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Friday 22 September 2023

What is patience in Good Grace (صَبۡرٌ جَمِيۡلٌ)

Patiance is the hallmark of a believer. When confronted with a setback, a loss or being devastated by a calamity, Allah advises His servants to be patient. Although, man by nature is too weak and meek, exercising patience more often than not becomes too difficult to exercise. Therefore, at number of places in Qur'an, man has been continuously advised to be patient for Allah has something better in store against what has been lost.
"And resort to patience and As Salat (Prayer) for help.  Truly Prayer is burdensome for all except the devout," (Surah 2 Al Baqarah: 45)

Above shared verse is one of so many verses from Qur'an which encourages man to resort to patience and when it becomes difficult to bear, resort to As Salat for Divine help.

But how do we exercise patience in good grace?  Can patience be in good grace, that is one is laden with the enormous grief of one's loss, yet he should be patient in good grace? And when it comes to losing something very precious, like one's beloved son, can a man be still be patient is good grace? Well, one can, provided one has complete faith in Allah and when one knows that the loss has come to him as a test and one must bear the loss gracefully and then leave rest to Allah.

This is the theme of our selected verse from 12th Chapter of Qur'an, that is Surah Yusuf (Prophet Joseph, peace be upon him) which is related to the time when young Yusuf was taken by his envious brothers, thrown in a dead well and came back with his shirt with blood stains on it and lamented to their father Prophet Yaqoob (Jacob, may peace be upon him).

That is Our duty is only to convey to you the message that Allah has entrusted us with. Then it is for you to accept it or reject it. We have not been made responsible for making you accept it forcibly, and if you do not accept it, we shall not be seized in consequence of your disbelief, you will yourselves be answerable for your actions on Day of Resurrection.

وَجَآءُوۡ عَلٰى قَمِيـۡصِهٖ بِدَمٍ كَذِبٍ​ؕ قَالَ بَلۡ سَوَّلَتۡ لَـكُمۡ اَنۡفُسُكُمۡ اَمۡرًا​ؕ فَصَبۡرٌ جَمِيۡلٌ​ؕ وَاللّٰهُ الۡمُسۡتَعَانُ عَلٰى مَا تَصِفُوۡنَ‏  

(12:18) And they brought Joseph's shirt, stained with false blood. Seeing this their father exclaimed: "Nay (this is not true); rather your evil souls have made it easy for you to commit a heinous act. So, I will bear this patiently, and in good grace. It is Allah's help alone that I seek against your fabrication.

The verse is explained as under by one of the famous Muslim scholars and exegete Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi:

The literal meaning of "good patience صَبۡرٌ جَمِيۡلٌ" implies patience that enables one to endure all kinds of troubles and afflictions in a calm, self-possessed and unemotional manner, without complaining or crying or weeping, as is worthy of great minds

(And this how Prophet Jacob maintained himself, knowing the foul play and said: I will bear this patiently, and in good grace. It is Allah's help alone that I seek against your fabrication. He said that he would hold his heart in patience and implore Allah's assistance, for he had faith, and knew that all that Allah does is for the best!)

Prophet Jacob's reaction to the news of Joseph's death, as depicted in the Qur'an, is different from that given in the Bible and the Talmud. According to them he was upset by the sad news and behaved like an ordinary father. The Bible says, "And Jacob rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his loins. And mourned for his son for many days." (Gen. 37: 34). And the Talmud says that at the sad news Jacob gave himself up to the abandonment of grief, and lay with his face to the ground.... and refused to be comforted, and cried, 'Some wild beast has devoured Joseph and I shall never see him more'; and he mourned for Joseph for many years. (The Talmud, H. Polano, pp. 78, 79).

