By in Patience (sabr), Uncategorized On 27-07-2014

Sabr or Patience

Sabr lexically means in Arabic “Habasa nafsaho anho”. (Al Mujam al waseet. Dar ul Dawah-Cagri yayinlari-Turkey 1989).  He restrained himself or his nafs from it. It means to “hold or control one’s self” against something and remain composed internally even though the external environment may be in chaos. It also means to “tie”, “bind” and “fetter.” (Hans Weir: A dictionary of Modern Written Arabic 1980. Edited by J. Milton Cowan. Macdonald and Evans Ltd London.)

Beautiful Gift


Abu Sa’id Al-Khudri (May Allah be pleased with him) reported that: Certain people of the Ansar asked the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) and he gave them; then they again asked him and he gave them until all what he possessed was exhausted. Then the Prophet (PBUH) said, “Whatever wealth I have, I will not withhold from you. Whosoever would be chaste and modest; Allah will keep him chaste and modest and whosoever would seek self-sufficiency, Allah will make him self-sufficient; and whosoever would be patient, Allah will give him patience, and no one is granted a gift better and more comprehensive than patience”. (Bukhari/Muslim: Hadith 26 Book of patience Riad ul Saliheen).



وعن أبي سَعيد سعدِ بن مالكِ بنِ سنانٍ الخدري رضي الله عنهما : أَنَّ نَاساً مِنَ الأَنْصَارِ سَألوا رسولَ الله فَأعْطَاهُمْ ، ثُمَّ سَألوهُ فَأعْطَاهُمْ ، حَتَّى نَفِدَ مَا عِندَهُ ، فَقَالَ لَهُمْ حِينَ أنْفْقَ كُلَّ شَيءٍ بِيَدِهِ : « مَا يَكُنْ عِنْدي مِنْ خَيْر فَلَنْ أدَّخِرَهُ عَنْكُمْ ، وَمَنْ يَسْتَعْفِفْ يُعِفهُ اللهُ ، وَمَنْ يَسْتَغْنِ يُغْنِهِ اللهُ ، وَمَنْ يَتَصَبَّرْ يُصَبِّرْهُ اللهُ . وَمَا أُعْطِيَ أَحَدٌ عَطَاءً خَيْراً وَأوْسَعَ مِنَ الصَّبْر » . مُتَّفَقٌ عليه . في هذا الحديث : الحثُّ على الاستعفاف ، وأَنَّ مَنْ رزقه الله الصبر على ضيق العيش وغيره من مكاره الدنيا ، فقد أعطاه خيرًا كثيرًا .

Beautiful Sabr

The best sabr is the beautiful sabr of Prophet Yaqoob pbuh. He complained of his problems only to Allah swt and did not even confront his own children when they told him that Yusuf his son pbuh had died. (12:18). Further, later on in the story, when his sons informed him that Benjamin had committed theft and had not returned with them Prophet Yaqoob said: “I only complain of my grief and sorrow to Allah.”(12:86).

Sabr is of Three Kinds in Islam

In Islam sabr manifests itself in three forms:-

  1. Upon sins (holding yourself back from committing sins)
  2. Upon obedience to Allah swt. In controlling the lower self from sins.
  3. Upon trials and tribulations. Staying composed when they happen.


Are We Obliged to Be Patient?

There are very few obligations in Islam but patience is a beautiful action of the heart. An action that carries immense reward, and a condition that all the great Prophets peace be upon them displayed. The hadith below state that it is half of faith. When the believer’s life is problem free it is incumbent on him to give gratitude. When he endures hardship he is obliged to be patient.


Abu Yahya Suhaib bin Sinan (May Allah be pleased with him) reported that: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, “How wonderful is the case of a believer; there is good for him in everything and this applies only to a believer. If prosperity attends him, he expresses gratitude to Allah and that is good for him; and if adversity befalls him, he endures it patiently and that is better for him”. (Muslim: Hadith 27 Book of patience Riad ul Saliheen).



وعن أبي يحيى صهيب بن سنانٍ ، قَالَ : قَالَ رسولُ الله : « عَجَباً لأمْرِ المُؤمنِ إنَّ أمْرَهُ كُلَّهُ لَهُ خيرٌ ولَيسَ ذلِكَ لأَحَدٍ إلا للمُؤْمِن : إنْ أَصَابَتْهُ سَرَّاءُ شَكَرَ فَكانَ خَيراً لَهُ ، وإنْ أصَابَتْهُ ضرَاءُ صَبَرَ فَكانَ خَيْراً لَهُ » . رواه مسلم . في هذا الحديث : فَضْلُ الشكر على السّرّاء والصبر على الضرّاء ، فمن فعل ذلك حصل له خيرُ الدارين ، ومَنْ لم يشكر على النعمة ، ولم يصبر على المصيبة ، فاته الأَجر ، وحصل له الوِزْر .


