The Tool of the Unwearied Believers

Since 2012-12-07

Faith is of two halves: patience and gratitude. As such it is befitting for one who is sincere to himself, who desires his soul to succeed, and gives preference to its being felicitous, that he not ignore these two principles, and not swerve from these tw


And so, the Imam, the jurist, traditionalist, ascetic, indeed polymath, Ibn Al Qayyim al-Jawziyyah, wrote on patience:

Allah, Glorious and Most High, has made patience a race horse that never falters or stumbles, a sword that never loses its sharpness, a vanquishing army that is never defeated, and a fortified stronghold that never breaks and is never taken by force. Patience and Divine Help are two brothers: Divine help comes with patience, relief follows difficulty, and ease follows hardship. Patience aids and supports the individual more than an army of people, and in the attainment of victory it is like the head to the body. In His book, the Truthful Guarantor has promised that He will repay the patient with a reward that knows no bounds; He informed us that He is with the patient through His guiding them, aiding them, and granting them clear victory. He, Exalted is He says, {And be steadfast, Allah is with the steadfast.} [Al-Anfal 8:46]
{وَاصْبِرُوا ۚ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ مَعَ الصَّابِرِينَ}الأنفال: 46
Transliteration: waisbiroo inna Allaha maAAa alssabireena
The patient are victorious by virtue of His being with them, both in this life and the next, and through it they attain both His esoteric and exoteric blessings.

Allah made leadership in the religion dependant upon patience and certainty, {We appointed leaders from among them, guiding by Our command when they were patient and when they had certainty about Our signs} [Al-Sajdah 32:24]
{وَجَعَلْنَا مِنْهُمْ أَئِمَّةً يَهْدُونَ بِأَمْرِنَا لَمَّا صَبَرُوا ۖ وَكَانُوا بِآيَاتِنَا يُوقِنُونَ}السجدة: 24
Transliteration: WajaAAalna minhum aimmatan yahdoona biamrina lamma sabaroo wakanoo biayatina yooqinoona

He informed us that patience is best for the patient, consolidating this reality by taking an oath,{But if you are patient, it is better to be patient.} [Al-Nahl 16:126].
{وَلَئِن صَبَرْتُمْ لَهُوَ خَيْرٌ لِّلصَّابِرِينَ}النحل: 126
Transliteration: walain sabartum lahuwa khayrun lilssabireena

He informed us that the plots of the enemy are of no avail against the one who has patience and taqwa,{But if you are steadfast and have taqwa, their scheming will not harm you in any way.} [Ali Imran 3:120].
{وَإِن تَصْبِرُوا وَتَتَّقُوا لَا يَضُرُّكُمْ كَيْدُهُمْ شَيْئًا}آل عمران: 120
Transliteration: wain tasbiroo watattaqoo la yadurrukum kayduhum shayan

He informed us that it was the patience and taqwa of his truthful Prophet, Yusuf, that led him to circumstances of nobility and authority,{As for those who fear Allah and are patient, Allah does not allow to go to waste the wage of a people who do good.} [Yusuf 12:90].
{إِنَّهُ مَن يَتَّقِ وَيَصْبِرْ فَإِنَّ اللَّـهَ لَا يُضِيعُ أَجْرَ الْمُحْسِنِينَ}يوسف: 90
Transliteration: innahu man yattaqi wayasbir fainna Allaha la yudeeAAu ajra almuhsineena

Success is dependent on patience and taqwa,{You who have faith! Be patient; be supreme in patience; be firm on the battlefield; and have taqwa of Allah so that hopefully you will be successful.} [Ali Imran 3: 200]
{يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اصْبِرُوا وَصَابِرُوا وَرَابِطُوا وَاتَّقُوا اللَّـهَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ} آل عمران: 200
Transliteration: Ya ayyuha allatheena amanoo isbiroo wasabiroo warabitoo waittaqoo Allaha laAAallakum tuflihoona

He, Exalted is He, gave the greatest encouragement possible concerning patience to those who desire Him saying, {Allah loves the patient.} [Ali Imran 3:146].
{وَاللَّـهُ يُحِبُّ الصَّابِرِينَ}آل عمران: 146
Transliteration: waAllahu yuhibbu alssabireena

