Bangladesh Adventures

Friday, December 21, 2007

Day of Eid Korbani

A Teaching Opportunity for MBB’s – The Day of Eid Korbani

Friday, December 21, 2007

Today is the morning of Eid Korbani in Dhaka, Bangladesh. As I crank out this document, I am hearing the bleating of goats about to be slaughtered. As we drove into our parking garage last night after a fellowship event with some friends, we counted five cows unknowingly awaiting slaughter on the next day. Yesterday, our teenage daughter was invited by one of her wealthy Bangladeshi friends to go cow shopping! We agreed to let her go provided she would agree to fifteen minutes of Bible study. This family bought two large cows for 100,000 taka! Our agreement with our daughter is the reason for our cranking out this document. I felt this might be of some value to Muslims and so I am offering it to you to share with your network of Muslims.

In fairness to our Muslim friends, in their minds when they reflect on the religious significance of the event, it has more to do with the obedience of Ibrahim (Abraham) than as an atonement for sin. Yesterday’s (20 December 2007) Daily Star (the leading English newspaper in Dhaka) renders a popular understanding of the event by an educated Bangladeshi Muslim:

“To commemorate Hazrat Ibrahim’s devotion to almighty Allah proven by his readiness to give up His dearest son Hazrat Ismail, well-to-do Muslims will sacrifice animals and share the sacrificial Meat with their relatives, neighbours, and poor people. Hazrat Ibrahim, who had been asked by Almighty Allah to sacrifice his dearest son, arranged everything to implement Allah’s order at Mina near Makkah. Satisfied by his sincere intent, Allah ordered Ibrahim to sacrifice an animal in Place of his son. Marking the event, which symbolizes highest loyalty and submission to the

Almighty, Muslims at Mina and around the world sacrifice animals on the 10th day of the month Of Zilhaji.”

So the event commemorates Ibrahim’s obedience more than atonement ascribed to the act of sacrificing. It is well-known that a gospel conversation can be launched by comparing Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son with Allah’s (God’s) not only willingness but actually offering his Son Isa (Jesus). In fact, Galatians 3:29 clearly links Ibrahim and Isa:

“And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendents, heirs according to promise.” (NASB)

However, this humble document will not go that direction. While we can point to Genesis 22 in the Torat to substantiate that it was Isahok (Isaac) that Ibrahim was willing to sacrifice, if we ask the Muslim to point out where in the Quran it states that Ismail was sacrificed, he will not be able to do so. However, neither is it the purpose of this document to go that direction.

The purpose of this document is to state that sacrificing animals is no longer necessary in light of the once for all sacrifice of Isa-Al-Masih (Messiah). One of the best places in the Injil (New Testament) to go to see this is the book of Hebrews. According to 9:11-12, 10:4, 10:10, 10:12, 10:14, 10:18:

“But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things to come, He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle….not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.

“For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.”

“we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.”

“but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, sat down at the throne of God.”

“for by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified.”

“Now where there is forgiveness of these things, there is no longer any offering for sin.”

This should suffice, and may God bless your work with Muslims.


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