Patience and Gratitude [Ibn Qayyim Al-Jawziyyah]


ربنا اغفر لنا ذنوبنا
Staff member
Assalaamu `alaikum warahmatullaahi wabarkaatuh.

There's a small but very beautiful book I wanted to share with everyone.

I could just give y'all the link to it but then I thought, "Nah, they might not read it." So I'll post a section of a chapter (there are 17 chapter's in total) everyday till the end. That way it's not a long and overwhelming read and you can take it in small doses. =)

Skipping over the translator's intro/note.

Author's Prologue.

Praise be to Allâh, the Patient (as-Sabûr), the Thankful (ash-Shakûr), the Most High (al-
‘Aliyy), the Greatest (al-Kabîr), the All-Hearing (as-Samî’), the All-Seeing (al-Basîr), the
All-Knowing (al-‘Alîm), the All-Powerful (al-Qâdir), Whose power controls every single
creature and Whose Will dominates every single event. His Call to people to prepare for
the Hereafter has been so strongly that even the dead could hear it. I bear witness that
Muhammad is His Slave and Messenger, the best of His creation who did not spare any
effort to advise this Ummah, the most patient in accepting the decree of Allâh and the
most grateful for His blessings. Truly he conveyed the Message of Allâh and proclaimed the Truth, and endured in the way of Allâh that which no human being had ever endured. He followed Allâh’s commands patiently and gratefully, until he gained the pleasure of Allâh and attained the highest degree of patience, such as had never before been reached.
Patience, or patient perseverance, is obligatory, according to the consensus of the
scholars, and it is half of faith (îmân), the other half of which is gratitude (shukr).
Patience is mentioned in the Qur’ân around ninety times. The relation of patience to îmân
is like the relation of the head to the body, and the one who has no patience has no îmân.
Allâh has commanded patience for the Believers in the following âyah:“O you who believe! seek help with patient perseverance (sabr) and prayer...” (alBaqarah 2:153)
Patience has also been made a condition for a person’s entering Paradise and being saved
from the Hellfire; on the Day of Judgement Allâh will say: “I have rewarded them this day for their patience and constancy (patience): they are indeed the ones that have achieved Bliss...” (al-Mu’minûn 23:111)
And Allâh commanded the patient (those who have patience) when He said: "...(it is righteousness...) to be firm and patient, in pain or suffering and adversity, and throughout all periods of panic. Such are the people of truth, the God-fearing.” (al-Baqarah 2:177) and: “...Allâh loves those who are firm and steadfast.” (Āl ‘Imrân 3:146)
Allâh has told us that He is with those who have patience; this is a special "companionship” (ma’iyyah) which means that He is protecting and supporting them, which is over and above the ordinary “companionship” which applies to believers and disbelievers alike whereby Allâh has knowledge of them and is watching over them. Allâh has told us: "...And be patient and persevering: for Allah is with those who patiently persevere.” (al-Anfâl 8:47)
The Prophet (SAAS) told us that patience is all good and full of goodness, and said that
“There is no gift better than patience.” ‘Umar ibn al-Khattab (RA) said: “The best days
of our lives were ours by virtue of patience.”
This book has been written to highlight the urgent need for patience, and to explain that
our happiness in this life and our salvation in the hereafter depends on patience. This
book is filled with benefits and readers will benefit from its advice and teachings. What is
good and correct in this book is by the help of Allâh, and what is mistaken in it is from
the Shaytân. May Allâh forgive the author and the editor. Allâh is the Greatest Helper,
and we put our trust in Him.

Chapter 1: The Definition of Patience.

Sabr (صبر) is an Arabic word which comes from a root meaning to detain, refrain and stop.
There is an expression in Arabic, “so-and-so was killed sabran,” which means that he
was captured and detained until he died. In the spiritual sense, patience means to stop
ourselves from despairing and panicking, to stop our tongues from complaining, and to
stop our hands from striking our faces and tearing our clothes at times of grief and stress.

What scholars have said about patience.

Some scholars have defined patience as a good human characteristic or a positive
psychological attitude, by virtue of which we refrain from doing that which is not good.
Human beings cannot live a proper, healthy life without patience.
Abû ‘Uthmân said: “the one who has patience is the one who trained himself to handle
difficulties.” ‘Amr ibn ‘Uthmân al-Makkî said: “Patience means to keep close to Allâh
and to accept calmly the trials He sends, without complaining or feeling sad.” AlKhawwas said: “Patience means to adhere to the rules of the Qur’ân and Sunnah.”
Another scholar said: “Patience means to refrain from complaining.” ‘Alî ibn Abî Tâlib
said: “Patience means to seek Allâh’s help.”
Is it better to have patience at the time of difficulty, or to be in a situation which does not require patience? Abû Muhammad al-Harirî said: “Patience means not seeing any difference between times of ease and times of hardship, and being content at all times.” I (Ibn Qayyim) say: This is too difficult, and we are not instructed to be like this. Allâh has created us in such a way that we feel the difference between times of ease and times of hardship, and all that we can do is refrain from panicking at times of stress. Patience does not mean feeling the
same at both easy and difficult times. That is beyond us, and is not part of our nature.
Having an easy time is better for us than having a difficult time. As the Prophet (SAAS)
said in his well known du‘â: “If You are not angry with me, then I do not care what
happens to me, but still I would rather have your blessings and your favour.” This does
not contradict the hadîth which says, “No-one has ever been given a better gift than
patience,” because that refers to after a test or trial has befallen a person. But ease is still


ربنا اغفر لنا ذنوبنا
Staff member
Assalaamu `alaikum warahmatullaahi wabarakaatuh!

