Patience (Sabr) is Illumination!

A Moment with Our Prophet, Muhammad (S)

By Imam Zijad Delic

Day 265: Patience (Sabr) is Illumination!

Narrated by Abu Sa’id Al Khudri (r) that the Prophet (S) said: “There is no gift, given to anyone, that is better and more comprehensive than patience.”

وَمَا أُعْطِيَ أَحَدٌ عَطَاءً خَيْرًا وَأَوْسَعَ مِنْ الصَّبْرِ

Source: Bukhari, Muslim

Transliteration: “Wa Ma U’utiya Ahadun ‘Ata’an Khairan Wa Awsa’a Minas Sabri.”

In the third decade of the 21st century, we claim that we live in modern times…or postmodern times, we would correct ourselves!

However, our self-centered attitudes suggest that we live in modern jahiliyah (modern ignorance and spiritual darkness).

This could be easily noticed in both fields of, according to Islamic references, human responsibilities:

  1. a) those toward the Creator and
  2. b) those towards the creation of the Creator.

This Khutbah will attempt to enlighten us with some light on the path that could bring us much needed personal happiness and happiness of humanity.

Today, we will discuss a quality, moral, characteristic and the value of Islam that has been mentioned more than 100 times in the Qur’an and hundreds of times in the Sunnah of the Prophet (S).

This value has been qualified in the Sunnah, as the best of Iman (Faith)!

It is actually half of Iman (Nisful Iman), as Imam Ibn Qayyim Al Jawziyy points out!

It is not just recommended or encouraged BUT commanded character by the Creator!

Owners of this character are promised great news and glad tidings that are unrestricted!

Their rewards are unlimited because of the resolve and strong will of these individuals!

They will also be given special bonuses and perks that are not given to anybody else…but them!

It is the best thing given to humans!

If they possess it, they will smile, be happy and those around them will be content!

However, if they do not possess this quality, they will be unhappy and they will make others unhappy!

If they will have it, they will be enlightened, guided and on the right path!

Yes, my dear brothers and sisters, it is Sabr or patience!

It is beautiful Sabr that the Prophet (S) described as the best Iman as narrated by Ma’qil ibn Yasar (r) from the Prophet (S) who said: “The best of faith is patience and tolerance.” (Zahr al-Firdaws, Ibn Hajar)

عن مَعْقِل بْن يَسَارٍ قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ أفْضَلُ الْإِيمَانِ الصَّبْرُ والسَّماحَةُ

And the Imam ibn Qayyim Al Jawziyy (r) said that “Iman is two halves. One half is Sabr (patience) and the other half is Shukr (Gratitude).

Sabr, thus, has been accepted as wujub (obligation) by the consensus of the Ummah!

So, the Creator, Who knows us the best, commands us to be patient so that we become successful: “O believers! Patiently endure, persevere (and be patient with others), stand on guard, and be mindful of Allah, so you may be successful.” (Ali ‘Imran 200)

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ اصْبِرُواْ وَصَابِرُواْ وَرَابِطُواْ وَاتَّقُواْ اللّهَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ

As God Almighty is telling us to be patient with our own affairs as well as to be patient with others so our patience should be better that the other’s patience; we should compete with those on the other side with patience and we should beat them in being more patient than them.

Then, the Creator, Who knows us the best, cautions us not to be in rush, not to be hasty and not to be impatient when He said to the Prophet (S): “So, be patient, as the Messenger of the strong resolve endowed with firmness of resolve (before you) and do not be hasty in their regard (with them).” (Al Ahqaf 35)

فَاصْبِرْ كَمَا صَبَرَ أُوْلُوا الْعَزْمِ مِنَ الرُّسُلِ وَلَا تَسْتَعْجِل لَّهُمْ

And if it happens that we are challenged and impatient (as we would be), then we should do as Allah commanded us to do: “O believers! Seek help in patience and prayer. Allah is truly with those who are patient.” (Al Baqarah 153)

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ اسْتَعِينُواْ بِالصَّبْرِ وَالصَّلاَةِ إِنَّ اللّهَ مَعَ الصَّابِرِينَ

But, very soon, we will notice that Sabr is not a simple matter, easy to be achieved, as the Creator describes: “And seek help through patience and prayer. Indeed, it is a burden except for the humble ones.” (Al Baqarah 45)