Patience is a two – fold obligation: Quranic and Prophetic:

  1. Quranic obligation

Allah, the Exalted, says:

“O you who believe! Endure and be more patient..”. (3:200)

“And certainly, We shall test you with something of fear, hunger, loss of wealth, lives and fruits, but give glad tidings to As-Sabirun (the patient)”. (2:155)

“Only those who are patient shall receive their reward in full, without reckoning.” (39:10)

“And verily, whosoever shows patience and forgives, that would truly be from the things recommended by Allah.” (42:43)

“Seek help in patience and As-Salat (the prayer). Truly, Allah is with As-Sabirun (the patient).” (2:153)

“And surely, We shall try you till We test those who strive hard (for the Cause of Allah) and As-Sabirun (the patient)” (47:31)


  1. Prophetic Obligation


Ibn Masud reported that The Messenger of Allah said “Patience is half of faith”. Abu Nu’aym

Ibn Abbas reported that The Messenger of Allah said to the wounded men of Abdul Qais tribe: “Surely there are in you two attributes which Allah likes – patience and delay.” Muslim

(Mishkat ul Masabih ch 4 sec 13 Engl version Vol 1)

Beautiful Believer

In order to be considered, complete patience on the part of the believer, must be an immediate, not delayed response to the trial of one’s Lord.

Anas (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Prophet (PBUH) passed by a woman who was crying over a grave and said, “Fear Allah and be patient.” She said, “Away from me! My calamity has not befallen you and you are not aware of it.” The woman was later told that it was the Prophet (PBUH) (who had advised her). She came to his door where she found no doorkeeper. She said, “(I am sorry) I did not know you.” Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, “Patience is (becoming) only at the first (stroke) of grief”.( Bukhari /Muslim: Hadith 31 Book of patience Riad ul Saliheen).
وعن أنس قَالَ : مَرَّ النَّبيُّ بامرأةٍ تَبكي عِنْدَ قَبْرٍ ، فَقَالَ : « اتّقِي الله واصْبِري » فَقَالَتْ : إِليْكَ عَنِّي ؛ فإِنَّكَ لم تُصَبْ بمُصِيبَتي وَلَمْ تَعرِفْهُ ، فَقيلَ لَهَا : إنَّه النَّبيُّ فَأَتَتْ بَابَ النَّبيِّ ، فَلَمْ تَجِدْ عِنْدَهُ بَوَّابينَ ، فقالتْ : لَمْ أعْرِفكَ ، فَقَالَ : « إنَّمَا الصَّبْرُ عِنْدَ الصَّدْمَةِ الأُولى » . مُتَّفَقٌ عَلَيهِ . وفي رواية لمسلم : « تبكي عَلَى صَبيٍّ لَهَا » . في هذا الحديث : أَن ثواب الصبر إِنَّما يحصل عند مفاجأة المصيبة ، بخلاف ما بعدها ، فإن صاحبها يسلو كما تسلو البهائم

Why Are We Tested? Trials Beautify Our Lives

Anas narrated that the Messenger of Allah(s.a.w) said:

“When Allah wants good for his slave, He hastens his punishment in the world. And when He wants bad for His slave, He withholds his sins from him until he appears before Him on the Day of Judgment.” And with this (same) chain, (it was reported) from the Prophet (ﷺ) who said: “Indeed greater reward comes with greater trial. And indeed, when Allah loves a people He subjects them to trials, so whoever is content, then for him is pleasure, and whoever is discontent, then for him is wrath.

Grade Hasan (Darussalam)
Reference : Jami` at-Tirmidhi 2396
In-book reference : Book 36, Hadith 94
English translation : Vol. 4, Book 10, Hadith 2396


‘Aisha said:

“I have not seen ailment affecting anyone worse than upon the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w).”


Grade Sahih (Darussalam)
Reference  : Jami` at-Tirmidhi 2397
In-book reference  : Book 36, Hadith 95
English translation  : Vol. 4, Book 10, Hadith 2397


Mus’ab bin Sa’d narrated from his father that a man said:

“O Messenger of Allah(s.a.w)! Which of the people is tried most severely?” He said: “The Prophets, then those nearest to them, then those nearest to them. A man is tried according to his religion; if he is firm in his religion, then his trials are more severe, and if he is frail in his religion, then he is tried according to the strength of his religion. The servant shall continue to be tried until he is left walking upon the earth without any sins.”


