Imam al-Ridha s Words on the Interpretation of the Almighty God s Words, ‘And We Ransomed Him With A Momentous Sacrifice’
Source: Uyun Akhbar Ar-Ridha Volume 1
17-1 Abdul Wahid ibn Muhammad ibn Ubdoos a-Neishaboori al-Attar narrated in the (Arabic) month of Sha'ban of the year 352 A.H. (964 A.D.) in Neishaboor that Fadhl ibn Shadan said, “I heard Imam Al-Ridha’ (a.s.) say that Abraham (a.s.) wished that he had sacrificed his own son Ishmael when God the Almighty the Sublime sent a sheep and ordered Abraham (a.s.) to sacrifice it instead of his son. He wished that he had not been ordered to sacrifice a sheep instead of his son, so that he could have the feeling a father who sacrifices his dearest son with his own hands has, and could deserve the highest ranks of reward for suffering calamities. However, God the Almighty revealed to him, “O Abraham! Who is My dearest creature in your eyes?” Abraham (a.s.) said, “O my Lord! You have not created anyone who is dearer to me than your friend Muhammad (a.s.).” Then God the Almighty revealed to him, ‘O Abraham! Do you like him more or do you like yourself more?’ He said, “No, I like him more than I like myself.” God said, “Do you like his child or do you like your child more?” He said, “His child.” God said, “Will the oppressive beheading of his child by his enemies hurt you more, or your beheading your own child in My obedience?” He said, “O My Lord. Of course, the beheading of his child by his enemies will hurt me more” God said, “O Abraham! A group of people who consider themselves to be a part of Muhammad's (a.s.) nation out of animosity and oppression will slaughter his son Husayn just like a sheep. Thus they will deserve My wrath.” Then Abraham (a.s.) became really sad hearing this, felt a pain in his heart and started to cry. Then the Almighty God revealed the following to him, ‘O Abraham! I accepted your sorrow and sadness due to the slaughtering of Husayn instead of the sorrow you would have experienced for the sacrifice of your son Ishmael. And I will grant you the highest rewards for suffering calamities.” And these are God the Almighty’s words, ‘And We ransomed him with a momentous sacrifice.’2 And there is no power nor any strength but in God.
1. Qur’an, 37:107
2. Qur’an, 37:107