Relationship with Allah (العلاقة مع الله)
AS-SABR الصبر

The Meaning Of Sabr

Sabr is restraining one’s self from fear during hard times, restraining one’s self from doing prohibited acts and doing what is obligated and righteous.

The word Sabr has been mentioned in the Qur’an more than 90 times and also it was mentioned many times in the authentic Ahadith of the Prophet. One of Allah’s names is As-Sabr. Allah orders us to practice both patience and prayer. “O you who believe! Seek help in patience and prayer. Truly! Allah is with the patient.” [Al-Baqarah 2:153]

The Importance Of Sabr

  • Allah chose the qualities of a leader in Islam to be one who has both patience and certainty in one’s faith. “And We made from among them, leaders, giving guidance under Our command, when they were patient and used to believe with certainty in Our Ayat.” [As-Sajdah 32:24]
  • Islam is built upon the knowledge of the truth and the implementation of that knowledge. Seeking this knowledge requires patience and its implementation also requires patience.
  • Ali (radiyallahu anhu) said: “The position of patience to faith is similar to the position of the head to the body. If the head is cut off, the body dies. Then he raised his voice saying, ‘There is no faith, for a person who does not have patience.'”

The 3 Types Of Sabr

Ibn Al-Qayyim said, “There are three types of patience: Firstly, practicing patience to fulfill the obligations and to do righteous. Secondly, abstaining from evil and prohibited acts. And thirdly, practicing patience during times of hardship without complaints.”

I. To fulfill obligations and to do righteous deeds constantly

  • It is the highest type of Sabr
  • “Lord of the heavens and the earth, and all that is between them, so worship Him and be constant and patient in His worship.” [Maryam 19:65]
  • “And enjoin prayer on your family, and be patient in offering them.” [Taha 20:132]
  • All of the messengers of Allah suffered great hardships in their lives, yet all of them practiced patience. Therefore, Allah alleviated their hardship and promised them great rewards in the Hereafter.
  • The messengers of Allah needed great patience in order to fulfill their obligations of conveying the message and fixing the conditions of individuals and society. Without this patience, they could not succeed in their tasks. Therefore, Allah commanded the Prophet, “Therefore be patient [O Muhammad] as did the Messengers of strong will.” [Al-Ahqaf: 35]
  • Using patience, a person can fulfill his obligations toward people. Although they may harm you, you must use patience with them. “And keep yourself patiently with those who call on their Lord [your companions].” [Al-Kahf 18:28]
  • The Prophet ﷺ said: “It is better for you to mix yourself around people who may harm you, and to be patient with them, then it is to isolate yourself from them, and to not practice patience from their harm.”
  • Fighting for the cause of Allah needs much patience. “But if you remain patient and be pious, not the least harm will their cunning do to you.” [Ali Imran 3:120]

You need to emphasize to the new Muslim about obedience because this is the hardest for her. Keeping up with her prayers 5 times a day, fasting the whole month of Ramadan, following the Islamic dress code… these are not easy on her. First of all, it is a matter of habit, a matter of practice and timing… all of these come her way. You need to connect to her that love of obedience (to Allah ﷻ) so it will be easy for her and she will get used to it. Some sisters are having problems in practicing their Islam. It is really hard for them to cope up. Some sisters are working in the house and they will tell you: “I work the whole day without break; I forgot; I don’t know…”Maybe they are not even receiving help in developing their Islam. They are all alone by themselves. Encourage her to love doing worship and remind her of the reward she is getting from doing it. Allah ﷻ gives the credit for everything; nothing of your good deeds will go to waste as long as your intention for doing it is solely for the sake of Allah. Make her love doing acts of worship to let her collect more reward.  How would she know how? By teaching her those acts of worship.

