The world today is often portrayed as a world of differences and conflicts between humans. We should lessen these tensions by finding common grounds. The Abrahamic religions, Islam, Christianity, and Judaism, reflect on the monotheistic position of Prophet Ibrahim/Abraham (PBUH); and his story is found in both the Quran and Bible. He can be acknowledged as the forefather of these religions and a sensible common ground:

For example, in Torah it is mentioned, “As for me, behold, my covenant is with you, and you shall be a father of many nations.” (1)

In the Bible addressing his people, Jesus Christ (PBUH) says, “…Your father, Ibrahim rejoiced to see my day…” (2)

And the Quran states about Prophet Ibrahim (PBUH), “When his Lord tested Ibrahim by His words and he satisfied the test, He said, ‘I appointed you as the Imam (Leader) of mankind …” (3)

But what did Ibrahim Khalil Allah (friend of God) do that enabled him achieve such a high position in the history of humanity? Again, with reference to the divine Books, one would realize that he was put into several divine tests in his life, all of which he passed successfully. One of the greatest tests of Ibrahim Khalil, resulting in accomplishing the position of Imamate, was sacrificing his dear son prophet Isma’il (prophet Isaac according to Bible) (PBUH) on the way of Allah. The birth and granting of Isma’il (PBUH) to his father, in old age, had been another divine test. In spite of his excessive affection toward his son Isma’il (PBUH), Ibrahim (PBUH) did not hesitate a moment in obeying the divine command. But the destiny was set differently by Allah, and Isma’il (PBUH) was spared.

This day was announced by Allah as a festival for all. Eid al-Adha (the festival of sacrifice) is the celebration of the faithful submission of Ibrahim. As such, this day is a celebration for all worshipers of God, not just Muslims.

(Taken from the book, “The Endeavor of Ideas (Vol. 1)” by Late Allamah Muhammad Taghi Ja’fari (with some changes))

1. Torah, the book of Genesis 17:4
2. Bible of John, 8:56
3. The Holy Quran, (2:124)