Patience and Shakwah (complaint)

Shakwah (complaint) falls into two categories:The first type means to complain to Allâh, and this does not contradict patience. It is demonstrated by several of the Prophets, for example, when Ya’qûb (AS) said:
I only complain of my distraction and anguish to Allâh.” (Yûsuf 12:86)

Earlier, Ya’qûb (AS) had said “sabrun jamîl,” which means “patience is most fitting for
me.” The Qur’ân also tells us about Ayyûb:

And (remember) Ayyûb (Job), when he cried to his Lord, ‘Truly distress has seized me...’ ” (Al-Anbiyâ’ 21:83)

The epitome of patience, the Prophet (SAAS), prayed to his Lord: “O Allâh, I complain
to You of my weakness and helplessness.” Mûsâ (AS) prayed to Allâh saying: “O Allâh,
all praise is due to You, and complaint is made only to You, and You are the only One
from Whom we seek help and in Whom we put our trust, and there is no power except by
Your help.” The second type of complaint involves complaining to people, either
directly, through our words, or indirectly, through the way we look and behave. This is
contradictory to patience.


ربنا اغفر لنا ذنوبنا
Staff member
Assalaamu `alaikum warahmatullaahi wabarakaatuh,

Opposing Forces

Psychologically speaking, every person has two forces at work within him or her. One is
the “driving force”, which pushes him towards some actions, and the other is the
“restraining force”, which holds him back from others. Patience essentially harnesses the
driving force to push us towards good things, and the restraining force to hold us back
from actions that may be harmful to ourselves or others.
Some people have strong patience when it comes to doing what is good for them, but
their patience is weak with regard to restraint from harmful actions, so we may find that a
person has enough patience to perform acts of worship (Salâh, Sawm, Hajj) but has no
patience in controlling himself and refraining from following his whims and desires, and
in this way he may commit harâm deeds. Conversely, some people may have strong
patience in abstaining from forbidden deeds, but their patience in obeying
commandments and performing ‘ibâdah is too weak. Some people have no patience in
either case! And, needless to say, the best people are those who possess both types of
So, a man may have plenty of patience when it comes to standing all night in prayer, and
enduring whatever conditions of heat or cold may be prevalent, but have no patience at
all when it comes to lowering his gaze and refraining from looking at women. Another
may have no problem controlling his gaze, but he lacks the patience which would make
him enjoin the good and forbid the evil, and he is so weak and helpless that he cannot
strive against the kuf âr and mushrikûn. Most people will be lacking in patience in any
one case, and a few lack it in all cases.


ربنا اغفر لنا ذنوبنا
Staff member
Assalaamu `alaikum warahmatullaahi wabarakaatuh.

Further definition of patience

A scholar said: “To have patience means that one’s common sense and religious motives
are stronger than one’s whims and desires.” It is natural for people to have an inclination
towards their desires, but common sense and the religious motive should limit that
inclination. The two forces are at war: sometimes reason and religion win, and sometimes
whims and desires prevail. The battlefield is the heart of man.
Patience has many other names, according to the situation. If patience consists of
restraining sexual desire, it is called honor, the opposite of which is adultery and
promiscuity. If it consists of controlling one’s stomach, it is called self-control, the
opposite of which is greed. It if consists of keeping quiet about that which is not fit to
disclose, it is called discretion, the opposite of which is disclosing secrets, lying, slander
or libel. If it consists of being content with what is sufficient for one’s needs, it is called
abstemiousness, the opposite of which is covetousness. If it consists of controlling one’s
anger, then it is called forbearance, the opposite of which is impulsiveness and hasty
reaction. If it consists of refraining from haste, then it called gracefulness and steadiness,
the opposite of which is to be hotheaded. If it consists of refraining from running away,
then it is called courage, the opposite of which is cowardice. If it consists of refraining
from taking revenge, then it is called forgiveness, the opposite of which is revenge. If it
consists of refraining from being stingy, then it is called generosity, the opposite of which
is miserliness. If it consists of refraining from being lazy and helpless, then it is called
dynamism and initiative. If it consists of refraining from blaming and accusing other
people, then it is called chivalry (muru’ah literally “manliness”).
Different names may be applied to patience in different situations, but all are covered by
the idea of patience. This shows that Islâm in its totality is based on patience.

Is it possible to obtain the quality of patience?

If a person does not naturally possess the characteristic of patience, he can attain this
characteristic by acting as if he does possess it, until it eventually becomes second nature.
This is what the Prophet (SAAS) has told us in the hadith: “Whoever tries to be patient,
then Allâh will help him to be patient.” A person can also strive to control sexual desire
and lower his gaze until these too become second nature. The same applies to all other
desirable characteristics such as steadiness, generosity and courage.


ربنا اغفر لنا ذنوبنا
Staff member
Assalaamu `alaikum warahmatullaahi wabarakaatuh.