وَاسْتَعِينُواْ بِالصَّبْرِ وَالصَّلاَةِ وَإِنَّهَا لَكَبِيرَةٌ إِلاَّ عَلَى الْخَاشِعِينَ

But, that is exactly why the Creator, the Kind and Generous, praises people of Sabr so much and calls them the people of the Sidq (truth) and Taqwa (God-mindfulness): “It is they (the people of Sabr) who are true ˹in faith˺, and it is they who are mindful ˹of Allah.” (Al Baqarah 177)

أُولَئِكَ الَّذِينَ صَدَقُوا وَأُولَئِكَ هُمُ الْمُتَّقُونَ

They are loved by the Creator:

وَاللّهُ يُحِبُّ الصَّابِرِينَ

The Creator is with them and their support: “Allah is with the patient ones.” (Al Baqarah 153)

إِنَّ اللّهَ مَعَ الصَّابِرِين

The Creator calls them al Muhsinin: “And be patient; verily Allah does not waste the reward of the Muhsinin (good-doers).” (Hud 115)

وَاصْبِرْ فَإِنَّ اللّهَ لاَ يُضِيعُ أَجْرَ الْمُحْسِنِينَ

The Creator sends them great news and glad tidings that are unrestricted: “And give glad tiding to the patient ones.” (Al Baqarah 155)

وَبَشِّرِ الصَّابِرِينَ

The Creator did not say in this verse, I will give the patient ones such and such, so and so or this and that, but He said: “And give glad tidings to the patient ones.” because Sabr is the quality that needs great determination, strong will and resolve if we aspire to achieve it: “And whoever endures patiently and forgives—surely this is a resolve to aspire to.” (Ash Shura 43)

وَلَمَن صَبَرَ وَغَفَرَ إِنَّ ذَلِكَ لَمِنْ عَزْمِ الْأُمُورِ

The rewards for the patient ones are the highest in their status and only the patient ones and the fortunate people of goodness will achieve them: “But this cannot be attained (rewards for repelling evil with good deeds)except by those who are patient and who are truly fortunate.” (Fussilat 35)

وَمَا يُلَقَّاهَا إِلَّا الَّذِينَ صَبَرُوا وَمَا يُلَقَّاهَا إِلَّا ذُو حَظٍّ عَظِيمٍ

These rewards will be given to the patient people without hisab (account), as the Creator promised: “Only those who endure patiently will be given their reward without limit.” (Az Zumar 10)

إِنَّمَا يُوَفَّى الصَّابِرُونَ أَجْرَهُم بِغَيْرِ حِسَابٍ

Imam Al Awzai (r) explained that there would not be any wight or any measure (count) for their rewards, their rewards would be scooped for them from the treasures of the Generous Creator.”

Furthermore, they will be given bonuses and perks that no one else would attain as the Creator promised three things for them that are unique: His praise of them, His mercy to them and His guidance to them: “They are the ones who will receive Allah’s praises (His blessings) and mercy. And it is they who are ˹rightly˺ guided.” (Al Baqarah 157)

أُولَئِكَ عَلَيْهِمْ صَلَوَاتٌ مِّن رَّبِّهِمْ وَرَحْمَةٌ وَأُولَئِكَ هُمُ الْمُهْتَدُونَ

Indeed, as the Prophet (S) informed us, Sabr is the best thing and most comprehensive gift given to people since it becomes the light, illumination and brightness in their lives.

It was narrated by Abi Malik Al Harith ibn ‘Asim Al Ash’ari (r) that the Prophet (S) said: “And patience (Sabr) is illumination.” (Muslim)

عَنْ أَبِي مَالِكٍ الْحَارِثِ بْنِ عَاصِمٍ الْأَشْعَرِيِّ رَضِيَ اللهُ عَنْهُ قَالَ: قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه و سلم وَالصَّبْرُ ضِيَاءٌ،

Imam An Nawawi (r) explained that what is meant by this statement is that “Sabr (patience) is praiseworthy (mahmud) and that the owner of Sabr will continue being enlightened, guided and upon that what is correct.”

Ya Rabb! Guide us to be among the Sabirin (the patient people) so that we can continue being enlightened, guided and the people who are upon that which is correct!

Allahumma Amin!