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Story Time: Real sacrifice

August 10, 2019

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‘The television has started showing advertisements for amazing new products, clothes and shoes for Eidul Azha and I still haven’t thought of the kind of shoes, clothes, perfumes and other things I have to buy. Soon all the good stuff will get sold off,’ I said to myself sadly.

“Mum, when is dad going to get his salary? I want to buy things for Eid and we haven’t bought a goat yet!”

“In just a week’s time my dear, then we will get all the Eid stuff for the family and also the goat,” she replied.

“Oh no! That will be so late, we need to start shopping now to be able to go to all the shops and select the best items. This takes time mum, can’t you arrange for money from somewhere?” I put both my hands on my head in dismay as I said this.

“No dear, I can’t borrow a single rupee. And why should we? Just wait for a week. Eid is still almost a couple of weeks away,” she explained as she refused my request.

I kept nagging her all day and finally she agreed to give me some money that she had kept aside for emergency, to let me go and buy my Eid clothes and shoes.

I took the money from her and kept it in my pocket before going to sleep, happily dreaming of all the things I would get.

Early the next morning, I woke up and got ready to go shopping. It was Sunday so I didn’t have to go to school. I took my bicycle and rushed towards the main bazaar.

Suddenly I had to press the breaks hard and stop as a young boy fell on the road in front of me. The boy had been pushed by some people and they left the crying boy there. I got off my bicycle and went to him.

I asked, “What did you do that they did this to you?”

He wept for a while and replied, “Nothing, I just asked them for some money.”

This statement shocked me. I again raised a question, “Why did you ask them for money? Are they your relatives?”

“No. I work at a tailor’s shop here and he hasn’t paid me the whole month. He does a good business as many people are getting their Eid clothes made by him. My family is very poor and we have no money to even buy food, let alone anything for Eid. But my master refuses to give me even a little money to buy one meal for my family. I am not even thinking about celebrating Eidul Azha like others, I just want to have something to eat.”

Hearing this I felt very ashamed, because I realised there are many poor people who have no money for fulfilling their basic needs and I was about to buy expensive clothes and shoes. I realised that the real celebration and sacrifice on Eidul Azha is more than to sacrifice a goat or cow, and to buy some most beautiful and expensive things to wear. The biggest sacrifice that can make God happy is to make sure that the poor have their needs fulfilled on Eidul Azha. And this is also why we are told to give one-third of the sacrificial meat to the poor and another one-third to our friends and family.

I patted his head and gave him the money my mother had given me to buy my things. As I turned back towards my home, I felt very happy remembering the smile on the boy’s face when he received the money from me.

Published in Dawn, Young World, August 10th, 2019