Posted: 12 Apr, 2021

In Islam, having patience (sabr in Arabic) comes with many benefits and rewards.

Patience is an admirable quality which helps us connect with Allah (SWT), speak and act upon the truth, and to endure with strength through hardships.

Sabr translates literally as endurance, although it is more accurately likened to perseverance and/or persistence. It makes up one of two parts of faith (the other being shukr, which means thankfulness and gratitude). The importance of patience is a recurring theme in the Holy Qu’ran with the word ‘sabr’, alongside eraaz (which translates from Arabic to avoidance), appearing more than 100 times.

The Teaching of Patience/Sabr

Patience in Islam is not about adopting a passive attitude. The Qur'an does not teach us to remain silent, but neither does it encourage confrontation. Life is a mix of challenges, with everyone having the freedom to do as they wish and live the life that they see fit. This, of course, means that there will be times when another person’s freedom is not compatible with our own.

However, only Allah (SWT) has the power to take that freedom away – this is not something that any human has and this must be respected. Instead, this means showing patience/sabr to any challenges faced and managing patience to face them successfully. Doing so brings reward in the eyes of Allah.

Indeed, he who fears Allah and is patient, then indeed, Allah does not allow to be lost the reward of those who do good.”

[Yusuf: 90]

There is no Altering the Creation of God

All prophets adopted this same attitude, because “there is no altering the creation of God” [al-Rum 30:30]. Allah (SWT) is the original creator of the heavens, the earth and all those who live in it; it is not for any human to attempt to change the creation.

To adopt the same values of the prophets means adopting the culture of patience and avoiding confrontation where possible. There is beauty in all of Allah’s (SWT) creations and we must see the positive more than the negative.

Finding a way through Patience within Islam

We can adopt the teachings of the Holy Qur’an into our way of life in many ways, guiding us now and into the hereafter. A physical journey, whether you are walking, driving or otherwise, is rarely a straight line from point A to B, with many twists and turns required for one reason or another.

Think about this in terms of personal and professional development. There will always be hardships along the way and it is how we deal with these setbacks, displaying patience, which ensures we can see a difficult situation from all angles and gain experience for the future. Confrontation rarely gets you anywhere and conflict, more often than not, closes one door without necessarily opening another – this helps no one.

The Holy Qur’an teaches us to control our anger as otherwise, it will become a distraction. We should adopt a positive mentality and, in the event of disagreement or provocation, we should remember the power of forgiveness and reconciliation.

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