Download PDF: Riyaadus Saaliheen – Hadith #25 (Sabr)

Chapter on Patience (Sabr)

As Allah azza wa jall continues to reward a person for the good he commits, in like manner, He sometimes places tests and tribulation on a person so that He could elevate the persons position further and make him enjoy the rewards of the Hereafter. One of the greatest rewards is kept for those who patiently persevere. In Surah Baqarah verse 153, Allah azza wa jall declares:

اِن اللہَ مَعَ الصَّابِرِیْنَ

“No doubt, Allah is with those who are patient.”

In Surah Ale Imraan, verse 200, Allah azza wa jall declares that:

یَا أَیُّہَا الَّذِینَ آمَنُوا اصْبِرُوا وَصَابِرُوا۔

“O believers! Be patient, and excel in patience.”


Hadrat Imam Abu Jafer Mohammed Tabari Alaihir Rahmah explains that, “O Muslims! Remain steadfast and firm and display patience in religion and on your pacts and promises which I have promised to you. At the same time, also display patience with the disbelievers in (making them understand Islam) so that they would be able to divorce their misled religion and become attached to Islam.” (Tafseer Tabari)

Test and tribulation which would come to a Muslim!

In Surah Baqarah, verse 155, Allah azza wa jall declares:

وَلَنَبْلُوَنَّکُمْ بِشَیْئٍ مِنَ الْخَوْفِ وَالْجُوعِ وَنَقْصٍ مِنَ الأَمْوَالِ وَالأَنْفُسِ وَالثَّمَرَاتِ وَبَشِّرِ الصَّابِرِینَ۔

“And necessarily, We shall put you to test with something of fear and hunger and with some loss of wealth and lives and fruits; and give glad tidings to those who are patient.”

Imam Abu Jafer Tabari Alaihir Rahmah explains that “In other words, Allah azza wa jall would test Muslims in matters pertaining to fear of an enemy, drought, extreme hunger, poverty, loss in crop and stock, difficulty in achieving one’s target and goal, becoming less in numbers while facing the disbelievers in battle, the death of close family and friends, etc. All of this, would come to us in the form of a test so that those who are truthful are separated from the dishonest and those who are believers are separated from the hypocrites.” (Tafseer Tabari)

Mufti Ahmed Yaar Khan Na’eemi Alaihir Rahmah explains, “Tests and tribulation signifies the separation of people of truth from people of untruth.”

Hadrat Sayyiduna Imam Shafi Radi Allahu ‘Anhu explains this verse further by saying that, “By fear is meant, the fear for Allah azza wa jall, by hunger is meant the fast of Ramadan, by decrease in wealth means the giving of Zakaah and Sadqah, by loss in stock is meant the death of one’s livestock due to severe disease or the death of one’s offspring because the children are the fruits of a person’s heart.

The Holy Prophet Sallal Laahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam has declared that, “When someone’s child passes away, Allah azza wa jall inquires from the Angels, “Have you taken away the soul of my slaves child?” They reply that they have indeed done so. He then declares to them, “Have you taken away the fruit of his heart?” They reply that indeed they have done so. He then asks, “What did my servant do about this.” They reply, “He recited Your Praise and also declared To Him we belong and to Him is our ultimate return.” Allah  azza wa jall then declares, “Create a house for him in Jannah and keep its name Baitul Hamd.”

To give a person forewarning of impending tests and trials which will come as Allah azza wa jall has forewarned us gives a person ample time to become patient and it becomes easier for him to have patience. When a disbeliever sees the patience and steadfastness of a Muslim, he will be amazed and surprised and this might even draw him towards Islam. At the same time, giving news of impending test is also a proof of the knowledge of the Unseen which is possessed by the Holy Prophet Sallal Laahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam. At the same time, the wisdom behind this is also to separate the genuine from the fake in matters of belief or Imaan.” (Khazaa inul Irfaan)

In Surah Zumar, verse 10, Allah azza wa jall declares that:

إِنَّمَا یُوَفَّی الصَّابِرُوْنَ أَجْرَہُمْ بِغَیْرِ حِسَاب

“The steadfast only shall be

fully rewarded without measure”.

Allama Mohammed Ismail bin Mustafa Haqqi Alaihir Rahmah, “Without doubt, those who safeguard issues in the completion of their religion (and its rules and regulations), and protect this against all future trial and tribulation, and display patience when they are away from their loved ones, and never leave being steadfast, these are those people who would be rewarded abundantly.” (Ruhul Bayan)

Allah azza wa jall is with those who are patient!

