“Qurbaani fever” is once again in the air. The youngster who normally wears Diesel jeans and Adidas shoes will soon be dressed in overalls and gumboots. Normally, a single pimple makes him feel out of place, but now he takes pride in the blood on his face. Whereas he is normally fragranced with Dunhill and Allure, he now stinks of dung and manure. His car is normally spick and span, but now he crams it with all the carcasses that he can.

Ever wondered how this massive transformation takes place?

The answer is simple … It is the result of the great spirit of Sayyiduna Ebrahim (‘alaihis salaam).

What was this spirit all about?

It has been encapsulated in the following verse of the Quraan Majeed:

“Indeed my prayer, my offering, my life and my death are for Allah, the Lord of all the worlds.” (Al-An‘aam, v.162)

It was this very spirit that prompted him to separate from his disbelieving family and folks in his young age and enabled him to leave his wife and innocent child in a barren land in his old age. This spirit further motivated him to readily accept the command of slaughtering his beloved son when he needed him most – in his advanced age.

All this and much more, he did merely because … it was the command of his beloved Allah. No relationship, desire or emotion was important or dear to him if it became an obstacle in carrying out the command of Allah Ta‘ala.

Thus, the great lesson of qurbaani which we ought to learn is that every impermissible desire, pleasure or emotion needs to be ‘placed under the blade’ for the sake of our beloved Allah.

These desires come in different shapes and forms. For some, it’s the sight of a ‘stekkie’ that makes them sink, causing them to collapse into sin. For others, it’s a ‘johl’ with ‘zohl’ that ‘dials their number’. Sometimes, it’s the urge to show the other ‘ous’ whose ‘da boss’ by busting someone up. Some people wait for the latest album release and movie launch, or binge watch their favourite series.

Qurbaani is not about conquering a mighty cow or subduing a massive sheep. Rather, it is about taking our impermissible desires and emotions and placing them ‘under the blade’. If we fail in this, then as strong as we may think we are, we suffer from the greatest weakness – the weakness of sin.