Download PDF: Riyaadus Saaliheen – Hadith #31 (Sabr During Calamities)

Patience in times of calamity

عَنْ أَنَسِ بْنِ مَالِکٍ رَضِیَ اللہُ عَنْہُ قَالَ مَرَّالنَّبِیُّ صَلَّی اللہُ عَلَیْہِ وَسَلَّمَ بِإِمْرَأَۃٍ تَبْکِیْ عِنْدَ قَبْرٍ فَقَالَ اِتَّقِی اللہَ وَاصْبِرِیْ قَالَتْ إِلَیْکَ عَنِّیْ فَإِنَّکَ لَمْ تُصَبْ بِمُصِیْبَتِیْ وَلَمْ تَعْرِفْہُ فَقِیْلَ لَہَا إِنَّہُ النَّبِیُّ صَلَّی اللہُ عَلَیْہِ وَسَلَّمَ فَأَتَتْ بَابَ النَّبِیِّ صَلَّی اللہُ عَلَیْہِ وَسَلَّمَ فَلَمْ تَجِدْ عِنْدَہُ بَوَّابِیْنَ فَقَالَتْ لَمْ أَعْرِفْکَ فَقَالَ إِنَّمَا الصَّبْرُ عِنْدَ الصَّدْمَۃِ الْأُوْلَی۔وَفِیْ رِوَایَۃٍ لِّمُسْلِمٍ :تَبْکِیْ عَلٰی صَبِیٍّ لَّھَا۔

(بخاری، کتاب الجنائز، باب زیارۃ القبور، ۱/ ۴۳۳، حدیث: ۱۲۸۳)


Hadrat Sayyiduna Anas Radi Allahu ‘Anhu narrates that once the Holy Prophet Sallal Laahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam passed by a lady. She was crying near a grave. He then mentioned to her, “Fear Allah azza wa jall and have patience”. She did not recognize him and because of this, she replied, “Stay away from me because the calamity which had reached me, did not reach you.” Later on, she was informed whom she had spoken to. When she entered the court of the Holy Prophet Sallal Laahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam, there was no one in attendance. She declared, “I did not recognize (at the time) that it was you, hence I seek your pardon.” The Holy Prophet Sallal Laahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam then declared, “Patience is first displayed at the time of calamity.” (Bukhari Shareef)


In the Muslim Shareef, it is mentioned that she was crying for her deceased children


Allama Badrudeen Aini Alayhir Rahmah explains that, “Allama Qurtabi has stated that, ‘Perhaps the lady was wailing and crying out aloud which is why the Holy Prophet Sallal Laahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam advised her to have fear for Allah azza wa jall.’ Allama Teebi has also explained that perhaps the reason why the Holy Prophet Sallal Laahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam advised her to have fear for Allah azza wa jall was so that she would find it easier in this way to display patience. In other words, ‘if you do not display patience, then fear the Divine Wrath of Allah azza wa jall and do not display this wailing and screaming so that you can receive Divine Reward in return.’” (Umdatul Qari)


Disrespect displayed by a person not in their senses is not valid


There is no doubt that the sadness which this lady had was extremely intense which is why she did not even recognize the Holy Prophet Sallal Laahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam and replied in this disrespectful manner. It is explained that, “Non-recognition is also due to extreme sadness because everything instantly recognized the Holy Prophet Sallal Laahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam. When he walked, people instantly recognized the sweet smell which emanated from him. Every creation, including a stone, recognized him as he walked past. The words of this female can certainly be classified as Kufr, but because she was in this extreme state of sadness and anxiety and because she did not recognize who she was speaking to, she did not leave the folds of Islam. The ‘Ulama have also explained that at the time of near death when a person is in extreme pain and stress, if that person utters words which sound like Kufr, that person would not be classified as a Kaafir. His burial and Janaza Salaah will still be performed because words of Kufr uttered when a person is not in his proper senses are not valid.” (Miraatul Manaajih)


A most merciful Prophet


Hadrat Sayyiduna Abu Hurayrah Radi Allahu ‘Anhu narrates: Once we were sitting in the Masjid in the blessed company of the Holy Prophet Sallal Laahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam. When he used to get up, we used to also get up. One day, he walked towards the middle of the Masjid and we also walked with him. A Bedouin grabbed his shawl so tightly that a mark appeared on his blessed neck. The Bedouin then declared, ‘O Muhammad! These goods which is with you, fill my two camels with these goods because the goods which you had given to me, is neither your wealth nor the wealth of your father.’ When the Holy Prophet Sallal Laahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam heard this, he began to make Istighfaar. He then declared, ‘No, I will not give you anything, until you do not repay me for pulling my shawl.’


“The Bedouin replied, ‘By Allah! I will not repay you.’ Three times, the Holy Prophet Sallal Laahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam made this statement and three times, the Bedouin gave the same reply.


(Hadrat Sayyiduna Abu Hurayrah Radi Allahu ‘Anhu then continues). “When we saw this, we rushed toward this Bedouin, however, the Holy Prophet Sallal Laahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam looked at us and declared, ‘Whoever has heard my words, I swear that they should not move from their spot until I have not given permission.’ The Holy Prophet Sallal Laahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam then ordered that one camel be loaded with dates and one camel be loaded with wheat.” (Nisaa’i Shareef)


To visit the grave


At one time, the issue of visiting the grave was a contentious issue among certain ‘Ulama, however, it is now a unanimous decision that one should visit the graves of Muslims. This is also based on the Hadith Shareef of the Holy Prophet Sallal Laahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam which has been narrated by Hadrat Sayyiduna Buraydah Radi Allahu ‘Anhu in which the Holy Prophet Sallal Laahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam has stated that, “I used to prohibit you from visiting the cemetery, now you may visit the cemetery.” (Umdatul Qari) This Hadith Shareef has also been mentioned in the Sahih Muslim Shareef.


Women are prohibited from visiting the cemetery


In answer to a question about this issue, Sayyidi Ala Hadrat Radi Allahu ‘Anhu has explained that, “The proper opinion is that women have no permission to enter a cemetery.” He then explains further, “To visit the graves of immediate family who have recently passed away would make a female extremely sad, it would reawaken her love for the deceased and hence, create (a very uncomfortable situation). As for visiting the Mazaar of a Saint, it would create two types of ills. One is that proper adab or respect may not be displayed and secondly, there may be so much respect displayed that it would make it impermissible in Islam. Hence, the proper path is to stop them from visiting the graves. In the book Ghunayah it is termed as Makruh. However, to visit the blessed grave of the Holy Prophet Sallal Laahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam is permissible and close to Waajib. In this regard, females should not be restricted, however, proper respect and protocol should be borne in mind.” (Fatawah Radawiyyah)


Point to bear in mind


  1. If one sees Islamic Law been flaunted and if one has the power, one should immediately stop this happening.
  2. To display patience at the first moment of calamity is to achieve the highest reward.
  3. All these are achieved through having a good intention.
  4. Once a person realises his mistake, he should immediately apologise.
  5. If a person in extreme stress and pain utters words which may seem disrespectful and unbecoming, then we should not immediately issue a verdict of Kufr on that person.
  6. If one displays rudeness, then one should display kindness.
  7. Our Prophet Sallal Laahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam is more kind to us than even our parents.
  8. One should encourage the males to visit the cemetery and restrict females from doing so.
  9. To visit the blessed grave of the Holy Prophet Sallal Laahu ‘Alayhi Wasallam is close to Waajib!