One cold Sunday morning your father comes up to your cosy room, knocks on the door, comes in, sits next to you, places his icy hand on your forehead, and with tears in his eyes and a heavy breath he says: “My darling! I dreamt that I have been commanded by Allah to slaughter you.”

What will your response be … “Dad! You right, you were dreaming and looks like you still ‘day’ dreaming.” You might even use reverse psycho on him and say: “And what if you dreamt that you are buying me the latest Ferrari? Will you do that also?”

For you it is just so simple: Tell your father to stop dreaming and tell yourself to stop imagining.

But think for a moment … There was once a young boy who was told exactly the same thing by his father. However he couldn’t reply by saying “It’s only a dream”, because his father was a great Nabi of Allah Ta‘ala whose dream was Divine revelation. But look at his level of obedience and submission to Allah Ta‘ala that his spontaneous answer was: “O my father! Do as you have been commanded. You will find me, if Allah wills, among the patient ones.”

Yes, this may have been an imagination for us, but the reality is that there are many other commands of Allah Ta‘ala that are directed to us at every moment. “Perform your salaah”, “don’t ‘eye’ out the ‘two legged sheep’”, “don’t ‘pop’ the ‘happiness pill’”, etc. Our response needs to be the same: “I will do what my Rabb has commanded me and be patient on it.”

If we learn this then we have really achieved the spirit of qurbaani. Otherwise, qurbaani will come and go and the only thing we will gain is that we can ‘thrill’ our circle of friends about the sizes and numbers of animals we slaughtered.

Live the spirit of qurbaani and acquire the submission of Ismaa‘eel (‘alaihis salaam) and his father!