Eid al-Adha – It Makes Me Wonder. . .

Dear Muslim friends,

I am always intrigued by your Feast of the Sacrifice – Eid al-Adha. Like you, my Muslim friends, I am in awe of Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son out of unlimited obedience to God. That is clearly worth remembering and having a celebration. . .every year!

Eid al-Adha makes me wonder. . .to be curious or to marvel. . .how many people. . .like these Pakistanis on their way to Lahore, Pakistan. . .traveled long, hard distances to celebrate Eid with their loved ones?

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Eid al-Adha makes me wonder. . .how many lambs, goats, cows, and camels. . .were sacrificed across the Muslim world in these three days?

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Eid al-Adha makes me wonder. . .how many Muslim men like these today at the Vasi Ullah mosque in Allahabad, India want to obey God as fully as Ibrahim did?

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How many Muslim women like these yesterday in Ahmadabad, India. . .want to obey God as fully as Ibrahim did?

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I wonder. . .how fully do I want to obey God?

Eid al-Adha makes me wonder. . .how many Muslims teach their children how to pray? Like this girl in Bali, Indonesia or this boy in Pristina, Kosovo?

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I wonder. . .how well did I teach my sons to pray?

Eid al-Adha makes me wonder. . .how many Muslims around the world prayed with the intensity of this Kashmiri Muslim man today in Srinagar, India?

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I wonder. . .how much intensity did I pray with today?

Eid al-Adha makes me wonder about these words from the Qur’an about God rescuing Ibrahim’s son by providing a lamb in substitute for him: “And We ransomed him with a momentous sacrifice” (Qur’an, sura 37, aya 107).

Similarly, as a follower of Jesus, Eid al-Adha always makes me wonder about these special words spoken about Jesus in the Injeel:

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It makes me wonder. . .to be curious, to marvel. . .how could this one man. . .from an obscure village in Palestine. . .be “the lamb of God”. . .that takes away the sin of the world? Amazing! It was through his sacrifice for, “without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins” (the Book of Hebrews, chapter 9, verse 22).

What love! What a “momentous sacrifice” – for each of us!

This I try to remember and celebrate. . .today. . .and every day.

It makes me wonder. . .

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Postscript:

Dear Muslim Friends,

I fully understand that Eid al-Adha is not about a substitutionary sacrifice for sins. Yes, I am fully aware that this concept is not in Islam. Nevertheless, I am filled with wonder and awe at how the Qur’an speaks of the ransom of a lamb to rescue Ibrahim’s son from certain death and how the Bible speaks of the ransom of Jesus as a lamb to rescue each of us from certain death – the punishment for our sins.

Ransom. What an incredible word.

Ransom. The price paid to free/rescue/deliver/release a helpless person from captivity or punishment.

Ransom. It speaks of great, great love.

God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And the ransom he paid was not mere gold or silver. It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God. God chose him as your ransom long before the world began.” (the first letter of Peter, chapter 1, verses 18-20, NLT. Peter was an original follower of Jesus and a crucified martyr for him).

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12 thoughts on “Eid al-Adha – It Makes Me Wonder. . .

  1. Mark, thanks so much for this post. I wish I had your wisdom in how to speak with Muslims! Keep up the good work.

    PS: did you get my e-mail?

    • Richard,

      Thanks, brother! But. . .I think you would have to ask my Muslim friends here in the States – as well as blog readers – to see if your compliment holds true for them!

      No, can’t remember an e-mail. Send again please!

      Loving Gaza with you,
      Mark

  2. The four canonical gospels are not the Injeel. The Injeel is a book given to Jesus by God the manner of which is similar to how the Quran was given to Muhammad ﷺ. The Injeel was not given to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

    The conception of the ‘Lamb’ which Christians use in describing Christ is contrary to Islam’s conception of God and God’s justice. A human being cannot bear the sins of another and no sacrifice of a human will wipe away the sins of another. As sacrifices of all sorts are required by God whether it be to slaughter an animal or to temporarily refrain from some action, the requirement of a lamb (or a goat, cow or camel) is a reasonable substitute for the slaughter or Ishmael.

    Even if it were true that Jesus was crucified, this is a common suffering. Hundreds if not thousands of Jews (and people of all other origins) were crucified before Jesus and people are still crucified today. There is nothing extraordinary about the torture that is crucifixion. People willingly undergo a staged-performance annually simulating crucifixion.

    • Abd ur-Raheem, thank you for reading. I really appreciate it. By the way, how did you find my blog?

      Yes, countless thousands of people have been crucified over the centuries and yes, sadly they are still being crucified today. But there is a huge, huge difference between their deaths and the deaths of Jesus. Jesus was sinless. Perfect. The Lamb of God. The Word of God. No one else who has ever been crucified can claim any of those titles or claim sinlessness. No one.

      By the way, may I ask how you might have evidence that Jesus was not crucified? Even sources outside the Bible say he was.

      How do I know how much God loves me? Because He was willing to suffer so much to make it happen (by sending Jesus to die). I pray one day you will have the same realization of this amazing love.

      God bless you and thanks again,
      Mark

  3. Mark, your perspective was very interesting. Thankyou for sharing. It is obvious that a Christian perspective of Prophet Abraham’s story would see and focus on “sacrifice”—For Muslims, this same story represents “submission” (Islam=submission) not “sacrifice.” ……..and actually there are 3 equally important stories of “Submission”
    the 1st— is about Hagar, mother of Ismael, who ran between 2 mountains (safa and marwa) trying to find water for her crying, thirsty boy. She ran 7 times and not once gave up faith in God. Her faith (Iman) was rewarded by the waters of “zam zam” that sprang up near her son.

    the 2nd— is about Ishmael who is asked by his father Abraham about the dream he has of sacrifice. Ishmael makes a willing choice to submit to God’s will and informs his father of his decision.

    the 3rd— is about Abraham, the father of Ishmael who has a dream of sacrifice and after much thought consults with his son. When he has received his son’s approval he commences with the sacrifice and is rewarded by God for his and his son’s faith (Iman).

    All three people in these events approach faith differently yet there is also a common underlying theme in their world-view—they are all patient and trust in God. During times of difficult trials—it is easy to forget God, to lose hope and fall into disbelief. But these 3 people show us that though we may express faith in different ways, our spiritual strength is tested through our patience and trust in God and such tests make our faith stronger and bring us closer to God.

    Submission (Islam) is for everyone equally—man, woman or child.

    • Anon,

      I really, really like what you have written. Much agreement here.

      May we all have patient trust in God! May we all have faith – true Iman – when we are tested!

      “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (The Bible, James chapter 1, verses 2-4)

      “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.” (The Bible, James chapter 1, verse 12)

      Patient trust, true Iman, faith in testing is linked to something so important. . .loving God.

      • Dear Bro,

        This is an excellent post. I was writing a post for this Eid for our dear Muslim friends, when I came across yours. Your way of presentation is so wonderful than what I have drafted. Thanks. It’s great to see God is using you to share the love of Christ with Muslims. Would love to connect more with you. Blessings bro. Please do keep up the good work.

        Your co-worker in Christ
        Ibn Syed

  4. Dear Mark,
    I am trying to make a small video for this Eid for our Muslim friends. It will be a short video with pictures and doodle sketches. Could you plz give me permission to use a part of your script here? I will send you the link for the video once it is finished. Thanks and Blessings bro !

    • My Friend,
      I rejoice in your website! Wow! We have the same heart of love for Isa al Masih and for Muslim people!
      I sent you a private email.
      God bless!
      Mark

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