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The Pillar of Strength in Islamic Faith: Embracing Sabr for great rewards

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                           Have patience. All things are difficult before they become easy. – Saadi

By: Rameez Rasool Mir

Islam’s definition of “sabr” (Patience) is the quality of being patient, tenacious, and steady in the face of difficulties and trials in life while retaining faith and confidence in Allah (God). For Muslims, sabr is one of the most important moral principles and values that they should strive to live by. The Islamic teachings and philosophy hold great relevance for this multidimensional concept. The significance of sabr in Islam is highlighted by the following important points: 

Development of Spirit: Spiritual development and growth are seen to be possible through Sabr. Our trust in Sabr transforms our lives and strengthens our faith in Allah’s power, assisting us in growing spiritually during trying times. 

Adopting Allah’s Plan: Sabr entails having faith in Allah’s plan and acknowledging that life’s ups and downs are a necessary component of His wisdom. 

Maintaining our strength in hard times: Sabr assists us in overcoming life’s obstacles with grace- be the difficulties because of illness, bereavement or financial hardships. 

Maintaining Calm: Sabr teaches us to regulate our feelings, particularly when we’re agitated or furious, so we can behave patiently rather than rashly. 

Islam makes a huge promise of rewards for people who practise sabr, both in this world and the next. 

Learning from the Prophets: In difficult times, prophets of Allah showed us how to be patient and persistent. 

Developing Better Characteristics: Sabr helps us develop traits like empathy, thankfulness, and resilience, which makes us better individuals. 

Sabr, or patience, is mentioned 90 times in the Quran and discussed approximately 900 times in Hadith, indicating its importance as a favour from Allah. It’s crucial to have patience when things get hard and to have faith in Allah’s direction. Regretfully, a lot of us lack patience and frequently turn to unethical methods in order to fulfil our ambitions for wealth and other things. 

A compelling example of patience can be seen in the life of Hazrat Imam Hussain (RA) in Karbala, who refused to give in to blackmail in the face of many temptations. We Muslims tend to forget the teachings of our prophets and companions, like the amazing example of patience shown by Imam Hussain at Karbala in the face of hardship. 

Sabr is a precious gift from Allah that is essential for overcoming obstacles in life. Without it, we strive and suffer in our attempts to be productive. Sabr fortifies our moral fibre and deepens our bond with Allah. When we approach our work with positivity and devotion, Allah will help us. Sabr maintains our spiritual nature, much like water does; without it, we become lifeless. Sabr imparts discipline, making life more purposeful. Allah’s tests, material or social, can be met with sabr, a divine instrument for perseverance.

Drawing Strength from the Stories of Patience in Islam:

Sabr involves maintaining a positive attitude while waiting. The optimal approach to practicing sabr is to submit oneself to Allah and anticipate the good outcomes He has promised.

Being a Muslim means being patient, especially during tough times like now. Patience means staying away from things that upset Allah and doing what He asks.

Every day, we face challenges that test our patience, like praying on time, fasting when it’s hot, or solving problems with family. But patience is really important, and Allah shows us examples of patient people in the Quran. Let’s learn about five of them:

1) Hazrat Yaqoob (Peace Be Upon Him):

Jacob showed beautiful patience when his sons hurt him by harming his favourite son, Joseph. Instead of getting angry, he stayed patient and trusted Allah.

2) Maryam, Mother of Jesus (PBUH):

Maryam was very patient when people accused her of doing something wrong. She stayed quiet and let her actions speak for her, trusting in Allah.

3) Moses (Peace Be Upon Him): Moses (Peace be upon Him) helped his people escape from a bad ruler, Pharaoh, even though they were often difficult to deal with. He stayed patient even when they complained and asked for things they didn’t need.

4) Asiya: Asiya was married to Pharaoh, a cruel ruler. She stayed patient and prayed to Allah for help, even when things were hard.

5) Ibrahim (Peace Be Upon Him): Ibrahim (Peace be upon him) had to leave his home and family because of his beliefs. He even had to leave his wife and son in a desert. But through it all, he stayed patient and trusted in Allah.

These stories show us how important patience is, even when things are really tough.

In conclusion, patience (sabr) in Islam is not merely a virtue but a fundamental aspect of faith, essential for spiritual growth and resilience in facing life’s challenges. Through stories of prophets and exemplary figures, Muslims are reminded of the power and significance of patience in trusting Allah’s plan, maintaining composure in adversity, and nurturing a closer relationship with the divine. By embracing patience, Muslims can find strength, guidance, and ultimately, fulfilment in their journey towards spiritual excellence.


Patience and Gratitude” by Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya and The Book of Patience: Tuhfat al-Sabirin wa Dhakhirat al-Shakirin. 

The writer is a columnist, poet. [email protected].

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