Chapter 2: Different perspectives on patience

Patience may be of two types, either physical or psychological, and both types may either
be by choice, or without choice, as follows:
1. Physical patience by choice, such as doing hard labour willingly.
2. Physical patience without choice, such as patiently bearing illness, beatings and
extremes of heat and cold.
3. Psychological patience by choice, such as refraining from things which both the
Sharee`ah and common sense say are wrong.
4. Psychological patience without choice, such as patiently bearing an enforced
separation from one whom you love.

Different degrees of patience

As mentioned above, patience is of two types, by choice or without choice. Patience by
choice is of a higher status than patience without choice, as the latter is common to all
people, but the former is not attainable by all. Therefore the patience of Yûsuf in
disobeying the wife of al-‘Azîz, and his patience in bearing the resulting punishment, is
of higher status than his patience in response to his brothers’ actions, when they threw
him in the well, separated him from his father and sold him as a slave. This superior,
voluntary, patience is the patience of the Prophets, of Ibrâhîm, Mûsâ, Nûh, ‘Īsâ and the
Seal of the Prophets, Muhammad :saw:. Their patience was in calling the people to
Allâh and in striving against the enemies of Allâh.


ربنا اغفر لنا ذنوبنا
Staff member
Assalaamu `alaikum warahmatullaahi wabarakaatuh.

The patience of men and the patience of animals

These four types of patience apply only to human beings. Animals share only the two
types of patience in which there is no choice, and man is distinguished by having the
patience in which there is choice. However, many people have only the types of patience
that animals have, i.e. patience without choice.

The patience of jinn

Jinn share the quality of patience with humans, as they are responsible for their actions
like humans are. They need patience to fulfil their responsibilities towards Allâh the same
way that we do. One might ask: are they responsible in the same way that we are, or in a
different way? The answer is that with regard to matters of emotion and feelings they are responsible just as we are, and share the obligation to love for the sake of Allâh and hate
for Allâh, to believe and have faith, to take believers for friends and unbelievers for
enemies, etc. But as far as physical matters such as ghusl, wudû‘, washing after relieving
oneself and circumcision are concerned, they are not the same as us. Their duties in that
regard are in accordance with the way they are created.

The patience of the angels

Another question that may arise is: Do angels have patience? The answer is that angels
are not tested with whims and desires that contradict their reason and knowledge. For
them, worshipping and obeying Allâh are like breathing is for us. Therefore the angels do
not need patience, because patience is needed when one has conflicting motives, religion
and reason opposite to whims and desires. However, the angels may have some kind of
patience which befits them and makes them persevere in doing what they were created


ربنا اغفر لنا ذنوبنا
Staff member

The patience of man

If a man’s patience is stronger than his whims and desires, then he is like an angel, but if
his whims and desires are stronger than his patience, then he is like a devil. If his desire
for food, drink and sex is stronger than his patience, then he is no better than an animal.
Qatâdah (rahimahullaah) said: “Allâh created angels with reason and no desires, animals with desires and no reason, and man with both reason and desires.” So if a man’s reason is stronger than his desire he is like an angel, and if his desires are stronger than his reason, then he is like an animal. A little baby has only the desire for food when he needs it, and his patience is like the patience of animals. Until he reaches an age when he can tell what is what, he has no choice. When he grows a little older and develops a desire to play, then his patience by choice will develop. He will start to know what patience means when his sexual desire develops. At the same time, his power of reasoning is also developing, but between the age when he can tell right from wrong and the age of puberty, all he can see is his own
interests in this world, and what might make life good or bad. This limited view will
remain until he is guided by Allâh, then he will have the full picture and begin to think of
his interests both in this life and the hereafter. He will become aware of where different
actions may lead, and will prepare himself for a long struggle with his desires and natural

Different degrees of patience

The kinds of patience which relate to resisting whims and desires can be graded
according to how strong and effective they are. There are three degrees of patience in this

1. The motive of religion is strongest in controlling and defeating the whims and desires.
This level of control can only be achieved through consistent patience, and those who
reach this level are victorious in this life and in the hereafter. They are the ones “who
say, ‘Our Lord is Allâh’” (Fussilat 41:30). These are the ones to whom, at the moment
of death, the angels say, “Fear not!...Nor grieve! But receive the Glad Tidings of the
Garden (of Bliss), that which you were promised! We are your protectors in this life
and the Hereafter." (Fussilat 41:30-31). They are the ones who enjoy the
companionship of Allâh, and who strive in the way of Allâh. They are the ones whom
Allâh has guided to the exclusion of others.

