Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Sabr (Patience)

Everyone knows about patience, and everyone has their own remedy for increasing their patience.
I flipped through the book 'Healing with the Medicine of the Prophet (pbuh) by Imam Al Jauziyah, and found a small section on patience. I thought I'd type some of it, since it makes some interesting analogies. Plus, I had a hard time sleeping.

Sabr is one half of faith, as some of the Salaf say, and the other have is praise (and appreciation). Sabr is to faith as head is to body. There are 3 types of sabr:

  1. Sabr while performing Allah's commands, so that one does not ignore (or get bored) with them.
  2. Sabr with resisting doing wrong by shunning the prohibitions.
  3. Finally, sabr with accepting what destiny thrusts upon you as decisions of Allah instead of being enraged at them.

When one has acquired these 3 types of patience, one's patience will be complete and the delight of the next life will be whole. The person has achieved a win-win situation, winning in both the worlds. No person will achieve these great rewards except by passing over the bridge of sabr, just as how no one will enter Jannah unless he passes over the sirat.

Much of the illnesses and the sicknesses that attack the body and the heart are a result of impatience. Sabr is the best preserver of the health of the heart, body and the soul.

And we know from the Qur'an that patience is the tool to achieve success. Victory comes with patience.

Amjad R. M Syed in his book, Islamic Perspective on Prayers and Coping with Sickness writes:

You can practise sabr by:
  • Not complaining or cursing your fate
  • Engaging in dhikr
  • Asking Allah (swt) to keep us steadfast in Imaan
  • Gaining taqwa by giving charity
  • Seeking astaghfar (Allah's forgiveness)
  • Helping others who are in more difficult than ourselves
  • Reciting, listening to, or contemplating on the Qur'an
  • Reading, finding out and trying to follow the examples of sabr practiced by the Prophets, Companions of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and the favoured servants of Allah (swt)
  • Always being thankful to Allah (swt) for the good things He has bestowed you
  • 1 comment:

    Asma said...

    Jazakillah khair for this reminder, Humairah :)

    If I may add to what you've written...

    Sabr means both patience and perseverance. Patience with what is difficult, and the perseverance which keeps one going. So there is both a negative aspect and a positive aspect of it.

    I like this understanding. Often times we think of sabr as barely surviving or living through something difficult, because Allah SWT has commanded it of us. What He SWT wants is for us to persevere and do good with what we have, so that we grow, and grow more than ever.

    In this light, sabr is a thriving, positive source of energy in life, rather than bits of strength that keep us going from one minute to the next, or one day to the next. Rasulullah was the best example of a person with sabr.

    You are also a great example of this mashaa Allah. May Allah SWT bless you, and help us all to have sabr when we need it.

    "Wa Allahu ma'as sabireen"