By Roland Clarke
During Eid ul Adha Muslims slaughter a ram in commemoration of a ransom by “great sacrifice.” Allah made this provision so as to rescue Abraham’s firstborn. (The Study Qur’an, Surah 37:101) During Passover the ancient Hebrews also slaughtered a lamb in commemoration of a great ransom. They recognized if God had not provided the Passover lamb their firstborn sons would not escape the clutches of the death angel. It appears that both stories honor the Almighty by portraying him as the hero figure who rescues by providing a “great” ransom/redemption. In fact, again and again through Scripture we see saints and prophets praising God as Saviour and Redeemer. However, looking at Islam again, this observation raises a vital, if perplexing, question, “Are these names, Saviour and Redeemer, listed among the 99 beautiful names of Allah?” This fascinating line of discussion are explored in a short tract, titled, “Pondering parallels between Eid and Passover” which is available online here.
By adopting a friendly, yet thought provoking, approach this article-tract illustrates how our “speech should always be gracious, seasoned with salt so that you may know how you should answer each person.” (Col. 4:6)
In conclusion, let me mention that the Muslim Eid festival is just one, among other appropriate ways of broaching the theme of ransom. Eid is, indeed, a good conversation starter, but what about a movie depicting the epic Exodus story? Surely such a movie can also pave the way to discuss ransom with unbelievers, in particular, God as Redeemer? Two popular Hollywood films that suit this purpose are: The 10 Commandments and The Prince of Egypt.