) to replace Ismaa‘eel (AS) with a ram. So after Ibraaheem (AS) made the sacrifice, he was surprised to find a ram slaughtered rather than his son.
I cheered up a bit then and stopped crying; I feel a bit ashamed now because I was simply crying over a goat while Ibraaheem (AS) actually had to sacrifice his own son. But still, from all the goats that we get for ‘Eid, Prince has always been my favorite. And I’ll never forget him!