Sabr (Patience)

May 31, 2012 § Leave a comment


By Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah

[An abridgement of his original work entitled, “Uddat as-Sâbireen wa Dhâkirat by TaHa Publications]

The Definition of Patience

Sabr is an Arabic word which comes from a root meaning to detain, refrain and stop. There is an expression in Arabic, “so-and-so was killed sabran,” which means that he was captured and detained until he died. In the spiritual sense, patience means to stop ourselves from despairing and panicking, to stop our tongues from complaining, and to stop our hands from striking our faces and tearing our clothes at times of grief and stress.

What scholars have said about patience

Some scholars have defined patience as a good human characteristic or a positive psychological attitude, by virtue of which we refrain from doing that which is not good. Human beings cannot live a proper, healthy life without patience.

Abu ‘Uthman said: “the one who has patience is the one who has trained himself to handle difficulties.

‘Amr ibn ‘Uthman al-Makki said: “Patience means to keep close to Allah and to accept calmly the trials He sends, without complaining or feeling sad.

Al-Khawwas said: “Patience means to adhere to the rules of the Qur’an and Sunnah.”

Ali ibn Abi Talib said: “Patience means to seek Allah’s help.”

Is it better to have patience at a time of difficulty, or to be in a situation which does not require patience?

Abu Muhammad al-Hariri said: “Patience means not seeing any difference between times of ease and times of hardship, and being content at all times.” I (Ibn Qayyim) say: This is too difficult, and we are not instructed to be like this. Allah has created us in such a way that we feel the difference between times of ease and times of hardship, and all that we can do is refrain from panicking at times of stress. Patience does not mean feeling the same at both easy and difficult times. That is beyond us, and is not part of our nature. Having an easy time is better for us than having a difficult time. As the Prophet (Sallallaahu alaihi wa Sallam) said in his well-known du’a: “If You are not angry with me, then I do not care what happens to me, but still I would rather have Your Blessings and Favour.” This does not contradict the hadith which says, “No-one has ever been given a better gift than patience,” because that refers to after a test or trial has befallen a person. But ease is still better.

Patience in the Qur’ân

Imâm Ahmad said: “Allâh has mentioned patience in the Qur’ân in ninety places.”

1. Instruction. Patience in enjoined upon believers:

“And be patient for your patience is but by Allâh…” (an-Nahl 16:127).
“Now await in patience the command of your Lord…” (at-tûr 54:48).

2. That which is opposite to patience is forbidden:

“…and be in no haste about the (unbelievers)…” (al-Ahqâf 46:35).
“So lose not heart nor fall in despair…” (Al ‘Imrân 3:139).

“…and be not like the Companion of the Fish (i.e. Yûnus [AS]) – when he cried out in agony” (al-Qalâm 68:48).

3.Patience is made a condition of success and prosperity:

“O you who believe! Persevere in patience and constancy; vie in such perseverance; strengthen each other; and fear Allâh; that you may prosper” (Al ‘Imrân 3:200).

4. The rewards of those who exercise patience will be doubled:

“Twice will they be given their reward, for that they have persevered…” (al-Qasas 28:54).
“…Those who patiently persevere will truly receive a reward without measure!” (az-Zumar 39:10).

Sulaymân ibn Qâsim said that the reward of every deed is known, except for the reward of patience, which will be like heavy rain.

5. Patience and îmân are prerequisites for leadership in religion:

“And We appointed, from among them, leaders, giving guidance under Our commands, so long as they persevered with patience and continued to have faith in Our Signs” (as-Sajdah 32:24).

6. Patience is the way to earn the companionship of Allâh:

“…and be patient and persevering: for Allâh is with those who patiently persevere” (al-Anfâl 8:46).

Abû Alî ad-Daqqaq said: “People who have patience are the true winners in this world and the next, because they have the companionship of Allâh.”

7. Allâh will reward those who have patience with a threefold reward: blessings, mercy and guidance:

“…but give glad tidings to those who patiently persevere – who say, when afflicted with calamity: ‘To Allâh we belong, and to Him is our return’ – they are those on whom (descend) blessings from their Lord, and Mercy and they are the ones that receive guidance” (al-Baqarah 2:155-7).

When people came to offer their condolences to one of the salaf, for some calamity that had befallen him, he said:

“Why should I not practice patience, when Allâh has promised those who have patience three rewards, each of which is better than this world and everything in it?”

8. Patience is a means of seeking Allâh’s help:

“…seek (Allâh’s) help with patient perseverance and prayer…” (al-Baqarah 2:45).

So whoever has no patience has no help.

9. Patience and taqwâ are conditions for Allâh’s help and support:

“Yea – if you remain firm, and act aright, even if the enemy should rush here on you in hot haste, your Lord would help you with five thousand angels making a terrific onslaught” (Al ‘Imrân 3:125).

10. Patience and taqwâ are a great protection against the cunning of enemies:

“…But if you are constant and do right, not the least harm will their cunning do to you…” (Al ‘Imrân 3:120).

11. The angels will salute the people of patience in Jannah:

“…and angels shall enter unto them from every gate (with the salutation of): ‘Peace unto you for that you persevered in patience! Now how excellent is the final Home!’ ” (ar-Ra‘d 13:24).

More of the article at Sabr (Patience) By Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah.

He Lost The Woman, and He Lost His Religion

May 31, 2012 § 2 Comments


Abu Bakr mosque

Abu Bakr mosque (Photo credit: Ranoush.)

Ibn al-Qayyim (Rahimahullah) narrated:

It is reported that in Egypt, there was a man who would maintain the mosques, making the call to prayer, etc. He was, by all outward means, an obedient person and devout worshipper.

One day, as he usually would, he ascended the minaret to make the call to prayer. At the base of the minaret, there was a Christian woman standing. He saw her, and was seduced by her looks. So, he descended the minaret, went to her, and entered her home. She said to him: “Who are you, and what do you want?”

He replied: “I want you.”

She said: “Why?”

He said: “You have enslaved my eyes, and you have captured my heart.”

She said: “I will never answer your desire in a doubtful or suspicious manner.”

He said: “Ok, so, I will marry you, then.”

She said: “You are a Muslim, and I am a Christian. My father will never allow me to marry you.”

He said: “So, I will become a Christian.”

She said: “If you wish to do so, go ahead.“

So, the man became a Christian in order to marry this woman, and lived with the woman’s family in her house. Later on that day, however, he was on the roof of the house. He fell from the roof and died without even having enjoyed his new bride. So, he lost the woman, and he lost his religion.”

Ad-Da’ wad-Dawa, page.127 of Ibn Al-Qayyim Al-Jawziyyah (Rahimahullaah)

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