The Giving Tree

Eid Mubarak everyone! This is that time that we’re celebrating Eid ul-Adha, which centres on the story of Ibrahim (peace be upon him) and his sacrifice of a sheep in place of his son, Ismail, as Allah commanded.

My teacher and Imam spoke about the significance and the lesson in this particular Eid just days ago, and I wanted to share it with my children somehow. Essentially, this Eid is about the sacrifices that we make in the way of Allah. And whilst it is obligatory upon us to give Sadaqa (charity) during this celebration, mainly either meat or the value of slaughtering an animal to give to the poor, it is also a reminder of the nature of giving and sacrifice in general.

We must give of ourselves to benefit others. Whether it be our time, our wealth, our aid or our skills, we must ask ourselves, what is our Ismail? What is it that we are sacrificing, giving to others, in the way of Allah? And in what manner are we doing this? Do we hesitate? Do we overthink the matter? Do we give $20 to the person in need when we have $100 in our wallet, or do we give it all? Neither Ibrahim nor Ismail (peace be upon them both) hesitated, or flinched, in carrying out the command of Allah. They did so with certitude of Love for Allah.

I really wanted to pass this lesson onto my eldest daughter (my little one is not two years old yet), so I decided to create a ‘Giving Tree’ for her. The concept of the tree is that we write down things that we think we should be giving to others, and hang it on the tree to remain in our house during the Eid period as a reminder.

J (my eldest) has been struggling with sharing lately, especially with her little sister, who obviously wants everything that her older sister has. So when putting the tree together we spoke about how it was important to share, to give what we love to others, like to her younger sister. And whilst we may be left with what may seem to be nothing, this act of giving and sacrificing will please Allah, so ultimately, we are in reality given the greatest gift in return, the love of Allah.

As for how we put it together, I foraged some blossoms from a park in my suburb, trimmed the ends and arranged them in a garden pot with some florist’s foam. The “Eid Mubarak” sign is the one we used last Eid, from Nayma.Co. I used some glitter tape to stick the sign to the wall. We used gift tags to write down what we wanted to ‘give’ to  hang on the branches.

This particular character of sacrifice that Eid ul-Adha centres around has made me think about what it is that I sacrifice in the way of Allah. For one, I know that I don’t give enough time to nurture my relationship with Allah, nor do I give enough time to the people around me, such as friends and family, to help them if need be, and to simply be there for them. So my own personal aim is to consciously strive to give more time to these.

What is that you would like to sacrifice, to give to others?


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