By Fadia Bint Ismail

Seek help through Sabr and Salaah (Quran 2:45). 

The word Sabr, is the Islamic virtue of “patience or “endurance”. Sabr teaches us to remain spiritually steadfast.  The Virtues of Sabr (Patience) also teaches us that hardships and ease are a trail for us.

Sabr does not just mean patience, the word Sabr stems into many different categories, it includes self control, perseverance, endurance and forbearance. Being patient gives us control in situations that we have little or no control over.

The Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) also said, “No one has been given anything more excellent and more comprehensive than sabr”

With respect to its degrees, patience can be divided into six categories: showing patience for the sake of Allah; showing patience and attributing it to Allah (being convinced that Allah enables one to show patience); enduring patiently whatever comes from Allah, knowing that He acts from His Wisdom; being resigned to whatever happens in the way of Allah; showing patience by not disclosing the mysteries of one’s achieved spiritual station and to preserve one’s nearness to Allah; and resolving to fulfill one’s mission of communicating Allah’s Message to people despite one’s deepest desire to die and meet with Allah.


Characteristics of Sabr (Patience) 

“I only complain of my distraction and anguish to Allah.” (Yusuf 12:86).

 Self control- Self restraint

Psychologically speaking every person has two forces at work within himself. One is the “Driving force” which pushes him towards certain actions and he other is the “restraining force” which holds him back.

Patience essentially harnesses the driving force to push us towards good things, and the restraining force to hold us back from actions that may be harmful to ourselves or others.

Patience means control of mind. Suppose if somebody is angry with you or hurts you verbally, it is the mental patience that will give you the strength to bear it with silence. The strength to bear or endure any difficulties or words hurled at you is patience. In domestic or marital life to cultivate patience is of great importance. To maintain peace and happiness in the house one needs to have immense patience with your life-partner and also children.

The same applies towards the family members and people you come across in everyday life. In our daily life we meet various types of people. Some may be extremely good and some impolite. The situation must be dealt with absolute patience. Patience has its own rewards. Your silence in reply to somebody’s retort will not aggravate the situation more.  It will automatically end there.

A scholar said: “To have patience means that one’s common sense and religious motives are stronger than one’s whims and desires.” It is natural for people to have an inclination towards their desires, but common sense and the religious motive should limit that inclination. The two forces are at war: sometimes reason and religion win, and sometimes whims and desires prevail.

Other forms of Patience 

Patience has many other names, according to the situation.
  • If patience consists of restraining cardinal desires, it is called honor, the opposite of which is adultery and promiscuity.
  • Restraining cardinal desires. It is called honor and the opposite of which is adultery and promiscuity.
  • Controlling one’s stomach. It is then called self control and the opposite which is greed.
  • Being content with what is sufficient for one’s needs.
  • Refraining from haste being grateful and steadfast and not being hotheaded.
  • Refraining from running away and being courageous and not being cowardly or seek revenge towards others
Different names may be applied to patience in different situations, but all are covered by the idea of patience. This shows that Islam in its totality is based on patience.
May we all seek to apply patience through our daily lives. Inshallah