Snowy, the Goat

As soon as the moon of Zūl-Hijjah appeared, Little Zayd had made a firm commitment that this time round a goat of his liking would come to his house. Two days later Little Zayd, along with his father and uncle, brought a very lovely, short white goat. He named it ‘Snowy’ as soon as it entered the house. The family liked the choice and the name chosen by Little Zayd and he started serving it. He immediately placed some grass and water in front of it, Snowy also bowed his head quietly and started eating away at the grass and drinking the water. Snowy had now become friends with Little Zayd; he would caress its back and head with love, bathe it daily with his uncle and take it for walks in the evening.

A day before ‘Eid, Grandma suddenly said to Little Zayd, ‘Little Zayd! Your beloved friend Snowy will be sacrificed tomorrow in the way of Allah Almighty.’ Little Zayd became sad after hearing this and said, ‘Grandma, can’t we sacrifice another animal in place of Snowy?’ Grandma asked, ‘But why?’ He replied, ‘Grandma! He has become my friend and I like him very much, so we should keep him in the house.’ Grandma understood what Little Zayd was saying and then asked, ‘Ok, you tell me. Why do we sacrifice animals on big ‘Eid?’ He responded in accordance with his understanding, ‘Grandma, we sacrifice animals because everyone sacrifices animals.’

Grandma said: ‘No my son! This is not the reason. One of Prophets of Allah Almighty, Sayyiduna Ibrāhīm عَـلَيْـهِ الـسَّـلَام had a son, Sayyiduna Ismael عَـلَيْـهِ الـسَّـلَام who was very beloved to him. For three continuous nights, Sayyiduna Ibrāhīm عَـلَيْـهِ الـسَّـلَام saw a dream in which someone is saying to him, ‘Verily, Allah Almighty is giving you the order of sacrificing your child.’ Little Zayd! The dreams of Prophets are true; therefore, Sayyiduna Ibrāhīm عَـلَيْـهِ الـسَّـلَام was certain that this dream was from Allah Almighty, not from Satan. The age of Sayyiduna Ismael عَـلَيْـهِ الـسَّـلَام at this moment was 7 or 13 years, or slightly more. Sayyiduna Ibrāhīm عَـلَيْـهِ الـسَّـلَام told his son about the dream and he responded, ‘Do that which you have been ordered by Allah Almighty. You will find me from the patient ones.’ Satan first whispered to Sayyiduna Ibrāhīm عَـلَيْـهِ الـسَّـلَام not to sacrifice his son, but he did not listen to him. Then Satan came to the mother of Sayyiduna Ismāīl عَـلَيْـهِ الـسَّـلَام who also did not listen to him. Then he went to Sayyiduna Ismāīl عَـلَيْـهِ الـسَّـلَام who replied, ‘If my blessed father is taking me to sacrifice me upon the order of Allah Almighty, then he is doing something very good.’ Little Zayd interrupted, ‘Grandma! Did Sayyiduna Ibrāhīm عَـلَيْـهِ الـسَّـلَام sacrifice his beloved son then?’ She replied, ‘As soon as Sayyiduna Ibrāhīm عَـلَيْـهِ الـسَّـلَام laid Sayyiduna Ismāīl عَـلَيْـهِ الـسَّـلَام on the floor and ran the knife across his neck, the knife did not cut, so the throat was not slit and a voice was heard, ‘O Ibrāhīm! Indeed, you have confirmed the dream, this is the reward we give to the righteous’. Meanwhile, the Angel Jibrā’īl عَـلَيْـهِ الـسَّـلَام had brought a ram from Paradise with the order of Allah Almighty and he proclaimed with a loud voice from afar: ‘اللہُ اَکْبَر اللہُ اَکْبَر.’ When Sayyiduna Ibrāhīm عَـلَيْـهِ الـسَّـلَام heard this voice, he raised his head towards the sky and knew that the time of this test from Allah Almighty had passed and the ram had been sent in place of his son. After this he sacrificed that ram. (Sirāt al-Jinān, vol. 8, pp. 332-335; Bayta ho tou aisa, pp. 2-14, summarised)

Did you realise Little Zayd! Sayyiduna Ibrāhīm عَـلَيْـهِ الـسَّـلَام bowed his head down in front of the order of Allah Almighty and did not hesitate in sacrificing his son. His sacrifice and enthusiasm teach us that we too should sacrifice our beloved things gladly in the way of Allah Almighty.’ Little Zayd nodded and said, ‘Grandma! I have now understood that I too should sacrifice my beloved Snowy to please Allah Almighty’. Grandma asked, ‘And what will we do with the skin of this goat?’ Little Zayd instantly responded, ‘Just like last year we donated the skin to Dawat-e-Islami, we will donate the skin to Dawat-e-Islami this year too.’ Grandma, overjoyed, took Little Zayd into her arms.




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