When we contrast this picture with the one depicted in the Qur'an, we clearly see that the Qur'anic picture is that of a dignified and great personality. He is not upset in the least at hearing the sad news of his beloved son but at once gets to the bottom of the matter, and tells the envious brothers, "Your tale is false and fabricated." Then he shows "good patience" as a Prophet should and puts his trust in the help of God.  "

Now my brothers and sisters in Islam, let us review our state in state of grief and loss. Many of us, especially women, weep and cry, beat their chests and openly ask Allah the why of such calamity that befall on them and words to that effect. Whereas, the above quoted verse and its explanation teaches us to be fully composed and bear the loss with patience in good grace. 

Although it is very difficult to be calm and composed, a true believer should neither panic nor complain. Rather he would seek only God’s support against by repeatedly saying: وَاللّٰهُ الۡمُسۡتَعَانُ. This phrase وَاللّٰهُ الۡمُسۡتَعَانُ (Wallahul Musta'an) is used to call for Allah's help when one finds oneself in impossible situations and when one is confronted with teamed up people who by their lies want to defame you and tarnish your image, or when you feel sidelined and alone or devastated by a calamity or huge loss. he is said to have settled down for It should be repeatedly said when one realizes that there is no way out for him and it is Allah alone Who can render a helping hand.

When one reaches this state of peaceful mind despite the loss, he is deemed to have settled down with patience in good grace. Please share this post with people under distress and try to explain to them what is patience in Good Grace (صَبۡرٌ جَمِيۡلٌ) and why it is to be exercised despite one's difficult times. May Allah be always there to help us out of our difficult times. Ameen

Please listen to a short video clip on patience in good grace by eminent Muslim scholar Nouman Ali Khan:

May Allāh (سبحانه و تعالى‎) help us understand Qur'ān and follow the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, which is embodiment of commandments of Allah contained in the Qur'ān. May Allah help us to be like the ones He loves and let our lives be lived helping others and not making others' lives miserable or unlivable. May all our wrong doings, whether intentional or unintentional, be forgiven before the angel of death knocks on our door. 
وَمَا عَلَيۡنَاۤ اِلَّا الۡبَلٰغُ الۡمُبِيۡنُ‏ 
(36:17) and our duty is no more than to clearly convey the Message.”
That is Our duty is only to convey to you the message that Allah has entrusted us with. Then it is for you to accept it or reject it. We have not been made responsible for making you accept it forcibly, and if you do not accept it, we shall not be seized in consequence of your disbelief, you will yourselves be answerable for your actions on Day of Resurrection.

Reading the Qur'ān should be a daily obligation of a Muslim - Reading it with translation will make it meaningful. But reading its Exegesis / Tafsir will make you understand it fully. It will also help the Muslims to have grasp over social issues and their answers discussed in the Qur'an and other matter related to inter faith so that they are able to discuss issues with non-Muslims with authority based on refences from Qur'an.

May Allah forgive me if my posts ever imply a piety far greater than I possess. I am most in need of guidance.

Note: When we mention God in our posts, we mean One True God, we call Allah in Islam, with no associates. Allah is the Sole Creator of all things, and that Allah is all-powerful and all-knowing. Allah has no offspring, no race, no gender, no body, and is unaffected by the characteristics of human life.

You may read more posts on similar theme in our series of posts related to: Selected verses from Al-Qurʾān about Sabr   "صبر "   / Patience

For more Selected Verses, please refer to our reference page: Selected Verses from the Qur'anYou may also refer to our Reference Pages  and Understanding Al Qur'an for knowing more about Islam and Qur'ān.
An effort has been made to gather explanation / exegesis of the surahs of the Qur'ān from authentic sources and then present a least possible condensed explanation of the surah. In that the exegesis of the chapters of the Quran is mainly based on the "Tafhim al-Qur'an - The Meaning of the Qur'an" by one of the most enlightened scholars of the Muslim World Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi.  

Photo | Tafsir References: | 1 | 2

Disclaimer: The material for this post has been collected from the references as given above. If anyone differs with the material contained in this post, one may consult the references and their authors.  If someone has more material about the subject, he/she is most welcome to share in the comments box to make the post all encompassing.

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