2. When whims and desires prevail, the religious motive is diminished. The doomed
person will surrender totally to Shaytân and his forces, who will lead him wherever they
want. His relationship with them will be either of two possibilities. Either he will become
their follower and a soldier in their army, which is the case of the weak person, or
Shaytân will become a weapon for him, and one of his soldiers, which is the case of the
strong person who rebels against Allâh. Those people are the ones whose misfortune has
overtaken them, as they preferred this world to the Hereafter. The main reason for their
sorry fate is that they ran out of patience. The major characteristic of these people is that
they lie and cheat, indulge in wishful thinking and self-admiration, delay doing good
deeds, and prefer instant gains in this world to lasting gains in the Hereafter. These are
the people to whom the Prophet (SAAS) referred when he said: “The helpless man is the
one who follows his whims and desires, and indulges in wishful thinking.”
These unfortunate people are of several types. Some of them declare war against Allâh
and His Messenger, trying to destroy what the Prophet (SAAS) brought, pushing people
away from the way of Allâh, and spreading corruption on earth. Some are interested
solely in their worldly interests. Some are two faced hypocrites who try to ingratiate
themselves with everybody and gain something from every situation. Some are
promiscuous, and devote their entire life to the pursuit of physical pleasure. Some, if they
are warned, say that they would dearly love to repent, find it too difficult and plead they
have no chance. Some say that Allâh does not need their prayers and fasting, that they
will not attain salvation by virtue of their deed, and that they will rely on the fact that
Allâh is Merciful. Some of them claim that refraining from committing wrong actions is
like undermining the forgiveness of Allâh. Some will say, “What good could my worship
do after all the wrong actions I have committed? What can help a drowning man if his
fingers are above water and the rest of his body is submerged?” Some say that they will
repent when death approaches...
So many excuses, all because their whims and desires control their reason, and they use
their reason, in turn, to find ways of fulfilling those desires. Their reason is held prisoner
by the Shaytân, and put to work to serve his evil purposes, just as Muslim prisoners-of war may be abused by the kâfirûn and forced to look after pigs, make wine or carry the cross. The man who suppresses his reason and puts it under the control of the enemy (Shaytân) is like the one who seizes a Muslim and hands him over to the kâfirûn to imprison him.

3. There is a war that is raging between the motives of reason and religion, and the
motives of whims and desires. Sometimes one prevails, sometimes the other gains the
upper hand. The pattern of victories for either side varies. This is the situation in the case
of most believers, who mix good deeds and bad deeds.

People’s ultimate fate in the Hereafter will correspond to the three situations outlined
above. Some people will enter Paradise and never enter Hell, some will enter Hell and
never enter Paradise, and some will enter Hell for some time before they are admitted to

PS. thanks for moving this here, whoever did it! : )

candy candy

Junior Member
This post is very interesting and very informative. Really gave me a reason to ponder over this content. Sometimes we get the answers of our inbuilt questions through such forums which is amazing.


ربنا اغفر لنا ذنوبنا
Staff member
Assalaamu `alaikum warahmatullaahi wabarakaatuh,

Different strengths of patience

Some people cannot have patience without struggling and facing many difficulties.
Others are able to have patience easily. The first type is like a man who wrestles with a
strong man and cannot beat him with the utmost effort. The second type is like a man
who wrestles with a weak man and beats him easily. Such is the war between the soldiers
of ar-Rahmân and the soldiers of Shaytân. Whoever defeats the soldiers of Shaytân can
defeat Shaytân himself. ‘Abdullâh ibn Mas‘ûd narrated: “A man wrestled with one of the
jinn, and beat him, then asked, ‘Why are you so weak and small?’ The jinn answered, ‘I
am very big and strong compared to the rest of the jinn.’” Someone asked ‘Abdullah ibn
Mas‘ûd, “Was that man, ‘Umar?” and he replied, “Who else could it have been?”
Some of the Sahâbah said, “A believer whips the Shaytân like the way a person whips his
camel when he is travelling.”

Ibn Abi’d-Dunyâ narrated from some of the salaf that one shaytân met with another, and
asked him why he was so thin. The other shaytân replied, “Because I am a with a man
who mentions the name of Allâh when he eats, so I cannot eat with him, and he mentions
the name of Allâh when he drinks, so I cannot drink with him. When he enters his home
he mentions the name of Allâh, so I stay outside.” The first shaytân said, “But I am with a
man who does not mention the name of Allâh when he eats, so I eat with him. He does
not mention the name of Allâh when he drinks, so I drink with him. When he enters his
home he does not mention the name of Allâh, so I enter with him."
So whoever develops the habit of patience is feared by his enemies, and whoever finds
patience difficult is in danger, as his enemy will readily dare to attack him and do him

When patience is needed

Patience is required in the following areas of life:
1. In worshiping Allâh and following His commands,
2. In abstaining from wrong actions,
3. In accepting Allâh’s decree and ruling (qadâ’ wa qadr). This is the advice given to
Luqmân when he told his son:
“O my son! establish regular prayer, enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong;
and bear with patient constancy over what befalls you; for this is firmness (of
purpose) in (the conduct of) affairs.” (Luqmân 31:17)
Enjoining what is just includes doing good oneself, and forbidding what is wrong
includes abstaining from wrong action oneself.

Patience in worshiping Allâh

Patience in worshiping Allâh and carrying out His instructions means that you perform
the prescribed acts of worship regularly and do so sincerely and with knowledge.
Worship that is not performed regularly is of no value. Even if worship is performed
regularly, there are two dangers. Firstly, we risk losing our sincerity, if the motive for
performing prayers is not to please Allâh and draw closer to Him. So to protect our
worship we must make sure that we are sincere. Secondly, we must be sure never to
deviate from the way of the Prophet (SAAS), so we have to ensure that our worship is
done according to the Sunnah.


ربنا اغفر لنا ذنوبنا
Staff member
Assalaamu `alaikum warahmatullaahi wabarakaatuh.

