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The Sweetness of Sabr

To taste the sweetness of sabr (patience) is an immense na’ima. However, as Ummu Mo Rayyan explains, every human being has to wade through a sea of trials in order to experience this fruitful outcome.

At times, adversities can weigh so heavily on us, it seems that a mountain would crumble under the same pressure. However, what is of utmost importance is that the adversity or calamity should become a means for us to turn our hearts completely to our Creator. This dunya is a test for a believer. An illusion. A mirage. A bridge. And should we linger on it, we will stray. Keep going. Life is always in motion. To stop is to to give in. Life is in searching and seeking. Life is in redemption. A chance to get it better, to get it right. So keep going.


Allah (SWT) says, “Oh you who believe! Persevere in patience and constancy. Vie in such perseverance, strengthen each other, and be pious, that you may prosper.” (Al-’Imran: 200)


When Ibraheem, the beloved son of The Messenger of Allah (SAW), was placed in his father’s arms, Muhammad (SAW) was bereaved. Stop! And imagine for a moment, your bud who has blossomed into a beautiful flower breathing his last, dying in your arms, returning to his Maker. Everything is beyond your control and comprehension. This is what the Prophet (SAW) encountered. A tale so moving. A gnawing ache. However, with tears rolling down his blessed cheeks, he submitted, “The eyes tear. The heart is in pain. But (with my tongue) I will only say that which is pleasing to Allah. And we are indeed sad at your departure, O Ibraheem”. 

Thereafter, facing the mountain before him, he proclaimed,

“O mountain! If you were as sorrowful as I am, you would certainly crumble into pieces! But we say what Allah has ordered us: (we are the servants of Allah and we will return to Him; we thank Allah, the Creator of the Universe).” (Ibn-i Sa’d, Tabaqat v.1, p.131-144)


Tiny and fragile, yet the delicate heart is such a powerful organ, that with sabr in any adversity, it can withhold so much pain. Sabr is not a waiting game which you sit through curled up inside, waiting for calm waters to surface, while the storm continues to rage outside.


Patience is being content with the decree of Allah (SWT), submitting to the will of Allah (SWT).


Patience is a great virtue. Patience and prayer are synonymous. Through sabr, comes peace. Is it not then a beautiful blessing that prayer was established after the year of sadness?


“So strive, O worried slave of Allah, strive. March forth. Hold onto prayer in this difficult time, hold fast to Him. For He is your protector, helper and your ultimate Guide”

Let the Qur’an heal you, let it guide you in every aspect of your life. “He has chosen you to be upon the truth, so hold onto it tightly and you will never lose”. (Al-Hajj :78)


Dating back to the golden era of Islam, the ummah went through various difficulties and calamities. Their faith was tested. Yet they possessed the gift of patience through which they bore all pain and in return received tremendous rewards. So don’t despair and never lose hope, for Allah (SWT) surely knows the broken heart.


Patience is that coolness and peace that Ibraheem (AS) encountered upon being flung into a blazing fire. Patience is daylight, a beautiful shore bordering calm waters and the Yaqteen tree, after the darkness Younus (AS) experienced in the belly of a whale. Patience is the return of Musa (AS) to his mother, after she was forced to abandon him during infancy. Patience is the spring of Zam Zam that gushed forth, after Hajar ran the same course seven times.Oh! What beauty their patience bore.


Allah (SWT) says, “No one will be granted such goodness except those who exercise patience and self-restraint, none but persons of the greatest good fortune.”(Fussilat :35)


Through patience one gains ease and happiness. The doors of victory are flung open.“Verily, with every difficulty there is relief”. (Ash-Sharh :5-6)


Now let us take heed of the Hadith below and bask in the glory of its beautiful nature. So, the next time your world turns upside down, repent, pray and persevere, exercise patience and reap handsome rewards.


“How wonderful is the affair of the believer, for his affairs are all good, and this applies to no one but the believer. If something good happens to him, he is thankful for it and that is good for him. If something bad happens to him, he bears it with patience and that is good for him.” (Muslim)



Ummu Mo Rayyaan, a young muslimah is a student currently in transit. Being a wanderlust at heart, she appreciates travelling whenever Allah presents an opportunity, with particular focus on the Palestinian plight. A freelance writer, she hopes and prays to fulfil her dream of becoming a published author.