By Tai Olaniyi
1 Samuel, 15, 22-23.
22 And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.
During our childhood days in Offa, this period of the Muslim Festival world over depicts not only a festive season when eating especially ram meat was so typical of us, in the homes of our Muslim families, relations, and friends, but similarly a season of undiluted love and affection for one another not minding our different religious persuasions.
To us as children, eating ram meat was much more the concern than the spiritual import and mystical symbolism of this great occasion in the life of humankind as a whole.
Even though many adherents of both Christianity and Islam enjoy the picturesque of such agelong Judeo-Arabic religious traditions, very few today and as in time past were and are bothered about the spiritual import of such highly revered mystical ceremony.
Why mystical? you may wish to ask, it is mystical in the sense that it calls for, “having a personal awareness of God within the domain of self”.
As the scriptures input the scenario between God and father Abraham, Ibrahim, God, the Creator of being had long manifested His glory in the life of father Abraham teaching him the mystery of His greatness.
His mystery as enshrined in the world of opposition in barrenness -fruitfulness, poverty-wealth, in foolishness- wisdom and all in all, in tests, trials, and tribulations which are the triune symbol of the Cross
The Cross that every mortal flesh must carry.
Abraham, Ibrahim haven established a personal and intimate awareness of God within the domain of ” Self”, trusted and readily obeyed God’s directives in almost all instances.
Once childless even till very old age when almost all hopes were lost, yet because God remains all there is, his greatest treasure at that time must also be sacrificed according to Almighty Allah’s dictate.
When God speaks, only you and I in our most personal and intimate awareness within us must listen. When He dictates, we must learn on an individual basis to trust and obey. When Almighty Allah in His almightiness subjects each and everyone to tests, trials including tribulations, we have no other option than moving our consciousness from the darkness of the mundane world towards that of the “Greater Light”, to self-mastery and personal mastership.
Obedience to God, sacrificing our mundane pleasures and mere earthly treasures which are prone to moths, decadence, transient powers, religious intolerance, tribes, and racial acrimonies, and all that divide rather than unite us as members of the same humanity must be discarded.
Sacrificing all the aforementioned traits that are inimical to personal and collective spiritual consciousness and improvement, must give way to being “thrown into the fire of spiritual passion” so that one becomes “refined” as postulated by the Sufis, the mystics of Islam.
So also, the required spirituality of our mundane treasures, the discard of the wolves in us so that “old things” are made to pass away and one’s life becomes rekindled and thus one becomes a born again alluding to who a real and practicing Christian is supposed to be.
To us as brethren of the ROSY CROSS, the Rose+Cross, it is incumbent and always germane to always trust, obey, and get sanctified by the Creator of every living being, everywhere.
In our daily prayer and attunement, we must continuously meditate on the spiritual import of our sacred obligation to God of our hearts, and fellow man, humanity as a whole as we pray:
“May the Divine essence of the Cosmic infuse our beings and cleanse us of all impurities of mind and body so that we can attune in pureness and worthiness.”
So Mote It Be.