Patience in abstaining from wrong actions

This type of patience can be achieved through the fear of the punishment which follows
the wrong action, or through a feeling of hayâ’ (shyness or shame) before Allâh for using
His blessings in committing wrong actions. That feeling of hayâ’ before Allâh can be
strengthened through learning more about Allâh and knowing more about His names and
attributes. Hayâ’ is a characteristic of people who are noble and possess good qualities,
so the person who refrains from wrong action because of hayâ’ is better than the one who
abstains because of fear. Hayâ’ indicates that a person is mindful of Allâh and His might.
The person whose deterrent is the fear of Allâh has his thoughts focused on the
punishment. The fearful person’s main concern is himself and how to save himself from
the punishment, whereas the “shy” person’s main concern is Allâh and His Glory. Both
have attained the status of îmân, but the “shy” person has attained ihsân, a higher status
of îmân, in which he conducts himself as if he can see Allâh, and so his heart is filled
with hayâ’.
The reason why it is so important for a believer to abstain from wrong action is because
he must protect his îmân, as wrong action decreases îmân or extinguishes it. The Prophet (SAAS) said, “When the adulterer commits adultery he is not a believer, and when the
winegrower drinks alcohol he is not a believer and when the thief steals he is not a believer. The believer should abstain from many permitted actions in case they may lead to that which is forbidden.”

Patience at times of trial and adversity

Patience during difficult times may be achieved by:
1. thinking of the good reward that lies ahead. The more you believe in the rewards that
are waiting for you, the easier it becomes to have patience. If it were not for the
anticipation of the rewards, no goals or objectives pertaining to this life or the hereafter
would have been achieved. Human nature loves instant gratification, but reason and
maturity make us think of the long term outcome, which helps to strengthen our patience
in enduring whatever faces us, whether there is no choice or otherwise;
2. expecting and hoping for a time of ease. This hope in itself offers a measure of
immediate relief;
3. thinking of Allâh’s countless blessings. When we realize that we cannot enumerate the
blessings of Allâh, it becomes easier for us to exercise patience in facing the current
adversity, because the present troubles are like a raindrop compared to vast ocean of
Allâh’s blessings and favours;
4. thinking of previous blessings of Allâh. This will remind us of Allâh’s care, and
strengthen our hopes ad expectations of a time of ease to come.


ربنا اغفر لنا ذنوبنا
Staff member
Chapter 3: Five Categories of Patience

Patience can also be divided into categories following the five categories of deeds,
namely wâjib (obligatory), mandûb (encouraged), mahdhûr (forbidden), makrûh
(disliked) and mubâh (permissible).

Obligatory (wâjib) patience

1. Patience in abstaining from forbidden (harâm) things and actions,
2. Patience in carrying out obligatory deeds,
3. Patience in facing adversity which is beyond one’s control, such as illness, poverty,

Encouraged (mandûb) patience

1. Patience in abstaining from disliked (makrûh) things,
2. Patience in performing acts of worship which are liked and encouraged (mustahabb)
3. Patience in refraining from taking revenge.

Forbidden (mahdhûr) patience

1. Patience in abstaining from food and drink until death.
2. Patience in abstaining from eating harâm meat, carrion and blood, when the alternative
is death and starvation. Tawus and Ahmad ibn Hanbal said, “Whoever has no choice but
to eat carrion, harâm meat and blood, but refuses to eat it and dies as a consequence, will
enter Hell.”
3. Patience in refraining from begging. There is a dispute as to whether begging from
people is forbidden or permissible. Imam Ahmad said that this kind of patience and
abstention is allowed. He was asked, “What if a person fears that if he does not do this,
he will die?” Imam Ahmad answered, “No, he will not die. Allâh will send him his due
provision (rizq).” Imam Ahmad did not allow begging: when Allâh knows the need of a
person and his sincerity in abstaining from begging, Allâh will send him rizq. Other
scholars, including some of Imam Ahmad’s companions and Imam ash-Shafi‘î said, “It is
obligatory on such a person to beg, and if he did not beg, than he would be a wrongdoer,
because by begging he protects himself from death.”
4. Patience in enduring things that may lead to death, such as predators, snakes, fire and
5. Patience at times of fitnah when the Muslims are fighting Muslims. Patience in
abstaining from fighting at such a time, when Muslims are killing Muslims, is mubâh
(permissible), indeed it is mustahabb (liked and preferred). When the Prophet (SAAS)
was asked about this, he said, “Be like the better of the two sons of Ādam.” In other,
similar reports he said, “Be like the slave of Allâh who was killed, and not like the one
who has killed,” and “let him (the killer) carry his own wrong action and your wrong
action.” In another report, he said, “If the sword is too bright, put your hand on your
face.” Allâh has told us the story of the better of the two sons of Ādam, and how he
surrendered himself and did not fight back, and how Allâh commended him for that.
This is different to the case when Muslims are fighting kâfirûn: in that situation the Muslim
has to defend himself, because the meaning of Jihad is to defend himself and Islâm.

Disliked (makrûh) patience

1. Patience in abstaining from physical appetites (food, drink, sex) to the extent of
causing damage to one’s health.
2. Patience in doing a makrûh deed.

Permissible (mubâh) patience

Patience in abstaining from mubâh deeds.