Grade Hasan (Darussalam)
Reference  : Jami` at-Tirmidhi 2398
In-book reference  : Book 36, Hadith 96
English translation  : Vol. 4, Book 10, Hadith 2398



Abu Hurairah narrated that the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w) said:

“Trials will not cease afflicting the believing man and the believing woman in their self, children, and wealth, until they meet Allah without having any sin.”

Grade Hasan (Darussalam)
Reference  : Jami` at-Tirmidhi 2399
In-book reference  : Book 36, Hadith 97
English translation  : Vol. 4, Book 10, Hadith 2399


وعن أبي هريرة : أنَّ رسولَ الله قَالَ : « يَقُولُ اللهُ تَعَالَى : مَا لعَبدِي المُؤْمِنِ عِنْدِي جَزَاءٌ إِذَا قَبَضْتُ صَفِيَّهُ مِنْ أهْلِ الدُّنْيَا ثُمَّ احْتَسَبَهُ إلا الجَنَّةَ » . رواه البخاري . هذا من الأحاديث القدسية ، وفيه : أَنَّ مَنْ صبر على المصيبة واحتسب ثوابها عند الله تعالى ، فإنَّ جزاءه الجنَّة .
Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, “Allah, the Exalted, says: ‘I have no reward other than Jannah for a believing slave of Mine who remains patient for My sake when I take away his beloved one from among the inhabitants of the world”. ( Bukhari : Hadith 32 Book of patience Riad ul Saliheen).

وعن أبي سعيدٍ وأبي هريرةَ رضيَ الله عنهما ، عن النَّبيِّ ، قَالَ : « مَا يُصيبُ المُسْلِمَ مِنْ نَصَبٍ ، وَلا وَصَبٍ، وَلا هَمٍّ ، وَلا حَزَنٍ ، وَلا أذَىً ، وَلا غَمٍّ ، حَتَّى الشَّوكَةُ يُشَاكُهَا إلا كَفَّرَ اللهُ بِهَا مِنْ خَطَاياهُ » . مُتَّفَقٌ عَلَيهِ . و« الوَصَبُ » : المرض . في هذا الحديث : أَنَّ الأمراض وغيرها من المؤذيات مُطهرةٌ للمؤمن من الذنوب ، فَيَنْبَغِي الصَّبرُ على ذلك ليحصل له الأَجرُ ، والمصاب مَنْ حُرِم الثواب .
Abu Sa’id and Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (PBUH) said: “Never a believer is stricken with a discomfort, an illness, an anxiety, a grief or mental worry or even the pricking of a thorn but Allah will expiate his sins on account of his patience”. (Bukhari/ Muslim: Hadith 37 Book of patience Riad ul Saliheen).

وعن أبي هريرة قَالَ : قَالَ رَسُولُ الله : « مَنْ يُرِدِ اللهُ بِهِ خَيْراً يُصِبْ مِنْهُ » . رواه البخاري .وَضَبَطُوا « يُصِبْ » بفَتْح الصَّاد وكَسْرها . في هذا الحديث : أَنَّ المؤمن لا يخلو من عِلَّة أَو قلة ، أَو ذلّة ، وذلك خير له حالاً ومآلاً . قال الله تعالى : ﴿ وَلَنَبْلُوَنَّكُمْ بِشَيْءٍ مِّنَ الْخَوفْ وَالْجُوعِ وَنَقْصٍ مِّنَ الأَمَوَالِ وَالأنفُسِ وَالثَّمَرَاتِ وَبَشِّرِ الصَّابِرِينَ ﴾ [ البقرة (155) ].
Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported that: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said: “He whom Allah intends good, He makes him to suffer from some affliction”.( Bukhari : Hadith 39 Book of patience Riad ul Saliheen).




وعن أنسٍ قَالَ : قَالَ رَسُول الله : « إِذَا أَرَادَ الله بعبدِهِ الخَيرَ عَجَّلَ لَهُ العُقُوبَةَ في الدُّنْيا ، وَإِذَا أَرَادَ اللهُ بِعَبدِهِ الشَّرَّ أمْسَكَ عَنْهُ بذَنْبِهِ حَتَّى يُوَافِيَ بِهِ يومَ القِيَامَةِ » . وَقالَ النَّبيُّ : « إنَّ عِظَمَ الجَزَاءِ مَعَ عِظَمِ البَلاَءِ ، وَإنَّ اللهَ تَعَالَى إِذَا أَحَبَّ قَوْماً ابْتَلاَهُمْ ، فَمَنْ رَضِيَ فَلَهُ الرِّضَا ، وَمَنْ سَخِطَ فَلَهُ السُّخْطُ » . رواه الترمذي ، وَقالَ : « حديث حسن ». في هذا الحديث : الحثُّ على الصبر على ما تجري به الأَقدار ، وأَنه خيرٌ للناس في الحال والمآل ، فمن صبر فاز ، ومن سخط فاته الأَجر وثبت عليه الوِزْر ، ومضى فيه القدر .
Anas (May Allah be pleased with him) reported that: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, “When Allah intends good for His slave, He punishes him in this world, but when He intends an evil for His slave, He does not hasten to take him to task but calls him to account on the Day of Resurrection.”
( At Tirmidhi : Hadith 43 Book of patience Riad ul Saliheen).



