Moulana Sulaimaan Ravat gave this inspiring Eid Bayaan at the Houghton Masjid. He asked: ‘What does the legacy of Ibrahim A.S demand of us today?’
The status of Ibrahim A.S, as our spiritual father, as the most revered Prophet and as the friend of Allah is well known and established.
Annually Muslims dutifully carry out the rituals of Udhiyyah and Hajj all the while remembering the wonderful story of the submission of Ibrahim A.S. and his family.
However, we need to move beyond the story and rituals and start living the legacy of Ibrahim A.S.
His story and the rituals of Hajj and Udhiyyah should prompt us to ask overselves the question: What does the legacy of Ibrahim A.S. demand of me today?
I would like to discuss two demands that the legacy of Ibrahim A.S. requires of us today:
First, We need to become gutsy, develop courage, and take up the struggle.
There is no doubt that we live in a world of war, land invasion, Islamophobia etc. globally, and murder, crime, land grabs, constrained economy etc locally. The fires of the modern-day Nimrods has indeed engulfed us.
We have a lot to fret about individually and collectively but we need to remind ourselves that Ibrahim A.S. also had to face up to multiple challenges:
- He was catapulted into the fire for his faith
- He had to deal with an obstinate polytheist father at home
- He was the first to have been forced to make Hijrah for Deen
- He had to leave his wife and son in a barren land
- He was commanded to sacrifice his son with his own hands
“Strive in the cause of Allah as you ought to strive” ……. (Surah Hajj, Verse 78)
Life is an ongoing struggle and struggle we must.
Next this verse reminds us that “He chose you”
- Allah believes in us and that’s why he chose us to be from this Ummah.
- He tests us because he loves us and knows that we have the potential to meet the demands of struggle
- He has given us the capacity and tools to meet the demands of the strugg
Further on, this verse states: “Way of your father Ibrahim A.S.”
In this sentence, Almighty Allah highlights that how he made colossal challenges easy for Ibrahim A.S. after he struggled. If we struggle, he will do the same for us.
Second demand that the legacy of Ibrahim A.S askes of us today…
- That we become Thought Leaders
- Ibrahim A.S. challenged the status quo at great peril
- He challenged his father, (with love and wisdom) and asked him thought provoking questions about his idol worship
He prompted his people to think by contrasting his belief with theirs – We need to develop the ability to think critically
This country is in need of Thought Leaders. We can’t continue to be passive critics. We can’t resort to being reactive and having a voice only when our rights are infringed or our interests are threatened. We need to be true patriots. There is no dichotomy between being a patriot and a Muslim. We can’t continue to be seen as only having a voice on issues affecting the global Ummah or our own interest’s locally.
For example, we cannot only be vocal on the land issue when it encroaches on our places of residence. Where is the Muslim voice on the broader national land debate?
This country has serious challenges: Unemployment; Corruption; Inequality and Crime.
We need to be heard, to be Thought Leaders, to radiate the discourse on key national issues with the sublime teachings of Islam.
Ibrahim A.S. had deep concern for the people of his country.
We need to become true patriots – this is the demand of our Deen. This is what the legacy of Ibrahim A.S. demands of us today. We need to move beyond the story and rituals and start living the legacy of Ibrahim A.S.
The need of the hour is for us to become true patriots, to become active citizens. We owe it to this country as our success has been achieved on the back of the opportunities and resources that this country has made available to us. Patriotism is the best way to secure our interests as our prosperity is hinged on the collective prosperity of this country
May Almighty Allah enable us to respond to these demands of the legacy of Ibrahim A.S and become gutsy in the face of individual and collective strife.