ربنا اغفر لنا ذنوبنا
Staff member
Chapter 4: Good Patience and Bad Patience

Bad patience means having patience in keeping away from Allâh and His love and His
will, because this prevents a person from fulfilling his potential of attaining perfection
and doing what he was created for. This is the worst type of patience, and the most
difficult, because there is no type of patience stronger than that of the person who
wilfully keeps away from his Creator, as apart from Him there is no life at all. No-one is
as careless as the person who has no interest in what Allâh has prepared for His friends
(awliyâ’) in the hereafter, that which no eye has ever seen nor ear has ever heard, and has
never been imagined by any person. Once a man who admired a zâhid (one who does
without) for his zuhd (doing without) and lack of interest in this world said to him, “I
have never seen a man who has as much zuhd (doing without) as you so.” The zâhid told
him, “Your zuhd is much stronger than mine, for my zuhd concerns the world, and this
life is short and unstable, but your zuhd concerns the hereafter, which is eternal.”
A man asked Shiblî, “What type of patience is more difficult?” Shiblî said, “Patience
through seeking the help of Allâh.” The man said, "No." Shiblî said, “Then patience for
the sake of Allâh.” The man said, “No.” Shiblî said, “Patience in seeking the pleasure of
Allâh.” The man said, “No.” So Shiblî asked, “What is it then?” and the man answered,
“Patience in keeping away from Allâh.” Shiblî screamed in such a way that he nearly
died. Good patience consists of two types: patience for the sake of Allâh and patience by the help of Allâh. Allâh said:“Now await in patience the command of your Lord: for verily you are in Our eyes...” (at-Tûr 52:48)
It is impossible to have patience for the sake of Allâh without patience by the help of
Allâh: “And be patient, for your patience is but by Allâh...” (an-Nahl 16:127)
This âyah tells us that patience cannot be achieved without the help of Allâh, which
means that in addition to the help of Allâh we need the companionship of Allâh, as in the
hadîth [qudsî]: “I am his hearing with which hears, his sight with which he sees, and his hand with which he strikes.” The help of Allâh is bestowed upon the believer and the wrongdoer alike, both of whom receive blessings and rizq. This hadîth describes something more, the companionship of Allâh, which the believer will attain when he performs nafl (supererogatory) acts of worship until Allâh loves him. When he reaches that status, and Allâh is his hearing with which he hears and his seeing with which he sees, he does not move or do anything but Allâh is with him. Whoever reaches this level can have patience for Allâh’s sake and endure severe hardship to please Him. The person who does not reach this level will not have this degree of patience; his level of patience will be in accordance with his share of Allâh’s companionship. The believer who enjoys Allâh’s companionship will reach
levels of patience that are impossible for others. Those who have patience are the winners
in this world and the next, because Allâh is with them: “for Allâh is with those who patiently persevere” (al-Baqarah 2:153).

Emulating the attributes of Allâh

If a person loves an attribute of Allâh, then this will help him to reach Him. Allâh is as-Sabûr, patient, and there is none that is more patient and forbearing than Him. It was
reported that Allâh revealed to Dâwûd (AS), “Have my attributes, as one of My attributes
is that I am sabûr (patient).” Allâh loves His attributes and characteristics, and He loves
to see the effects of His attributes on His slaves. As He is beautiful, so He loves beauty;
as He is all-forgiving, He loves forgiveness; as He is generous, He loves generosity; as
He is all-knowing, he loves the people of knowledge; as He is strong and powerful, so a
strong believer is more beloved to Him than a weaker one; as He is sabûr (patient), so He
loves those who have patience; as He is shakûr (grateful), so He loves those who give
thanks. As He loves those who have His characteristics, so He is with them, and this is a
special and unique type of companionship.

No contradiction between patience and complaining to Allâh

Crying out and complaining to Allâh does not mean that a person has no patience. In the
Qur’ân, we find Ya‘qûb (AS) saying, “My course is comely patience (sabrun jamîl)” (Yûsuf 12:83), but his love and longing for his lost son Yûsuf made him say: “How great
is my grief for Yûsuf” (Yûsuf 12:83). Sabrun jamîl refers to patience with no complaint
to other people. Complaining to Allâh does not cancel out patience, as Ya‘qûb said, “I
only complain of my distraction and anguish to Allâh” (Yûsuf 12:86).
Allâh also enjoined sabrun jamîl on the Prophet (SAAS) and he obeyed, but he would pray, “O Allâh, I complain to You of my weakness and helplessness.”


ربنا اغفر لنا ذنوبنا
Staff member
Chapter 5: The Patience of noble people and the patience of ignoble people

Every person has to exercise patience in order to face difficulties, whether he does so
willingly or unwillingly. The noble person exercises patience willingly, because he
realizes the benefits of patience, and he knows that he will be rewarded for his patience
and will be criticized if he panics. He is aware that if he does not have patience,
panicking and impatience will not help him to regain missed opportunities, and will not
take away things he dislikes. Whatever is decreed and is qada’ wa qadr cannot be
prevented from happening, and whatever is decreed not to happen cannot be made to
happen. So an attitude of impatience and panic actually causes harm.
A wise man said: “A man with wisdom as soon as adversity appears does that which a
foolish man does after a month (i.e. he resorts to patience).”
The ignoble man exercises patience only when he realizes he has no choice. After
wasting a lot of time and energy and panicking and struggling, he realizes that his
impatience will not help him. Then he exercises patience in the same way that a person
who has been tied up to be whipped exercises patience.
The noble person practices patience in obeying Allâh, whilst the ignoble person exercises
patience in obeying the Shaytân. So ignoble people have the greatest patience in
following their own whims and desires, and have the least patience in spending in the
way of Shaytân and no patience when it comes to spending even a few pennies in the way
of Allâh. They will endure many difficulties in order to follow their own whims and
desires, but cannot bear even the least difficulties in order to please their Lord. They will
endure slander for the sake of committing wrong actions, but cannot exercise patience in
putting up with slander for the sake of Allâh. Such people will avoid enjoining the good
and forbidding the evil for fear of what people will say about them for doing so, but they
will expose their honour to slander and bear it most patiently for the sake of following
their own whims and desires. Similarly, they are not prepared to practise patience in devoting themselves to Allâh, but when it comes to devoting themselves to Shaytân and
their own whims and desires, they will exercise remarkable patience. Such people will
never be noble in the sight of Allâh, and on the Day of Resurrection they will not be
raised with the people of nobility and decency.