وعن أبي هريرة قَالَ : قَالَ رَسُول الله : « مَا يَزَالُ البَلاَءُ بالمُؤمِنِ وَالمُؤْمِنَةِ في نفسِهِ ووَلَدِهِ وَمَالِهِ حَتَّى يَلْقَى الله تَعَالَى وَمَا عَلَيهِ خَطِيئَةٌ » . رواه الترمذي ، وَقالَ : ( حديث حسن صحيح ) . في هذا الحديث : أنَّ المصائبَ والمتاعب النازلة بالمؤمن الصابر من المرض ، والفقر ، وموت الحبيب ، وتلف المال ، ونقصه : مكفَّرات لخطاياه كلها .
Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, “A Muslim, male or female, continues to remain under trial in respect of his life, property and offspring until he faces Allah, the Exalted, with no sin record”.( At Tirmidhi: Hadith 49 Book of patience Riad ul Saliheen).





What the Scholars Say Imaam Ghazali

“As for patience, it is a bitter medicine and a blessed though distasteful potion. It procures every benefit and protects you from every harm…the intelligent person forces the lower self to drink it and gulp it down.”

Further Imaam Ghazali states that the patient one is free from the shackles of the world as “he will not be tried by the search for this world.” This is since he has sold his soul to the Beloved and Most High. To his Maker and Lord. He is therefore indifferent of the physical problems of the world. In fact he has reached a state of perfect love and contentment with the decree of his Lord that he is happy with whatever gifts The Beloved bestows upon him. Diamonds or dust. The Presenter is more valuable than the present.

An impatient human being suffers multiple losses and deficiencies:

  1. Loss of the test that raised his ranks to Allah swt in the first place.
  2. Loss of reward for enduring that test with forbearance.
  3. Loss of the virtue of patience as he gains of the vice of anger. His inability to show forbearance results in anger with his environment and society who are at no fault at all for his misfortune.
  4. He loses his trust in his Lord’s divine compassion and fails to comprehend that Allah swt only wills what is in a person’s best interest.

(Al Ghazzali: The path of the worshipful servants, translated by Muhtar Holland- Amal Press 2009).

Brutish Beasts do not have patience

Brutish beasts do not have patience and are very deficient. According to Imaam Ghazali patience is a battlefield in the breast of man between two opposing armies: The Angelic force and The Satanic force. Man is constantly struggling between his “religious impulse” and his “carnal impulse.”

(Al Ghazzali: The Alchemy of happiness, translated by Jay R. Cook-Great Books of The Islamic world 2008).

The Medicine for The Spiritual Sickness

Impatience needs treatment. The medicine for this spiritual disease of the heart is to strengthen the religious impulse and the angelic cavalry inside the breast of a human being. This can be achieved by gratitude for one’s circumstances. Even in times of adversity the afflicted one remembers his Lord and gives thanks that he has been saved from a worse state than this one.   All is in the hands of The One above. Had Allah swt willed worse circumstances and stronger tests one would still have had to endure them. It is Allah’s mercy and compassion that the person has been saved.

Further doses of medicine which strengthen the religious impulse can be found in the dhikr of Allah. The Quran and the Salah are also some of the greatest ways that the soul re-connects to its’ Lord and remembers Him. Salah is a beautiful training ground for sabr as it is a contra- intuitive state of actions that motivate the body to serenity, stillness, humility and patience. It must be read with concentration and is the first act of worship one will be questioned about on The Day of Judgement.

Footnote : Further analysis

Patience has also been given a fourth category by the scholars. It is obligatory to be patient upon one’s wealth and not squander unnecessarily on material luxuries.


Final reminder

“The planning of The Almighty (Allah) is better for you than your own planning, and He could deprive you from what you ask to test your patience. So let Him see from you a determined patience and you will soon see from Him what will give you joy. And when you have cleaned the paths of answering (of supplication) from the stains of sin [i.e have repented] and were patient about what He has chosen for you, then everything that happens to you is better for you whether you were given or deprived of what you have requested.”

– Imaam ibn Al-Jawzi10253902_1532508160309869_6611761997983877410_n


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