Friday, December 26, 2008

The Status of Sabar In Islam

The Status of Patience in Islām
Shaykh Muhammad ibn Ibrahim al-Tuwaijri

What is the status of sabar (patience) in Islām? What should the Muslim bear with patience?

In the Name of Allāh, Most Gracious, Most Merciful;
All praise and thanks are due to Allāh, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

Belief in Al-Qadha’ wal-Qadar (Divine will and decree) is one of the pillars of faith.

The Muslim’s faith is not complete unless he knows that whatever befalls him could not have missed him, and whatever misses him could not have befallen him. Everything is subject to the will and decree of Allāh, as Allāh says:

“Verily, We have created all things with Qadar (Divine Preordainments of all things before their creation as written in the Book of Decrees Al-Lawh Al Mahfouz).

[Al-Qamar, 54:49]

The position of patience in relation to faith is like that of the head in relation to the body. Patience is a noble attribute with good consequences. Those who are patient will have an unlimited reward, as Allāh says:

“Only those who are patient shall receive their reward in full, without reckoning”

[Al-Zumar, 39:10]

All the disasters and tribulations that happen on earth, or happen to the individual, or to his wealth or family, etc., were known to Allāh before they happened, He has written them in Al-Lawh al-Mahfouz (the Preserved Tablet) as He says:

“No calamity befalls on the earth or in yourselves but it is inscribed in the Book of Decrees (Al-Lawh Al Mahfouz) before We bring it into existence. Verily, that is easy for Allāh”

[Al-Hadid, 57:22]

No matter what disasters befall a person, it is good for him, whether he knows that or not, because Allāh does not decree anything but it is good, as He says:

“Say: ‘Nothing shall ever happen to us except what Allāh has ordained for us. He is our Mawla (Lord, Helper and Protector).’ And in Allāh let the believers put their trust”

[At-Tawbah, 9:51]

Every disaster that happens is by Allāh’s leave. If He had not willed it, it would not have happened, but Allāh permitted it to happen and decreed it, and so it happened. Allāh says:

“No calamity befalls, but by the Leave [i.e. Decision and Qadar (Divine Preordainments)] of Allāh, and whosoever believes in Allāh, He guides his heart [to the true Faith with certainty, i.e. what has befallen him was already written for him by Allāh from the Qadar (Divine Preordainments)]. And Allāh is the All-Knower of everything”

[Al-Taghabun, 64:11]

Once a person knows that all calamities happen by the will and decree of Allāh, then he has to believe and submit and be patient. The reward for patience is Paradise, as Allāh says:

“And their recompense shall be Paradise, and silken garments, because they were patient”

[Al-Insan, 76:12]

The call to Allāh (da’wah) is a great mission, and the one who undertakes it is exposed to a great deal of harm and calamities. Hence Allāh enjoined patience upon His Messenger and other Prophets:

“Therefore be patient (O Muhammad) as did the Messengers of strong will”

[Al-Ahqaf, 46:35]

Allāh has guided the believers, if some matter worries them or some calamity befalls them to seek help with patience and prayer, so that Allāh will relieve their distress and give them a way out:

“O, you who believe! Seek help in patience and As-Solāh (the prayer). Truly, Allāh is with As-Sabirun (the patient)”

[Al-Baqarah, 2:153]

The believer must bear with patience that which Allāh has decreed, and be patient in obeying Allāh, and be patient in keeping away from sin. Whoever is patient, Allāh will give him an immeasurable reward on the Day of Resurrection, as Allāh says:

“Only those who are patient shall receive their reward in full, without reckoning” [Al-Zumar 39:10]

The believer in particular is rewarded in both good times and bad. The Prophet (Sallallāhu 'alaihi wa sallam) said:

“How wonderful is the affair of the believer, for all his affairs are good, and that is for no one except the believer. If something good happens to him, he gives thanks, and that is good for him, and if something bad happens to him, he bears it with patience and that is good for him.”

[Narrated by Muslim, 2999]

Allāh has taught us what we should say when calamity strikes, and has stated that those who are patient will have an honourable position with their Lord. Allāh says:

“… but give glad tidings to As Sabirun (the patient). Who, when afflicted with calamity, say: ‘Truly, to Allāh we belong and truly, to Him we shall return’”

[Al-Baqarah, 2:155-156]

[Via Islam QA excerpted from Usul al-Deen al-Islami by Shaykh Muhammad ibn Ibrahim al-Tuwaijri]


Anonymous said...

Thanks for such a wonderful article. I am a little confused about sabar in case somebody does fraud with us. Would it be better to file a lawsuit against him/her or bear it with patience in which case that person might do some other kind of fraud because he/she is a liar by nature.


If it is very demaging to you and your family and more so you have the capacity to do so, you are entitile (wajib) to defend yourself,fight the fitnah; if not sabar-forgive and forget is the righteous choice.A most noble person to Allah is the one who is pious(muttaqun).