Patience in Islam


Patience in Islam is not only a virtue, its something we should actively cultivate.

As a mom, it’s hard to see your child throw fits, go to Daddy instead of you, or even be sick. In those times, I really try to remember that sabr (patience) is a quality adored by our Creator. In the holy Quran Allah (swt) states:

“And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth and lives and fruits, but give good tidings to the patient” (Qur’an, 2:155)

While it is not easy to be patient, just realize that nothing good comes from being impatient. If you are late for work, bemoaning all the traffic lights turning red will not change the fact that you are late. It took me a long time to realize that while I could not change my circumstances, I had the ability to change my reaction to those circumstances.

Even with that knowledge, I know I am still not perfect. Sabr is not just enduring what befalls you quietly. It is a delayed gratification. If you can delay your instinct for instant gratification, Allah (swt) will reward you if not in this life, then the hereafter.

I recently moved to a suburban area and we only had one car. So instead of my commute being 6 minutes, it was a whopping 60 minutes with public transportation. While taking that, I would sit and think how unfair it was that my contemporaries all had cars and I was needlessly suffering. However, I had to remind myself that I made a choice not to purchase a brand new car because of ribah (interest which is forbidden in Islam) and I needed to have sabr to save for a used car.

I carried this internal dialogue for 1 year. But Alh, Allah (swt) is merciful and instead of having to wait any longer, my mother in law bought a car for our family. Do you see how Allah (swt) tests you even if you have a good intention to obey him? Trials bring you closer to God while punishments push you away from God. I felt guilty for even entertaining such “woe is me” thoughts.

We can never be grateful enough to God for our blessings. Even with our trials, it’s nothing compared to others. What about our sisters and brothers in war torn countries? Or in poverty? Or worried about feeding their children?

With this in mind, let us make dua that we have sabr jameel inshallah so that we can please our lord. It is a virtue that helps us complete our faith. After all, the Prophet (saws) said:

“Patience is half of faith (īmān).”

3 thoughts on “Patience in Islam

  1. Salams Minara,
    So true! Having Sabr is one of the qualities of the pious and I def find it one of the hardest characteristics to embody. It is so much easier to react negatively to a situation that’s unpleasant , rather than wait to see what Allah (swt) has in store for us.
    This reminds me of a quote I just saw that says ” When you are going through something hard and wonder where God is…. Remember, the teacher is always quiet during a test. ”
    May Allah (swt) make it easy for us to be of those who please him -Ameen

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