He gave glad-tidings to the patient of three things; each of these things being better than anything that could be envied in this world,{But give good news to the patient: those who, when disaster strikes them, say, ‘We belong to Allah and to Him we will return.’ Those are the people who will have blessings and mercy from their Lord; they are the ones who are guided.} [Al-Baqarah 2:155-157].
{وَبَشِّرِ الصَّابِرِينَ ﴿١٥٥﴾ الَّذِينَ إِذَا أَصَابَتْهُم مُّصِيبَةٌ قَالُوا إِنَّا لِلَّـهِ وَإِنَّا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُونَ ﴿١٥٦﴾ أُولَـٰئِكَ عَلَيْهِمْ صَلَوَاتٌ مِّن رَّبِّهِمْ وَرَحْمَةٌ ۖ وَأُولَـٰئِكَ هُمُ الْمُهْتَدُونَ}البقرة: 155-157
Transliteration: wabashshiri alssabireena (155) Allatheena itha asabathum museebatun qaloo inna lillahi wainna ilayhi rajiAAoona (156) Olaika AAalayhim salawatun min rabbihim warahmatun waolaika humu almuhtadoona

He enjoined His servants to seeking aid through patience and prayer in the face of the vicissitudes of the world and religion, {Seek help in patience and prayer. But that is a very hard thing, except for the humble.} [Al-Baqarah 2:45].
{وَاسْتَعِينُوا بِالصَّبْرِ وَالصَّلَاةِ ۚ وَإِنَّهَا لَكَبِيرَةٌ إِلَّا عَلَى الْخَاشِعِينَ}البقرة: 45
Transliteration: WaistaAAeenoo bialssabri waalssalati wainnaha lakabeeratun illa AAala alkhashiAAeena

He declared that the grant of victory by way of Paradise and deliverance from the Fire is only for the patient, {Today I have rewarded them for being steadfast. They are the ones who are victorious.} [Al-Mu’minun 23:111].
{إِنِّي جَزَيْتُهُمُ الْيَوْمَ بِمَا صَبَرُوا أَنَّهُمْ هُمُ الْفَائِزُونَ}المؤمنون: 111
Transliteration: Innee jazaytuhumu alyawma bima sabaroo annahum humu alfaizoona

He informed us that the desire for His reward and turning away from this world and its allures can only be attained by the patient believer, {But those who had been given knowledge said, ‘Woe to you! Allah’s reward is better for those who have faith and act rightly. But only the steadfast will obtain it.}[Al-Qasas 28:80].
{وَقَالَ الَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْعِلْمَ وَيْلَكُمْ ثَوَابُ اللَّـهِ خَيْرٌ لِّمَنْ آمَنَ وَعَمِلَ صَالِحًا وَلَا يُلَقَّاهَا إِلَّا الصَّابِرُونَ}القصص: 80
Transliteration: Waqala allatheena ootoo alAAilma waylakum thawabu Allahi khayrun liman amana waAAamila salihan wala yulaqqaha illa alssabiroona

Returning an evil with that which is better transforms an enemy into a close friend, {Repel the bad with something better and, if there is enmity between you and someone else, he will be like a bosom friend.} [Fussilat 41:34].
{ادْفَعْ بِالَّتِي هِيَ أَحْسَنُ فَإِذَا الَّذِي بَيْنَكَ وَبَيْنَهُ عَدَاوَةٌ كَأَنَّهُ وَلِيٌّ حَمِيمٌ}فصلت: 34
Transliteration: idfaAA biallatee hiya ahsanu faitha allathee baynaka wabaynahu AAadawatun kaannahu waliyyun hameemun

{None will attain this quality but those who are truly patient. None will obtain it but those who have great good fortune.} [Redacted from Fussilat 41:35]
{وَمَا يُلَقَّاهَا إِلَّا الَّذِينَ صَبَرُوا وَمَا يُلَقَّاهَا إِلَّا ذُو حَظٍّ عَظِيمٍ}فصلت: 35
Transliteration: Wama yulaqqaha illa allatheena sabaroo wama yulaqqaha illa thoo haththin AAatheemin

Allah, Exalted is He, informed us – making an oath to further stress what is being said, {Truly man is in loss – except for those who have faith and do right actions and urge each other to the truth and urge each other to patience.} [Al-Asr 103:2-3].
{إِنَّ الْإِنسَانَ لَفِي خُسْرٍ ﴿٢﴾ إِلَّا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ وَتَوَاصَوْا بِالْحَقِّ وَتَوَاصَوْا بِالصَّبْرِ}العصر: 2-3
Transliteration: Inna alinsana lafee khusrin (2) Illa allatheena amanoo waAAamiloo alssalihati watawasaw bialhaqqi watawasaw bialssabri

