Prophetic Training in Sabr

207421353Having concluded our lessons this week in the Chapter of Sabr in Riyadh al-Saliheen, we present a summary of these valuable gems and lessons. [Click here for a pdf version of these]

الصبر

Prophetic Training in Ṣabr

from Imām al-Nawawīʼs Riyāḍ al-Ṣāliḥīn

  • Life is accompanied by ups and downs, health and illness, prosperity and adversity
  • The teachings of Sabr orient and train the believers to deal with day-to-day life
  • There are 4 levels of human response to calamity and tragedy, arranged in order of closeness to Allah:
  • Displeasure/annoyance [natural default reaction, most common]
  • Patience [advised for believers]
  • Contentment [only real believers can experience this]
  • Gratitude [the highest stage of belief]
  • 3 basic types of Sabr: In dealing with tribulations (lowest level), in refraining from sin, and in the obedience of Allah (highest level)
  • Allah commands sabr in the Qur’an, gives glad tidings to its practitioners, and rewards it without limits
  • The Prophet described sabr as illumination and warmth for our lives (ḍiyā), and the absolute greatest provision granted to a believer
  • The Prophet advised sabr over begging for those in need, pointing out that real poverty and richness is that of the heart
  • Sabr allows the believer to always be in a good state, for he/she adopts gratitude (shukr) in prosperity and sabr in adversity, the 2 states of life
  • The Prophet endured harsher trials than other human beings in every aspect of his life (including illness and disease), and the only wisdom behind that is to earn the great reward and status of sabr
  • Natural crying does not negate sabr, for the Prophet cried and attributed it to the natural mercy created by Allah
  • The Prophet taught us to place things in perspective when dealing with calamities- the comforting reality that all things belong to Allah and that everything, no matter how difficult, is temporary, and advised us to be patient and anticipate its reward
  • Importance of intention in sabr (anticipating reward brings additional rewards above atonement of sins, but bearing difficulties because you have no choice is not necessarily the sabr that is rewarded-although Allah may reward it if He chooses)
  • Sabr must be voluntary and conscious
  • Sabr must be at the first strike
  • The Prophets were the most patient people on earth
  • Every iota of suffering, however big or small, serves as atonement for a believers sins; the Prophet likened it to leaves falling from a tree; it is even possible for some to wind up meeting Allah with no sins at all due to their suffering
  • Don’t consider any aspect of your life insignificant, for good comes out even a thornprick
  • It is a good sign that one is afflicted with suffering
  • Wishing for death prohibited, for it is a sign of extreme impatience and questioning the wisdom of Allah’s decree; if one cannot help it, then it should be in vague terms that as for good and resign one’s trust in Allah
  • What leads to success, victory and achieving ones goals is sabr, along with long-term strategic planning
  • The Prophet would remind his tortured Companions in Makkah to have sabr and assure them that victory and peace would surely prevail one day
  • Anger is the opposite of sabr, and sabr demands that one avoid anger to the best of one’s ability
  • Among the tools that mitigate anger is the istiadhah supplication (seeking refuge in Allah from Shaytan)
  • Those who restrain their rage while having the capacity to act it out will have tremendous rewards in the Hereafter
  • The Prophet advised us to avoid anger
  • Avoiding anger has 3 meanings- avoid the means that lead to it, restrain it when it does occur, and never act out of anger
  • When your rights are deprived, be patient and don’t let that hinder you from fulfilling the rights of others
  • Don’t ask for suffering and don’t desire to meet the enemy in battle but always ask for peace and safety and health; but when you do meet your enemy be firm and steadfast, knowing Paradise awaits you
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