Showing posts with label Patience. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Patience. Show all posts

Tuesday 19 July 2022

Sabr: Patience with Perseverance - the best trait of a Muslim

Life is a complex living with generally smooth sailing, yet marred with tests and trials, up and down and many a challenges that rob one's peace of mind and makes one dejected and depressed. This could be loss of near and dar one, loss of property, wealth, position or a job. These are occasions when one is in extreme distress and does not, though momentarily, see any hope or light at the end of the tunnel. Some even lament "Why me!!"

Well, this is how life has been planned for us by Allah to test us in times of happiness and sorrow. Both these conditions are in fact a test for the man, specially for the true believers for sometimes their faith too wavers and they look towards the sky in distress, silently asking the why of bad times they are passing through. Cognizant of man's state of mind, Allah has asked the believers to be patient with perseverance for they do not the WHY and even do not know how better things in their  lives are planned, promises that those who face difficulty and yet persist on the right path, will be doubly rewarded for their faith in Allah and being patient.  

But do we really understand what Sabr really is. Jamal Badawi explains:
Typically people translate sabr as patience, which is an approximate meaning. Patience s is not a very good translation because it comes from the Latin origin which means suffering. Thus patience is understood in peoples minds as a passive type of suffering. The term sabr comes from the verb sabara which means to tie or bind. In other words it means to be tie down uncontrolled fears, weakness and human passion. There is no specific English word that expresses this meaning but some words that are close are perseverance, resolution, fortitude, self discipline and control. This quality is not passive but more active determined and dynamic. The term sabr (perseverance) in Islam has so many applications that are not limited to perseverance in cases of calamity or disaster. It does include fighting for justice or freedom, demolition of human tyranny unlike the negative passive term, patience.
Going by the above explanation we understand that the main difference between patience and perseverance is that patience is the ability to endure difficult situations without being annoyed or anxious, but perseverance is the quality of continuing with something even though it is difficult.

Thus believers are advised not only to overcome their grief but also continue enduring their grief and resultant difficulties with complete faith in Allah and never ever wavering from their true path for this is the stage when the Satanic machinations are at their prime to offset a believer and inculcate in his mind the feeling of abandonment. 

Thus under the distressful circumstance, a true believer must know that:
  • Whatever is happening or happened to us, we don't understand the WHY, yet we trust Allah without questioning.
  • That when in distress, we do not show our grief to people around us holding back our tears and being strong but cry when it's just Allah with us and beg Him for mercy to take us out from the grievous situation we are in.
  • Instead of being feeling low,  still manage to say Alhamdulillah.
  • Everything belongs to Allah which He has very graciously given to us. But if it is taken back, we need not lament for the taken back things was not ours anyway. Instead we should say:  Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji'un (إِنَّا لِلّهِ وَإِنَّـا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعونَ) - “Surely to Allah we belong and to Him we will all return.“
It is certainly difficult for a person to look at the tragedies of the world today and not feel helpless and sad. But believers are called to put their trust in their Lord, and not to fall into despair or hopelessness. You must continue to do what Allah has called to do: put trust in Him, perform good deeds, and stand as witnesses for justice and truth. This is how Allah advises a believer to exhibit sabr and perseverance in Qur'an:
  • "Seek Allah's help with patient perseverance and prayer. It is indeed hard except for those who are humble." (2:45)
  • "Oh you who believe! Seek help with patient perseverance and prayer, for God is with those who patiently persevere." (2:153)
  • "Be sure We shall test you with something of fear and hunger, some loss in goods, lives, and the fruits of your toil. But give glad tidings to those who patiently persevere. Those who say, when afflicted with calamity, 'To Allah we belong, and to Him is our return.' They are those on whom descend blessings from their Lord, and mercy. They are the ones who receive guidance." (2:155-157)
That is those who have faith in Allah in times of distress, Allah promises them good tidings and releif as is said in Surah 94 Al-Sharh:5-6:
فَاِنَّ مَعَ الۡعُسۡرِ يُسۡرًا ۙ‏ 
(94:5) Verily with every difficulty there is relief.
اِنَّ مَعَ الۡعُسۡرِ يُسۡرًا ؕ‏ 
(94:6) Verily with every difficulty there is relief.