ربنا اغفر لنا ذنوبنا
Staff member
Chapter 6: Ways of strengthening patience
As patience is fard (obligatory), Allâh has provided us with ways and means of obtaining
and strengthening the quality of patience, for He has never instructed us to do something
without providing us with help and support to do it, and ways and means of achieving it.
He has never created a disease without creating a cure for it, and He has guaranteed cure
when medicine is used. Even so, patience is difficult, but it is not impossible to attain.
Patience consists of two elements: knowledge and action, and from these two elements
are derived the remedies for all spiritual and physical troubles. Knowledge and action,
combined, are always essential.


The element of knowledge is necessary in order to realize the benefits of following the
commands of Allâh and the sense of happiness and fulfillment that one may attain by
following them; and to understand what it is in the forbidden things that causes harm,
imperfection and evil. When a person realizes that, and adds strong willpower, the desire
for spiritual achievement and the wish to live as a complete human being (as opposed to
as animal-like existence), then it will become easy for him to attain the quality of
patience. The bitterness of patience will become sweet and the pain of patience will
become joy.


As we has already seen, patience is a constant battle between the motives of reason and
religion on the one had, and the motive of whims and desires on the other. If a person
wants reason and religion to overcome whims and desires, then he has to strengthen the
former and weaken the latter, just like promoting good health and reducing the risk of
For example, a person who has a strong desire to commit adultery can take steps to
combat it. He may have such a strong sexual urge that he cannot stop committing
adultery; or he may not commit the act itself, but us unable to stop looking at women; or
he may be able to stop looking at women but he cannot stop thinking of sex, to the extent that all his thoughts are devoted to this subject, and he never gives any thought to things
which could benefit him in this life and in the hereafter. If he is really serious about
finding a cure for this disease, then he has to follow these steps:

1. He can find out what types of food increase sexual desire, then he can reduce his intake
of them, or avoid them altogether. If this does not work, then he can fast, as fasting
reduces sexual desire, especially if the food eaten when he breaks his fast is moderate.

2. He should lower his gaze and avoid looking at women, as looking at women may
provoke sexual desire. The Prophet (SAAS) warned us, “Looking (at women) is one of
the arrows of the Shaytân.” Shaytân aims his arrows from reaching its target unless one
lowers one’s gaze. But if a person keeps looking, he is exposing his heart to these arrows,
any one of which may be fatal.

3. He should enjoy permissible sex (i.e. within marriage), because any desire that Allâh
created in us has a permissible outlet. This is the best cure, as the Prophet (SAAS) has

4. He should think of the harm and damage that may befall him in this world as a
consequence of his fulfilling his sexual desire in a prohibited way. Even if there were no
Paradise or Hell, the harm that could be caused in this world by such an action should be
enough to stop him from doing it. The damage caused by such actions is so great that it
can barely be quantified, but sexual desire makes some people blind.

5. He should think of the ugliness of the person who is tempting him to commit adultery
with her, especially if she is known to have other partners. He should feel too proud to
drink from the same place as dogs and wolves!


ربنا اغفر لنا ذنوبنا
Staff member

Strengthening the motive of reason and religion

In the battle between reason/religion and whims/desires, we have the following
“weapons” at our disposal:

1. We should remember the glory and greatness of Allâh, and feel that He is too great to
be sinned against as He is all-seeing and all-hearing. Whoever thinks of the greatness of
Allâh will never be at ease in committing wrong actions.

2. If we claim to love Allâh, then we should not disobey Him, because of that love. A
person should be obedient to the One he claims to love. Those who refrain from
committing wrong action out of their love for Allâh are of the highest status in His sight,
as are those who worship Him out of love for Him. There is great difference between the
one who obeys Allâh and abstains from wrong action out of love, and the one who does
so out of fear of punishment. 3. We should think of the blessings and favours of Allâh, as a decent and noble person would never act against the one who has been treating him kindly. Only base and ignoble people do such a thing. If we think of the blessings and favours of Allâh, we will realize that we should not respond by doing against His commands and committing wrong action.

4. We should think of the wrath and punishment of Allâh, as He will be angry with the
person who persists in committing wrong action. Nothing can stand in the way of the
consequences of His anger, least of all this weak slave of His.

