Based on the history and what that has written in the holy Qur’an, the celebration of Eid al-Adha commemorates the sacrifice of Prophet Ibrahim who sincerely murdered his own son, Ismail. This did not happen for no reason. Ibrahim, who was a very pious and faithful to his God, must do it since Allah commanded him through a vision he dreamt about at one night. He was very upset and anxious at first, but then he realized that everything comes from Him, and everything is His, so he would do everything He asked.
Therefore, on the following day, Prophet Ibrahim came to Ismail to tell about his dream. Unexpectedly, Ismail agreed to let his dad do the order. He did not feel afraid or angry at his own father, since he also knew, it was a revelation from Allah that he must do. Hearing the answer from his son, Prophet Ibrahim was shocked. He did not expect that his beloved son was so sincere to accept the command of Allah.
However, it was not easy for Prophet Ibrahim to carry out this order. This was because Satan was there to weaken his iman (faith) and cancel his intention to obey Allah’s command. Satan tried to tempt Ibrahim, Ismail, and also Siti Hajar – Ibrahim’s wife – but their faith was unbreakable. They would still willingly do that for the sake of Allah.
The time for the qurban (murder) came. It was 10th of Dzul-Hijjah, and Prophet Ibrahim and his son went to the field to carry out the command of Allah. Ibrahim prepared a sharpened sword so that Ismail did not feel the pain being killed. At that very tense, heartbreaking moment, Ismail asked his father to close his eyes, so he would not feel sorry or hesitant to carry out the order.
Prophet Ibrahim did it, and raised the sword up above. Then he swung the sword forcefully towards his son. Surprisingly, the sword always bounced. Then Ismail said that he wanted the straps in his hands and feet to be removed, thinking that it might be easier that way. But Allah and His angels did witness all of this sacrifice they attempted to do. All of that was only a test from Allah regarding their faith to the religion and God they worshipped.
Then Allah replaced Ismail with a sheep. Eventually, that sheep was the one Ibrahim meant to slaughter. Allah had no intention to let Ibrahim kill his own son but only to test his faith whether or not he would obey His order.
From this story, we can conclude that doing Qurban (sacrifice) symbolizes several things that should led us to do the Qurban. Firstly, as an expression of gratitude to God for the blessings of life given. In accordance with the word of God in the Holy Qur’an: فَصَلِّ لِرَبِّكَ وَانْحَرْ
Which means, “Then pray because of your Lord, and sacrifice (as worship and draw closer to Allah).” Surah Al-Kautsar 108:2. Secondly, as a revival of Prophet Ibrahim’s teachings, at which time Allah ordered him to kill his beloved son on the day of an-nahr (Eid al-Adha). Thirdly, as an example of Prophet Ibrahim and Ismail’s true patience, obedience and love for Allah. For the believers, this story should serve as a reminder to always be patient in obeying Allah, and prioritize Him over passions and lusts they have.