The above quoted last verses of the Surah Al-Sharh were revealed when Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was passing through some of the hard times of his life3 and these two repeated verses were revealed to tell him that with every hard ship comes the ease provided one faces the hardships with patience and perseverance. 

Yusuf Ali explains: This verse is repeated for extra emphasis. Whatever difficulties or troubles are encountered by men, Allah always provides a solution, a way out, a relief, a way to lead to ease and happiness, if we only follow His Path and show our Faith by patience and well-doing. The solution or relief does not merely come after the Difficulty: it is provided with it. I understand the definite article in al-'usr in a generic sense, and translate: "every difficulty". In xcii. 7, I have translated Yusr as Bliss, and in xcii. 10 'Usr as Misery.
The essence of all above is in fact a strong message for the believers to exhibit extreme sense of  Sabr (patience with perseverance) whenever in in testing and trying times for Allah is on the side of those who bow their heads to Allah in every state of happiness and despair and know that both happiness and distress are from Allah and his duty is to remain subservient to whatever comes from Allah. Such are the true believers and Muslims.
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 life miserable or unlivable. May all our wrong doings, whether intentional or unintentional, be forgiven before the angel of death knocks on our door. 

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

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.

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Tuesday 22 February 2022

Patience (Sabr) is not surrendering to the circumstances - But to the Will of Allah

Patience (Arabic: صَّبْرِ ) is the ability of the man for the bearing of provocation, annoyance, misfortune, or pain, without complaint, loss of temper, irritation, or the like. However, there are many who when confronted with a loss or setback give in and surrender them to the circumstances, and generally go  into depression. In fact patience defines the level of endurance of sufferer based on his strength, belief in himself and faith in Allah.

Thus while people of with weak or no faith will surrender them to their setbacks, believers with strong faith in Allah will take their present position and situation as a test of Allah and will take solace from the fact that all good or bad things happen due to Will of Allah and that after every setback there is always hope and sunshine. In fact a true believer always accepts his circumstances and doesn't get disturbed even for a moment nor keeps a grudge in his heart against the one who wronged him nor pledges to take a revenge despite being able to do so. 

In Qur'an, there are many occasions when believers have been asked to be patient and have faith in Allah. For example in the 177th verse of Surah 2. Al Baqarah (The Cow), Allah asks believers to be patient on three occasions: 
 ... True righteousness are those who remain steadfast in adversity and affliction and at the time of battle (between Truth and falsehood).
It is in these three circumstances in which the determination and resolve of a person are tested. If a person remains steadfast in them, he would attain a high position in loyalty to God and in God-consciousness. This is precisely what the Qur’ān has said and in this manner has made it clear that those who want to fulfil the rights entailed by loyalty to God by merely offering some rituals and customs are neither God-conscious nor truthful in their commitment to His loyalty. 

And in the 44th verse of Surah 38. Al Qasas, Allah mentions a fine tribute to His servant Prophet Ayub (Job, peace be upon him) who had been inflicted with an incurable disease in which his entire body was plagued with virus. Yet the Prophet of Allah remained steadfast. And it is his extreme level of patience that Allah commends him and says:

وَخُذۡ بِيَدِكَ ضِغۡثًا فَاضۡرِبْ بِّهٖ وَلَا تَحۡنَثۡ​ؕ اِنَّا وَجَدۡنٰهُ صَابِرًا​ ؕ نِعۡمَ الۡعَبۡدُ​ ؕ اِنَّـهٗۤ اَوَّابٌ‏ 
(38:44) (and We said to him): “Take in your hand a bundle of rushes and strike with it, and do not break your oath.” Indeed We found him steadfast. How excellent a servant (of Ours) he was. Indeed he constantly turned (to his Lord).

In the 17th verse of Surah 31. Luqman, the wise man Luqman has been quoted advising his son on the observance of patience:

یٰبُنَیَّ اَقِمِ الصَّلٰوۃَ وَ اۡمُرۡ بِالۡمَعۡرُوۡفِ وَ انۡہَ عَنِ الۡمُنۡکَرِ وَ اصۡبِرۡ عَلٰی مَاۤ اَصَابَکَ ؕ اِنَّ ذٰلِکَ مِنۡ عَزۡمِ الۡاُمُوۡرِ 
Son! Be diligent in the prayer, urge what is good and forbid evil and whatever mishap strikes you [in this path], be steadfast on it. It is because these are the tasks which have been emphasized.

