What calls for sabr?
- Situations when we’re hopeless and sad about some calamity, failure, shock, loss of someone or something, uncertainty, emotional or mental weakness, or similar distress.
The Messenger of Allaah sal-Allaahu alaihi wasallam said, “Allaah Tabaaraka wa Ta’alaa says: O son of Adam! If you remained patient restraining yourself and expecting my reward at the initial shock, I will not be happy without rewarding you with Jannah.” From Abee Umaamah in Ibn Maajah.
- Situations where we need to control our nafs or temptations; when we have to act against our own wishes and impulse.
“We will certainly reward those who practice sabr according to the best of their actions they used to perform.” An-Nahl: 69
The first type of situations are the outcome of Allah’s decisions; when things don’t go according to our plan. When we encounter hardships unexpectedly, we should be steadfast in bearing them. Since it’s a test from our Creator, it carries a purpose. The Planner of all the plans inflicts us with hardship to make us strong; stronger than situation and tougher than the toughness of life.
“Be sure we shall test you with something of fear and hunger, some loss in goods or lives or the fruits (of your toil), but give glad tidings to those who patiently persevere.” Al-Baqara: 155
Ar-Rahman also tests us so that He can reward us unimaginably.
“Indeed, the patient will be given their reward without account.” 39:10
Our ever merciful Lord isn’t unjust in the least bit. He takes something away to replace it with something better and more precious. We might not always understand his plan. But we have to have faith and trust in His decree.
Prophet Muhammad, al-Allaahu alaihi wasallam said, ”If Allah intends good for someone, then He afflicts him with trials.” Sahih Bukhari 5321
The second situations deals in our daily lives. We’re faced with many choices and decisions, when ‘what we desire’ does not coincide with ‘what is good for us’. The wrong seems more alluring as the outcomes are immediate and appear pleasing. Such choices shouldn’t be made according to one’s own whims and fancies. To take the right path might be a tough decision, but we need to realize that what Allah has is surely better and longer lasting.
“ What is this world but a dream that a sleeper sees – he delights in it for a few moments, and then wakes up to face reality.” Al Hasan al Basri (rahimahullah)
These choices and decisions disregard short sightedness. People acting out of impulse or anger, or those who are enslaved to their own tempting desires lack far sightedness. It’s a blessing to be aware of the shortness of the worldly benefits and a bigger blessing to understand these aren’t the ultimate satisfaction.
” O my people, this worldly life is only [temporary] enjoyment, and indeed, the Hereafter – that is the home of [permanent] settlement.” (40: 39)
The ultimate and true peace and contentment lie in the obedience of our Master and not submitting to our illicit desires and wishes.
“Whatever you have will perish, but what Allah has will remain.” (16: 96)
We’re encountered with such situations, by the permission of Allah, so that we achieve the most valuable aspect of our Deen, I.e. Taqwa. If we’re mindful of God, sabr is easy! And when sabr’s easy, the temporary charms and attractions don’t attack our nafs.
“And if you practice Sabr and keep Taqwaa, that is quite a resolute, high calibre of the tasks.” (3: 186)
We ask Allah to ease the sufferings of every muslim and to guide us through the trails of life with Sabr and Taqwaa. Ameen!