If we pay attention to the philosophy inherent in Eid al-Adha, many paths will be opened up for us. A select Messenger of the Righteous One, Prophet Ibrahim (a.s.), made a sacrifice on Eid al-Adha. In some cases, sacrificing your loved ones is beyond sacrificing your life. Prophet Ibrahim was about to sacrifice a loved one in the way of God – a young child whom Allah the Exalted had bestowed on him at an old age after a lifetime of waiting.
This sacrifice is a symbol for the faithful people who want to tread the path of truth, transcendence and perfection. This is impossible without a sacrifice. In fact, all the tests that we go through involve one essential element – all tests involve a sacrifice. Sometimes this involves sacrificing your life and wealth. Other times it involves forgiving somebody for a comment he makes and insists on stubbornly.
The Leader of Islamic Ummah and Oppressed People Imam Sayyed Ali Khamenei, 17/11/2010