Muslim creed – Human life that is natural, holy and noble is often a sunnah (rule) of Allah that in its journey it experiences various interruptions (distractions, temptations, challenges). This is where humans are then divided in two. Some are “Muhtadiin (stay above fitrah) and some are “dhoolliin” (slipped from fitrah).
This also reminds us of the struggle between truth (al-haq) and evil (al-bathil) since the beginning of human creation. Adam who was created with the character of more glory by God the Devil was commanded to glorify him.
The command to glorify is symbolized by God’s command to Satan to prostrate to Adam. “Sujuud ikraam” (glorification) or “sujuud ihtiram” (reverence). Not “sujuud ta’abbud” (prostration of worship).
In joking I used to say that the Javanese sungkeman to parents is the implementation of the commandments of the Qur’an. Where the child kneels down as if prostrating to his parents. Respecting elders in that way seems to be very Qur’anic in substance.
The glory and honor given to Adam turned out to be the downfall of Satan. Uprooted his obedience which had been at the level of Angel’s obedience. The devil with his arrogance refused God’s command to prostrate to honor Adam AS.
As a result, Iblis was expelled from Allah’s mercy. Expelled out of heaven where he had been living quietly. The devil becomes a “rajiim” (cursed) creature.
The fall of the Devil made him even more angry, jealous and envious of Adam AS. So since then Satan is determined to tempt and mislead Adam’s children and grandchildren.
Long story short, since then a fierce and eternal battle has taken place between the two God’s creatures. Even Adam himself was later tempted by the devil’s seduction to eat the “forbidden fruit” (khuld). Fortunately, Allah’s “mercy” immediately enveloped him and was forgiven by Allah SWT.
Fight after fight, temptation after temptation was launched by the Devil to Adam’s children and grandchildren AS. Not a few of the children and grandchildren of Adam and Eve who fell. His tenacity is also relentless.
Until the time of Ibrahim AS later arrived. When Allah tested him with an extraordinary test. Perhaps it can be said that a human test is “unbearable”. After years of waiting for a child, God blessed him with a son.
Allah’s initial test ordered him to take the child to a valley without vegetation (bi waadin ghaer zar’in inda baetikal muharram). the mecca of worship of those who believe.
I say test because at that time the valley was just an empty place, surrounded by mountains of fierce rocks. The word “ghaer zar’in” (no vegetation) indicates that the valley is fierce and devoid of life.
Nevertheless, Ibrahim AS, without question or protest, took his newborn son with his beloved wife to that place. They were both left with minimal supplies.
Turns out the test wasn’t over. The biggest test came a few years later. When his son reached the age of puberty (12-13 years), Ibrahim was ordered to slaughter his son as a sacrifice to God.
It is narrated in the Qur’an: “And when his son reached the age of puberty, he said: O my son, I actually dreamed that I was cutting you. Then what do you think? The son replied: O my beloved father, do what you have been ordered to do. You will find me among those who are patient.”
Ibrahim started walking with his son Ismail towards the slaughterhouse in Mina. It is said that Ismail’s mother (Hajar) was not informed of the big test. Worried as a mother she was sad and refused the order.
It was during this journey that Ibrahim prepared himself with full maturity. One of them stopped briefly in a valley called Muzdalifah. It was there that he made dhikr to calm the mind to face the big test.
The next day he continued his journey to Mina. Ismail’s mother (Hajar), who was not informed, was apparently the first target of Satan. He was told and even persuaded to cancel Ibrahim’s plan. He turned out to have great faith and trust. Those seductions and temptations were vehemently rejected.
The devil then dared to approach Ibrahim. He persuaded him to cancel the slaughter of his beloved and only child.