Celebrating Sacrifice

Today the pilgrims are gathered on Mount Arafat pleading for God’s acceptance and forgiveness. May we all do the same and be granted affirmative answers to those pleas, regardless of where we are physically.

At sunset the joyous first day of Eid ul-Adha will begin, God willing. A translation of Eid ul-Adha to English reads as the Celebration of Sacrifice.

We hear often about the concepts of service and leadership, or other concepts of the like, from pulpits around the world. This holiday for us is all about honoring and celebrating the foundation of both service and leadership – sacrifice.

The rituals of Hajj and the Eid celebration that comes after are rooted in the accounts telling of Prophets Ibrahīm and Isma’īl, upon them peace – a story about the willingness to sacrifice what one holds most dear for what is greater.

When we look at service and leadership, what are they other than two sides of the coin of sacrifice? Often people mistake serving others as being “under” those we serve, and, likewise, we often mistake leading others for being “above” those we lead. In reality, there is no under or above.

There is a term coined “servant-leadership” and as it suggests, service and leadership are not disconnected. They are one and the same: the one who serves is leading, and the one who leads is serving. The common act is sacrifice.

Sacrificing short term gain for long term stability, sacrificing our wants for others needs, sacrificing superficiality for reality and the list goes on.

This Eid ul-Adha we can all wish each other a Happy Eid or Eid Mubarak (Blessed Eid). As we do so, we can offer the celebratory words knowing they are in honor of sacrifice.

In peace,
CML Team

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