II. To abstain from prohibited acts and from evil

  • This requires a great struggle against one’s desires, and takes much patience in refraining from the evil influences of Satan from among man and Jinn. Therefore, Allah will give great rewards on the Day of Judgment to those who patiently abstained from evil
  • The Prophet ﷺ told us about the people who will receive a special reward: “Seven are (the persons) whom Allah would give protection with His shade on the day when there would be no shade but His shade (i.e., on the Day of Judgment) and among them: a youth who grew up with the worship of Allah, …a man whom an extremely beautiful woman seduces (for illicit relation), but he rejected this offer by saying: I fear Allah …” [Bukhari and Muslim]
  • Prophet Yusuf is an example of a person who abstained patiently from the evil lure of the wife of the King of Egypt. Prophet Yusuf chose incarceration for several years rather than committing an evil act
  • Do you think Yusuf did not have any desire for that woman? If he did not have any desire, rejecting her would not be hard.
  • Is his credit for rejecting the woman the same as when he did not have the desire? He knows what he likes and wanting it. He is a man and he had the desire but what stopped him not having that desire is his belief that he was stopping that for the sake of Allah.
  • Strong faith comes and saves you at the moment of desire, the moment of weakness that we all go through it
  • Do not lie and say that you do not look at a man and imagine things. We are humans after all
  • When do you need the support? You will turn and say: “I seek refuge in Allah from the cursed Satan.” We need to have that love for Allah. Without that relation, you would not do anything to avoid the Haram

III. Patience during times of hardship without complaints

  • Sabr is the first weapon when facing hardship. Real Sabr is at the first stroke of calamity.
  • One must not complain because Allah predestined their hardship. This is the fruit of believing in predestination. Who say, when afflicted with calamity: “To Allah We belong, and to Him is our return.” [Al-Baqarah 2:155-156]
  • The believer knows that Allah predestined hardship for man by His Great Wisdom. Predestination is one of the pillars of faith. “No calamity befalls, but with the leave (decision and Qadar (Divine Preordainment) of Allah.” [At-Taghabun:11]
  • People who are trying to be patient during hardship should not just sit around and do nothing to help out their bad conditions. Instead, a Muslim must be patient, yet ease his hardship by all lawful means
  • There are some tools that Allah has made lawful for us to use to fight against hardship. Therefore, we should make use of these means to relieve ourselves from these hardships
  • Allah will reward the believer for his patience during hardship, by wiping out sins and lifting him up to higher levels of Paradise
  • “And certainly, We shall test you with something of fear, hunger, loss of wealth, lives and fruits, but give glad tidings to the patient. Who, when afflicted with calamity, say: “Truly! To Allah we belong and truly, to Him we shall return. And they are those who are blessed and they are those who receive His Mercy, and it is they who are the guided-ones.” [Al-Baqarah 2:155-157]
  • It is important  during difficult times not to lose hope, but rather to exercise Sabr.

    Sabr during Illness

  • Anyone suffering from an illness should remain patient, for there is no reward better or more enriching than that reserved for those who endure in patience.
  • When I afflict a servant of mine with respect to his two most beloved things (meaning his eyes), and he endures it patiently, I grant him Paradise in return.”
  • “How wonderful is the situation of a believer; there is good for him in everything and this is not the case with any one except 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]
  • “Never a believer is stricken with a discomfort, an illness, an anxiety, a grief or mental worry or even the pricking of a thorn that his sins are removed for him.” [Bukhari and Muslim]

4 Levels Of People Afflicted With Trials

1st level: Being Angry

Types Of Anger

  1. Anger which is directed toward his Lord. He becomes angry at what Allah has decreed for him, and this is Haram (forbidden). 
 And it is possible that this could lead to Kufr (disbelief). Allah said: “And among mankind is he who worships Allah upon the very edge (i.e. in doubt); if good befalls him, he is content therewith; but if a trial befalls him, he turns back on his face (i.e. reverts back to disbelief after embracing Islam). 
 He loses both this world and the Hereafter. That is the evident loss.[22:11]
  2. Anger expressed by the tongue like making Du’a for destruction or ruin and what is similar to that, and this is Haram
  3. Anger expressed by the limbs like slapping the cheeks, ripping clothing, pulling out hair, and similar to that, and all of this is Haram and in contradiction to patience which is Wajib