Javed Ahmed Ghamidi in his explanation of the verse notes that This is because this steadfastness is the fountainhead of resolve and determination and the splendour of all facets of character and conduct. It engenders the courage in a person to accept whole-heartedly the unpleasant experiences of life and to greet them regarding them to be from God instead of brooding and complaining. For this, it is required even more in urging others to the right path and stopping them from vice and in treading the path of virtue.

Readers are requested to read our earlier post " And resort to patience and prayer for Divine Help" inn which verse of Surah 2. Al Baqarah is explained.

Here I would like to draw the attention of my readers to Surah 103. Al Asr, wherein Allah lists down the four attributes of a true believer in the last verse:

In this Surah an oath has been sworn by the Time to impress the point that man is in sheer loss and only those people are an exception from the loss who are characterized by four qualities:

اِلَّا الَّذِيۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا وَ عَمِلُوا الصّٰلِحٰتِ وَتَوَاصَوۡا بِالۡحَقِّ  ۙ وَتَوَاصَوۡا بِالصَّبۡرِ‏ 
( 3 )   Except for those who have believed and done righteous deeds and advised each other to truth and advised each other to patience.
  • (1) Faith.
  • (2) Righteous deeds.
  • (3) Exhorting one another to truth.
  • 4) Exhorting one another to patience.
Javed Ahmed Ghamidi explaining the verse notes that The words حَقّ (ḥaqq) and صَبْر (ṣabr) mentioned in the verse need deliberation. The Almighty did not say: “they urged others to righteous deeds.” On the contrary, His words are: “they urged one another to the truth and urged one another to remain steadfast on it.” What is the reason for this? Imām Amīn Aḥsan Iṣlāḥī writes:
… This style has not only included in it what is found in the first part, it has also made very important additions to it: i#mān is included to the utmost in al-ḥaqq because it is the right of God and in fact the greatest right of God. Similarly, righteous deeds either relate to the rights towards God or rights towards human beings; hence righteous deeds are also included in ḥaqq. It is evident from this discussion that believers do all these things as an obligation, urge others to adopt them and also counsel others that discharging these obligations is no easy a task; it requires patience and forbearance. Those who do not have this characteristic will find it very difficult to carry out these obligations. (Amīn Aḥsan Iṣlāḥī, Tadabbur-i Qur’ān, vol. 9, 536)
So my dear brothers and sisters, let built up a strong faith in Allah and must satisfy our hearts to the fact that whatever good or otherwise happen to us it is by Will of Allah and we must surrender to it and not lament by surrendering ourselves to the circumstances. If and when we attain this level of faith and patience, let me assure you we will be the most satisfied servants of Allah.

May Allah help us understand Qur'ān and help us to act upon the commandments of Allah contained therein. Aameen.

For more Q&A about Understanding Islamplease refer to our reference page: Understanding Islam - Frequently asked Q&A You may also refer to our Reference Pages for knowing more about Islam and Qur'ān.
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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.

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.  
In order to augment and add more explanation as already provided, additional input has been interjected from following sources: 
  • Towards Understanding the Quran
  • Tafsir Ibn Khatir
  • Muhammad Asad Translation
  • Javed Ahmad Ghamidi / Al Mawrid
  • Al-Quran, Yusuf Ali Translation
  • Verse by Verse Qur'an Study Circle
In addition the references of other sources which have been explored have also been given above. Those desirous of detailed explanations and tafsir (exegesis), may refer to these sites.

If you like Islam: My Ultimate Decision, and to keep yourself updated on all our latest posts to know more about Islam, follow us on Facebook

Please share this page to your friends and family members through Facebook, WhatsApp or any means on Social Media so that they can also be benefited by it and better understand Islam and the Qur'ān - Insha Allah (Allah Willing) you shall be blessed with the best of both worlds.

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