In Surah Baqarah, verse 153, Allah azza wa jall declares that:

اِسْتَعِینُوا بِالصَّبْرِ وَالصَّلٰوۃِ إِنَّ اللہَ مَعَ الصَّابِرِینَ۔

“Seek help with patience and prayer; no doubt, Allah is with those

who are patient.”

Allama Ismail Haqqi Alaihir Rahmah explains that, “Whenever any sadness appeared to the Holy Prophet Sallal Laahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam he used to read Salaah and used to also recite this verse. The reason that Salaah has being mentioned with patience is because patience is a very difficult attribute for the body to attain especially when it comes to internal peace in the performance of Salaah. At the same time, Salaah is sometimes very difficult for a person to perform because of all the exterior conditions he has to first fulfil. He has to make sure that the pillars of Salaah, the Sunnah, and the Mustahab are completed. He has to display inner concentration and piety and complete attention in Salaah which might seem extremely difficult to an outside person. Hence, this has been coupled with patience”. (Ruhul Bayaan)

The test for those who fight in the Path of Allah azza wa jall.

In Surah Muhammad, verse 31, Allah azza wa jall declares:

وَلَنَبْلُوَنَّکُمْ حَتَّی نَعْلَمَ الْمُجَاہِدِینَ  مِنْکُمْ وَالصَّابِرِینَ

“And We will surely test you until We make evident those who strive among you

[for the cause of Allah] and the patient, and We will test your affairs.”

Allama Imam Abu Jafer Tabari Alaihir Rahmah explains, “Allah azza wa jall informs the Muslims in this verse that He will test them during Jihad against the disbelievers so that He will be able to display His true friends. He will also be able to display those who patiently persevere and those who have true insight into religion and those who doubt religion. In this way also, the true Muslim will become apparent from the hypocrite and the truthful from the untruthful.” (Tafseer Tabari)


The Excellence of good or noble deeds

عَنْ اَبِیْ مَالِکٍ  الْحَارِثِ بْنِ عَاصِمِ الاَشْعَرِیِّ رَضِیَ اﷲُ تَعَالٰی عَنْہ قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللہِ صَلَّی اللہُ عَلَیْہِ وَاٰلِہٖ وَسَلَّمْ’’اَلطُّہُوْرُ شَطْرُ  الْاِ یْمَانِ، وَالْحَمْدُ لِلّٰہِ تَمْلأ الْمِیْزَانَ ، وَسُبْحَانَ اللہِ وَالْحَمْدُ لِلّٰہِ تَمْلَاَنِ أَوْ تَمْلَأُ مَا بَینَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ، والصَّلاۃُ نُورٌ، وَالصَّدَقَۃُ بُرْہَانٌ، وَالصَّبْرُ ضِیَائٌ، وَالْقُرْاٰنُ حُجَّۃٌ لَکَ أَوْ عَلَیْکَ،کُلُّ النَّاسِ یَغْدُوْ فَبَائِعٌ نَفْسَہُ فَمُعْتِقُہَاأَوْ مُوْبِقُہَا۔

(مسلم ، کتاب الطہارۃ، باب فضل الطہور، ص۱۴۰، حدیث: ۲۲۳)

Hadrat Sayyiduna Haarith bin Aasim Ash’ari Radi Allahu ‘Anhu narrates that the Holy Prophet Sallal Laahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam has stated that:

“Cleanliness is half of Imaan. ‘Al Hamdu lillah’ will fill the scale of deeds, ‘Subhaanallah’ and ‘Al Hamdu lillah’ will be able to (fill the area) between the heavens and earth. Salaah is Nur. Charity is a testimony and patience is a light. The Qur’an is a proof either for you or against you. Every morning a person spends his time in a manner (whereby) he either sells his Nafs (himself), by either (performing good deeds) and freeing himself or (due to his bad deeds), he destroys himself.” (Muslim Shareef)

Allama Abu Zakariyah bin Sharf Nawawi Alayhir Rahmah explains all of this in the following manner.