5. We should think of what the person who commits wrong action has to lose, in this
world and the next. It should be sufficient to think of the loss of îmân (faith), of which the
smallest amount is worth much more than everything in this world. How can anyone be
willing to lose his îmân in return for some brief moment of pleasure the consequences of
which might last forever? In a sahîh hadîth, the Prophet (SAAS) said: “No adulterer is a
believer at the time of when he is committing adultery.” Commenting on this hadîth, one
of the Sahâbah said: “His îmân will be dragged out of him until it goes over his head like
a cloud. If he repents, then his îmân will return to him.”

6. We should relish the idea of defeating the Shaytân and being victorious over him,
because of overcoming him, and our whims and desires, is a thing of joy and carries a
great reward. It is like taking medicine and being rewarded with restoration to good

7. We should bear in mind the reward and compensation which Allâh has promised to
those who control their whims and desires, and abstain from that which is harâm.

8. We should think of the special companionship of Allâh, as He has told us: “Allâh is
with those who patiently persevere” (al-Baqarah 2:153) “For Allâh is with those who
restrain themselves and those who do good” (an-Nahl 16:128) “For verily Allâh is
with those who do right.” (al-‘Ankabût 29:69)

9. We should be ever mindful of death, which could come upon us at any time, suddenly
and without warning.

10. We should stop thinking of falsehood and bad ideas. Even if bad thoughts cross our
minds, we should not let them stay, otherwise they may become hopes and wishes which
we may act upon, and harm ourselves and others in the process.

11. We should gradually strengthen our religious motive in fighting whims and desires.
Once we have tasted the joy of defeating those whims and desires, then our determination
and willpower will grow stronger.

12. We should direct our thoughts towards contemplation of the signs of Allâh which He
has encouraged us to think about, whether they are in the Qur’ân or in the universe
around us. If such thoughts are constantly in our hearts and minds, this will help us to shun the whisperings of the Shaytân. There is no greater loser than the one who, instead
of thinking of Allâh, His Book, His Prophet and his Sahâbah, dwells on Shaytân and the
ideas of Shaytân.

13. We should remember how short is our stay on this earth. No-one would want to feel
that all he has achieved in this life is the worst kind of deeds, except a person who has no
spiritual ambition, whose heart is dead and who is careless. Such a person will ultimately
regret his deeds when he realizes that, far from benefiting him, they will lead to
punishment. Even the person who has many good deeds to his credit will feel that sense
of regret when he realizes that he could have done even more.

14. We should know that Allâh has created us to live an eternal life with no death, a life
of pride and ease with no humiliation, a life of security with no fear, a life of richness
with no poverty, a life of joy with no pain, a life of perfection with no flaws. Allâh is
testing us in this world with a life that will end with death, a life of pride which is
accompanied by humiliation and degradation, a life that is tainted by fear, where joy and
ease are mixed with sorrow and pain. So many people are mistakenly seeking an easy life
of power and pleasure in this world, but most of them never manage to achieve it, and
those who do, enjoy it only for a brief time before it vanishes. The Prophets called people
to an eternal life of plenty, and whoever answers their call will have the best life in this
world, better than the life of kings and their followers, for zuhd in this life is true
richness. This is something which the Shaytân greatly envies the believers.

Merely knowing the facts that we have outlined above is not enough. We have to strive
and do our utmost to achieve our aim and attain perfection. The best way to do so is to
put a stop to the habits that are controlling our lives, as these are the main obstacles
which prevent us from succeeding. We should avoid places of fitnah and temptation, as
the Prophet (SAAS) told us, “Whoever hears of the Dajjâl should keep away from him.”
The best way to protect ourselves from wrong is to keep away from anything that could
lead to it. One of the favourite tricks of the Shaytân, which deceives everyone except
those who are clever enough to see it, is to show a person some goodness in a wrong
thing, and call him to go towards what is good; when the person gets close to it, he falls
into the trap.


Rabbe Zidni Illma

JazakAllahu Khair for sharing.

Just a suggestion sister, is it possible for you to edit a little before posting [like spacing, and underlining key points etc.]? Personally, I feel the post looks clumsy and for the content and the wealth it has, a little spacing and arranging would make the reading more pleasurable :)


A Mu'minah Wannabe!
Wish I had a printer at home so I could have printed these paragraphs! :( Reading them all here makes my head hurt, but InshaAllah will make sure I read them! May Allah reward you abundantly Ukthi!! <3 :)


ربنا اغفر لنا ذنوبنا
Staff member
Assalaamu `alaikum warahmatullaah.

uniqueskates , let me finish the book first, will you? : ) Inshaa'Allaah, I should be done with it before Ramadhaan and then I'll go back to edit the whole thing as I'd originally planned.
Btw, are you on your phone? Because I noticed it looks a lot different when viewing it from a mobile phone... the spacing especially - it appears even worse than it does when I read it from a computer. Dunno why that is to be honest.

AyeshaPKS Wa iyyaaki ukhty. :) And sorry to hear that. Will try to make it easier for ya'll to read inshaa'Allaah. And can you use the printer at school? That's what I usually do, we don't have a printer here at home as well...


A Mu'minah Wannabe!
Janaan You're doing the best you can on your part Ukhti!!
Im done with high school and my college starts in nov so that's not an option! :( We might get one soon InshaAllah, would make it sooo very easy for m!


ربنا اغفر لنا ذنوبنا
Staff member
Ooh congratulations, ukht. And November? wow, that's a long way away. Inshaa'Allaah then just be patient till then :)