2nd Level: Being Patient

  • Patience is like its name – bitter in taste, yet its outcomes are sweeter than honey
  • The person at this level feels the affliction weighs very heavy upon him, yet he bears it although he dislikes that it happened
  • His faith bears it and restrains him from being angry. So the time of affliction and the time of no affliction is not the same to him
  • The affliction is hard upon him, yet he remains patient over it
  • This level is Wajib, because Allah commanded the people to be patient, saying: 
“And be patient, indeed Allah is with the patient ones.” [Al-Anfal 8:46]

3rd Level: Being Pleased With The Affliction

  • Whether it happened or not, it is the same to him so it is not difficult upon him
  • He does not bear it as if it is something weighing heavy on him, and this level is Mustahabb (preferred)
  • The difference between this level and the one before it is apparent because the affliction happening or not happening is the same due to the pleasure of the one on this level

4th Level (Highest): Thankfulness & Gratefulness

  • The person thanks Allah for the affliction which has struck him in that he knows that this affliction is expiation for his sins and perhaps a cause for an increase in his good deeds
  • The Prophet ﷺ said: “There is no affliction which strikes the Muslim except that
 Allah expiates with it (sins), even with a thorn that may poke him.[Bukhari & Muslim]
  • ‘Urwah Ibn Az-Zubair had an operation, and the doctor amputated his leg.  One friend came to visit him. ‘Urwah thought that the friend came to pacify him for the loss of his leg. So ‘Urwah told him:  If you came to give me condolence for the loss of my leg, I already submitted to Allah with patience to reward me for its loss.” The guest told him: “I came to inform you that your son fell down in a stable, and the animals stepped over him, and he died one hour ago.” ‘Urwah said: O Allah! You took one child, and left me many…You took one organ from my body, and left me many organs…” Allah! You tested me with my body, and you were kind to leave me with good health.  You tested me with the loss of my son, but you were kind in leaving me the rest of my children.”

Rewards/Benefits Of Sabr

  • “They are those on whom (descend) blessings from Allah, and mercy, and they are the ones that receive guidance.” [Al-Baqarah 2:157]
  • Allah again promises to reward those who are patient in adversity: “Not so do those who show patience and constancy, and work righteousness; for them is forgiveness (of sins) and a great reward.” [Hud 11:11]
  • A person will benefit from patience in this life and/or the Hereafter. “Only those who are patient shall receive their reward in full, without reckoning.” [Az-Zumar 39:10]

  1. It keeps you from getting bored during serious activities that require continuous energy and time
  2. It keeps you from rushing on tasks that require much time.
  3. It controls you during times of anger and conditions of fear, therefore preventing you from committing wrong verbal or physical acts
  4. It controls you from greediness
  5. It controls you from following your own desires
  6. It prepares you to withstand physical or psychological hardship when it is required
  7. It is a proof of the completion of faith and it is a good practice of Islam
  8. It gives you guidance in your heart
  9. It leads you to being loved by Allah and the people
  10. It is required in positions of power and authority
  11. It gives you the blessings and mercy of Allah
  12. It keeps you under the protection and care of Allah
  13. It leads you to die as a good Muslim
  14. It protects you from the fear on the Day of Judgment
  15. It makes a you Paradise and saves you from Hellfire

Allah will give a burden according to one’s capacity

On no soul does Allah place a burden greater than it can bear. It gets every good that it earns, and it suffers every ill that it earns. Pray:“Our Lord! Condemn us not if we forget or fall into error; our Lord! Lay not on us a burden like that which You did lay on those before us; Our Lord! Lay not on us a burden greater than we have strength to bear. Blot out our sins, and grant us forgiveness. Have mercy on us.  You are our Protector; Help us against those who stand against faith. [Al-Baqarah 2:286]