  1. Cleanliness is half of Imaan – The reward of being clean and Paak all the time actually reaches the stage where it is proportionate to half of one’s Imaan. Another explanation is that; in a similar way as bringing faith or Imaan nullifies all previous sins, in like manner, when a person makes Wudu, all his previous sins are eliminated. At the same time, it must also be remembered that without Imaan, there can be no proper Wudu.
  1. The significance of “Alhamdulillah” and “Subhaanallah.” These are those special words which fill the area between the heavens and earth. In the Hadith Shareef, it is mentioned that the actions and deeds of a person would certainly be placed on a scale and weighed. It would either be less or more. It also implies that if these two words are transformed into one solid entity, they would actually fill the entire heaven and earth. The reason for this is very simple if one looks at the meaning of both these words. “Subhaanallah” clearly proves the Complete Divine Pureness of Allah azza wa jall. In other words, Allah azza wa jall is free of all defects and faults. The “Alhamdu lillah” signifies the absolute need of creation for Allah azza wa jall and that one acknowledges this by praising Him all the time.
  1. Salaah is Nur – It means that as Nur gives light when there is darkness. In like manner, Salaah gives light to people from the darkness of sin, shameful deeds and evil actions. It can also mean that on the Day of Judgement, the face of the person regular in Salaah will be bright and this is also seen in the world as well.
  1. Charity is testimony or proof – It is mentioned that on the Day of Judgement when a person will be questioned about where he spent his money, then his sincere charity and alms will become his proof and testimony. Another meaning is that, money by nature is something which is loved by a person and when he gives this away in the Path of Allah azza wa jall as charity, then it becomes testimony to his Imaan and faith.
  1. Patience is light – It signifies that patience is indeed a very noble and good action and a person displaying this is always looking fresh and young and is also someone firmly established on Imaan and faith.

Hadrat Sayyiduna Ebrahim Khawwaas Alayhir Rahmah explains that, “To remain firm and steadfast on the Qur’an and Sunnah is Sabr or patience”.

Hadrat Sayyiduna ibn Ataa Alayhir Rahmah explains that, “To display steadfastness and perseverance in the face of calamity is Sabr”.

Hadrat Sayyiduna Abu Ali Daqaaq Alayhir Rahmah explains that, “The reality of Sabr is not to dispute with one’s destiny. However to reveal to someone the condition that one is in, does not negate Sabr, on condition that this revelation is not in the form of a complaint.”

  1. The Qur’an is a testimony for and against you – In other words, if you sincerely read the Qur’an and practise upon its commands, it would become a testimony for you (to enter Jannah) otherwise, it would become a testimony against you.
  1. The meaning of someone selling himself means that every person performs deeds and action, however, some people sincerely obey the Divine Command of Allah azza wa jall and present or give over their complete being to Allah azza wa jall and thereafter, they are able to free themselves from the Fire of Hell. Some people obey the Shaytaan and their carnal desires and actually sell their souls to the devil and because of this and by obeying the evil whisperings of the Satan, they will be destroyed in Hell. (Sharah Muslim; Imam Nawawi)

The brightness and expansiveness in the grave!

Allama Mullla Ali Qari Alayhir Rahmah explains that, “To refrain oneself from evil desires and deeds, to endeavour to perform worship with all its tests and to remain steadfast in this is actually Sabr. When a person fulfils his promise of practising Sabr, then this is a form of light and brightness. The reason is that if he refrains from making Sabr, then he will fall into the darkness of sin. By this light, it could also mean the light or brightness of the grave. The reason is that when a person sincerely obeys Allah azza wa jall and remains steadfast in the face of calamity and trial and refrains from committing sinful and evil deeds, Allah azza wa jall in His Divine Mercy expands the grave of that person and brightens the grave of that person.” (Mirqaatul Mafaatih)

A person who wishes to fulfil all his desires in the world!

The Holy Prophet Sallal Laahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam has declared that, “That person who fulfils his every desire in this world, it will become a veil for him on the Day of Judgement (in other words, it will restrict him from entering Jannah). A person who continues to look at the luxury of rich people, he loses his respect among the people of the Heavens (Angels, etc.).  The person who displays patience in times of extreme hunger, Allah azza wa jall will allow him to enter Jannah through whichever door he wishes. ” (Shuhubul Imaan)

The sign of a true believer!

It is reported that once the Holy Prophet Sallal Laahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam presented himself in front of the Ansaar and asked, “Are you real believers (Mo’min)?” They remained silent. Sayyiduna ‘Umar Radi Allahu ‘Anhu, however replied, “Yes, O Prophet of Allah!” The Holy Prophet Sallal Laahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam then asked, “What is the sign of your Imaan (faith)?” The blessed companions replied, “When we have something, we give thanks to Allah azza wa jall and when we are tested, we display patience and are satisfied with the Divine Decision of Allah azza wa jall.” The Holy Prophet Sallal Laahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam replied, “I swear by the Lord of the Ka’ba! You are indeed true believers”. (Ihya ul Uloom)

Important advice to remember

  1. During Salaah and even after Salaah, there is great significance in remaining clean and having a valid Wudu.
  2. All types of deeds and actions on the Day of Judgement would appear in a physical form as we see different incidents appear in different forms in our dream. (Miraatul Manaajih)
  3. To refrain from those things which Allah azza wa jall has forbidden is the highest form of Sabr.
  4. To display patience according to Shari’ah law is half of Imaan.