Pandemic of Prophet Ibrahim’s Time and Eid Al-Adha

This Eid is the second Eid many of us spend in quarantine. While the lockdow and precautions have relaxed in many places, we can expect the festivities to look very different, compared to previous years. 

Eid Al-Adha comes at the end of the ten best days of the Islamic calendar year; Dhul-Hijjah Days.

In usual times, millions of pilgrims struggle through the heat and crowds to fulfill their Hajj while the rest of us long to be in their place. Khutbahs (sermons) across the world recount the story of Prophets Abraham (Ibrahim) and Ishmael (Isma`il) (peace be upon them) in detail.

This Eid offers us a unique spiritual perspective. So while we cope, let us not fail to take the opportunity to reflect on Prophet Ibrahim’s story.

Spiritual Disease is a Pandemic Too

Prophet Ibrahim also lived during a pandemic. It was not a pandemic of physical disease, but a pandemic of spiritual disease. His people disregarded the symptoms.

While coronavirus (COVID-19) has led to an upheaval of so many lives, the spiritual pandemic of Ibrahim’s time destroyed both the dunya (worldly life) and Akhira (Hereafter) of his people.

We read in the Quran what means:

{And mention in the Book [the story of] Abraham. Indeed, he was a man of truth and a prophet. [Mention] when he said to his father, “O my father, why do you worship that which does not hear and does not see and will not benefit you at all?

O my father, indeed there has come to me of knowledge that which has not come to you, so follow me; I will guide you to an even path.

O my father, do not worship Satan. Indeed Satan has ever been, to the Most Merciful, disobedient.} (Maryam 19:41-44)

Prophet Ibrahim witnessed the contagious ignorance of his people. Even as a young man, he called out the hypocrisy of his people. He would watch his very own father construct idols with his bare hands, only to sell them for people to worship.

His people were spiritually sick but refused to acknowledge the cure. Their excuse was simply that they found their ancestors doing the same. His attempts to contain this disease were through logical arguments; which the Quran clearly documented. 

Heart Disease

There is a reason why scholars use the word “disease” and “sickness” to describe a heart that is heedless of God. Just as physical disease has the capacity to impair every body system; spiritual disease wreaks havoc on a person’s reality.

Prophet Ibrahim’s people would perform actions like offering their wealth and food to stone statues. Imagine how many families went hungry, how many poor people lost their money and how many opportunities were lost waiting for an “answer” from stones that men carved.

📚 Read Also: The Story of Sacrifice of Abraham in the Bible and the Quran

Prophet Ibrahim would continue to question these immoral practices, until his people would decide that a permanent quarantine was the only way to shut him up.

Many of us know the story. After Prophet Ibrahim destroys the idols of his people to prove that they are but an evil tradition passed on from their ancestors, his people decide to kill him. A raging fire is set; Ibrahim is chained and thrown into it. Little did his people know that their fire would be ineffective by the Will of God.

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About Hana Alasry
Hana Alasry is a Yemeni American Muslim community organizer and activist working most heavily with MAS Youth. Her work focuses heavily on Muslim youth development, Islamic tarbiya and the Yemen crisis. She is currently in PA school studying medicine at the University of Detroit Mercy.