He divided the creation in two groups: the People of the Right and the People of the Left. He particularised the People of the Right to be those who urge each other to patience and mercy,
{Then he became one of those who believed, and recommended one another to perseverance and patience, and (also) recommended one another to pity and compassion.}[Al-Balad 90:17].
{ثُمَّ كَانَ مِنَ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَتَوَاصَوْا بِالصَّبْرِ وَتَوَاصَوْا بِالْمَرْحَمَةِ}البلد: 17
Transliteration: Thumma kana mina allatheena amanoo watawasaw bialssabri watawasaw bialmarhamati
and particularised the patient and grateful as those who truly benefit from his Signs. He said in four verses of His Book, {There are certainly Signs in that for everyone who is patient and thankful.} [Luqman 31:31; Ibrahim 14:5; Saba 34:19; al-Shura 42:33].
{إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَآيَاتٍ لِّكُلِّ صَبَّارٍ شَكُورٍ}لقمان: 31، إبراهيم: 5، سبأ: 19، الشورى: 33
Transliteration: inna fee thalika laayatin likulli sabbarin shakoorin

He made forgiveness and reward dependent on righteous deeds and patience – and that is truly easy for the one for whom He facilitates the way –
{Except for those who are patient and do right actions. They will receive forgiveness and a large reward.} [Hud 11:11]
{إِلَّا الَّذِينَ صَبَرُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ أُولَـٰئِكَ لَهُم مَّغْفِرَةٌ وَأَجْرٌ كَبِيرٌ}هود: 11
Transliteration: Illa allatheena sabaroo waAAamiloo alssalihati olaika lahum maghfiratun waajrun kabeerun

Patience and forgiveness are from the resolute, definite, matters such that the one who trades in them will never face loss, {But if someone is patient and forgives, that is the most resolute course to follow.} [Al-Shura 42:43].
{وَلَمَن صَبَرَ وَغَفَرَ إِنَّ ذَٰلِكَ لَمِنْ عَزْمِ الْأُمُورِ}الشورى: 43
Transliteration: Walaman sabara waghafara inna thalika lamin AAazmi alomoori

He ordered His Messenger to be patient for His judgment and informed us that patience can only be for His sake, and through this all calamities become relatively minor and easy to bear,
{So be patient for the judgment of your Lord – you are certainly before Our eyes} [Al-Tur 52:48]
{اصْبِرْ لِحُكْمِ رَبِّكَ فَإِنَّكَ بِأَعْيُنِنَا}الطور: 48
Transliteration: Waisbir lihukmi rabbika fainnaka biaAAyunina

{Be patient. But your patience is only with Allah. Do not be grieved by them and do not be constricted by the plots they hatch. Allah is with those who have taqwa of Him and with those who do good.} [Al-Nahl 16:127-128]
{وَاصْبِرْ وَمَا صَبْرُكَ إِلَّا بِاللَّـهِ ۚ وَلَا تَحْزَنْ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا تَكُ فِي ضَيْقٍ مِّمَّا يَمْكُرُونَ ﴿١٢٧﴾ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ مَعَ الَّذِينَ اتَّقَوا وَّالَّذِينَ هُم مُّحْسِنُونَ} النحل: 127-128
Transliteration: Waisbir wama sabruka illa biAllahi wala tahzan AAalayhim wala taku fee dayqin mimma yamkuroona (127) Inna Allaha maAAa allatheena ittaqaw waallatheena hum muhsinoona

Patience is the rein of the believer tying him down: he may wander for a bit but always returns. It is the pillar of his faith to which he recourses - there is no faith for the one who has no patience. If, in such a case, it does exist, it would be severely weak. The one who has no patience is like one worshipping Allah at the edge of a faltering precipice; if good comes his way he takes comfort, but if trial comes his way the world turns inside out and he loses both it and the Hereafter.

The best livelihood that the felicitous attained was because of their patience. They rose to the most exalted stations because of their gratitude. On the wings of patience and gratitude they soared to the Gardens of perpetual bliss. That is the grace of Allah which He bestows on whoever He will, He is the possessor of great grace.

Faith is of two halves: patience and gratitude. As such it is befitting for one who is sincere to himself, who desires his soul to succeed, and gives preference to its being felicitous, that he not ignore these two principles, and not swerve from these two paths. In this way Allah would place him in the better of the two parties on the Day of His meeting.

Abu Rumaysah Refi Shafi


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