Sabr (Arabic: صْبِرْ ṣabr) is the Islamic virtue of “patience” or “endurance”. Sabr is characterized as being one of the two parts of faith (the other being shukr). Patience is the first weapon for the believer to use when facing hardship.
“Allah surely loves those who are the Sabireen (patient).” (3:146)
Arabic lexicographers suggest that the root ṣ-b-r, of which ṣabr is the nomen actionis, means to bind or restrain. The word sabr in the Holy Quran is mentioned 102 times, same as the word ‘al-sheda’ (hardship).
Imam 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.”
Benefits of patience:
- Patience keeps you from getting bored during serious activities that require continuous energy and time.
- Patience keeps you from rushing on tasks that require much time.
- Patience controls you during times of anger and prevents you from committing wrong verbal or physical acts.
- Patience controls you during conditions of fear and prevents you from committing wrong verbal or physical acts.
- Patience controls you from greediness and prevents you from committing wrong verbal or physical acts.
- Patience controls you from following your own desires.
- Patience prepares you to withstand physical or psychological hardship when it is required.
- Practicing patience is proof of the completion of faith and it is a good practice of Islam.
- Practicing patience gives you guidance in your heart.
- Practicing patience will lead you to being loved by Allah (S.W.T.) and the people.
- Practicing patience is required in positions of power and authority.
- Practicing patience will make a person enter Paradise and it will save him from the hellfire.
- Practicing patience will always keep you under the protection and care of Allah (S.W.T.).
- Practicing patience will protect you from the fear on the Day of Judgment.
- Practicing patience will lead you to die as a good Muslim.
- Finally, Practicing patience will give you the blessings and mercy of Allah (S.W.T.).
“Only those who are patient shall receive their reward in full, without reckoning.”
- [ Surah Az-Zumar:10]
Those that possess sabr to a certain extent are called sābirūn. Out of the three classes of beings (animal and plant life, angels, and mankind), man alone may possess sabr. This is because the animals are entirely governed by their desires and impulses; and the angels are completely occupied by their longing for God, so they have no desires and thus need no sabr to overcome them. In man, however, the two impulses (that of desire and that of religion) are fighting, where the former is kindled by Satan and the latter by the angels.
Muhammad sws 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)
May Allah Azzawajal make us from those who are amongst the sabirun during hardships and thankful upon the blessings.