I opened this article with a question, have we ever sacrificed for Islam? Sacrificed to give away what we like. Giving away what we love. Giving away something that we have kept and saved, for the sake of Islam as our religion.
Well, maybe with a simple language. Have we ever spent our money in the amount that is not relatively small for the benefits of our religion? When performing the Friday prayer for example. A box was passed on to us, what will we do. How much money will we put in the box? Ten dollars? Five dollars, one dollar or even just 50 cents?
There are many things that have been missed. Our lives which are still young often feel that we do not need to sacrifice for our religion. Instead, we are more likely to sacrifice for the things outside of religion. Such as sacrificing for friendship, for the gang, for the friends, for the lovers and in fact even for something so ridiculous. It all feels very light. But it became so heavy when the sacrifice was for Islam.
We still remember how great our Prophet Ibrahim was, he was willing to sacrifice for Allah by slaughtering his own son. As a father who had longed for a son, he was willing to give his son to Allah. Indeed, this really is a great sacrifice.
“Indeed, Abraham was a [comprehensive] leader, devoutly obedient to Allah , inclining toward truth, and he was not of those who associate others with Allah.” (QS an-Nahl : 120)
In other verse, Allah SAW says (which means): “There has certainly been for you in them (Ibrahim and his ummah) an excellent pattern for anyone whose hope is in Allah and the Last Day. And whoever turns away – then indeed, Allah is the Free of need, the Praiseworthy.” (QS al-Mumtahanah : 6)
Prophet Ibrahim A.S. had demonstrated an exceptional example to us all. His spirit of sacrifice was as great as the spirit of his love for Islam. This is what we don’t have today. Our love and spirit of sacrifice are still very small.
Of course, this sacrifice was not without training. Ibrahim A.S. had been tested by Allah with various tests of taqwa. And Ibrahim had gone through all those tests successfully. Remember how Prophet Ibrahim left his wife alone in the desert? All this is a test to measure how big our willingness to make sacrifices for Islam are.
It’s Time To Practice Sacrificing
There was a sahabah named Abdullah Ibnu Umar. When he turned 13 years old, he had already wanted to join the jihad with the Rasulullah SAW. He, together with his best friend named al-Barra’, insisted on fighting alongside the troops of Rasulullah SAW in the battle of Badar. But it was disapproved by Rasulullah SAW as they were still young. The following year at the battle of Uhud, he was still turned down. Only al-Barra’ could join. The irresistible desire was only fulfilled at the battle of Ahzab, Rasulullah SAW placed him in the Muslim forces that were going to fight the mushrikeen people. Subhanallah!
We need to train to become an Abdullah bin Umar. The first thing we need to do is to practice to control the nafs (carnal desires). It is this nafs that always makes us egotistic. Thinking of our own importance. As long as we are selfish, it will be hard for us to make sacrifices.
The carnal desires are almost always successful in tempting the humans who are weak in iman. Dragging them into the chamber of immoralities as they are not receiving guidance from Allah SWT. So true are the words of Allah Ta’ala (which means): “But if they do not respond to you – then know that they only follow their [own] desires. And who is more astray than one who follows his desire without guidance from Allah ? Indeed, Allah does not guide the wrongdoing people.” (QS al-Qasas : 50)
In other verse, Allah SWT says (which means): “Have you seen he who has taken as his god his [own] desire, and Allah has sent him astray due to knowledge and has set a seal upon his hearing and his heart and put over his vision a veil? So who will guide him after Allah ? Then will you not be reminded?” (QS al-Jaatsiyah : 23)
The carnal desire is the part that needs to be managed properly. True, we must also realize that carnal desires can not be turned off. Carnal desires can only be mitigated or controlled. Of course, to be mitigated or controlled according to the teachings of Islam, not the others. Because it is only Allah SWT who knows exactly the characters of the humans. That’s the reason behind the request from Allah SWT to the humans, that the humans are to be obedient to Him, precisely for the salvation of man itself. In order to be able to dampen the carnal desires, of course it is necessary to sacrifice by giving up things which according to the carnal desires are very gratifying and pleasurable if done.
Secondly, by making effort to sacrifice from the smallest things. Every big thing starts from small. Try to sacrifice a little by little. Sacrificing the energy, time and opportunity for Islam. Then step it up by sacrificing with the wealth. Because we need to be developed. Not to mention that our souls will usually incline towards the nafs. So it must always be guarded and directed toward goodness.
Get involved in the affairs of the Muslims. Lessen their burdens. Try to do something where we are very advantageous in that field. Do not hesitate, do not doubt or be shy. This is the time, Islam is waiting for a big gait from us.
Original article in Indonesian by: Burhan Sodiq