An-Nawawi on patience and perseverance

December 13, 2013

No gift better than patience

By Abu Amina Elias

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

An-Nawawi records in his book Riyad us-Saliheen:

Allah said:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اصْبِرُوا وَصَابِرُوا وَرَابِطُوا وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ

O you who believe, be patient and endure and stand guard and fear Allah that you may be successful.

Surat Ali Imran 3:200

And Allah said:

وَلَنَبْلُوَنَّكُم بِشَيْءٍ مِّنَ الْخَوْفِ وَالْجُوعِ وَنَقْصٍ مِّنَ الْأَمْوَالِ وَالْأَنفُسِ وَالثَّمَرَاتِ ۗ وَبَشِّرِ الصَّابِرِينَ

We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth and lives and fruits, but give glad tidings to the patient.

Surat Al-Baqarah 2:155

And Allah said:

إِنَّمَا يُوَفَّى الصَّابِرُونَ أَجْرَهُم بِغَيْرِ حِسَابٍ

Verily, only the patient will receive their reward without reckoning.

Surat Az-Zumar 39:10

And Allah said:

وَلَمَن صَبَرَ وَغَفَرَ إِنَّ ذَٰلِكَ لَمِنْ عَزْمِ الْأُمُورِ

Whoever is patient and forgives, verily, that is of the matters requiring resolve.

Surat Ash-Shura 42:43

And Allah said:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اسْتَعِينُوا بِالصَّبْرِ وَالصَّلَاةِ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ مَعَ الصَّابِرِينَ

O you who believe, seek help through patience and prayer. Verily, Allah is with the patient.

Surat Al-Baqarah 2:153

And Allah said:

وَلَنَبْلُوَنَّكُمْ حَتَّىٰ نَعْلَمَ الْمُجَاهِدِينَ مِنكُمْ وَالصَّابِرِينَ وَنَبْلُوَ أَخْبَارَكُمْ

We will surely test you until We make evident those who strive among you and are patient, and We will test your affairs.

Surat Muhammad 47:31

Abu Malik al-Ash’ari reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

الطُّهُورُ شَطْرُ الْإِيمَانِ وَالْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ تَمْلَأُ الْمِيزَانَ وَسُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ وَالْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ تَمْلَآَنِ أَوْ تَمْلَأُ مَا بَيْنَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَالصَّلَاةُ نُورٌ وَالصَّدَقَةُ بُرْهَانٌ وَالصَّبْرُ ضِيَاءٌ وَالْقُرْآنُ حُجَّةٌ لَكَ أَوْ عَلَيْكَ كُلُّ النَّاسِ يَغْدُو فَبَايِعٌ نَفْسَهُ فَمُعْتِقُهَا أَوْ مُوبِقُهَا

Purity is half of faith and the praise of Allah fills the scale, and glorification and praise fill up what is between the heavens and the earth. Prayer is a light, charity is proof of faith, and patience is illumination. The Quran is a proof for you or against you. All people go out early in the morning and sell themselves, either setting themselves free or destroying themselves.

Source: Sahih Muslim 223, Grade: Sahih

Abu Sa’eed Al-Khudri reported: Some people from the Ansar asked the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, and he gave them. Then they asked for charity again and he gave them. Then they asked again and he gave them until all he had was gone. The Prophet said:

مَا يَكُونُ عِنْدِي مِنْ خَيْرٍ فَلَنْ أَدَّخِرَهُ عَنْكُمْ وَمَنْ يَسْتَعْفِفْ يُعِفَّهُ اللَّهُ وَمَنْ يَسْتَغْنِ يُغْنِهِ اللَّهُ وَمَنْ يَتَصَبَّرْ يُصَبِّرْهُ اللَّهُ وَمَا أُعْطِيَ أَحَدٌ عَطَاءً خَيْرًا وَأَوْسَعَ مِنْ الصَّبْرِ

If I had anything, I would not withhold it. Whoever refrains from asking others, then Allah will make him content. Whoever would be self-sufficient, then Allah will make him self-sufficient. Whoever would be patient, then Allah will make him patient. There is no gift that is better and more comprehensive than patience.

Source: Sahih Bukhari 1400, Grade: Sahih

Suhaib reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

عَجَبًا لِأَمْرِ الْمُؤْمِنِ إِنَّ أَمْرَهُ كُلَّهُ خَيْرٌ وَلَيْسَ ذَاكَ لِأَحَدٍ إِلَّا لِلْمُؤْمِنِ إِنْ أَصَابَتْهُ سَرَّاءُ شَكَرَ فَكَانَ خَيْرًا لَهُ وَإِنْ أَصَابَتْهُ ضَرَّاءُ صَبَرَ فَكَانَ خَيْرًا لَهُ

Wondrous is the affair of the believer for there is good for him in every matter and this is not the case with anyone except the believer. If he is happy, then he thanks Allah and thus there is good for him, and if he is harmed, then he shows patience and thus there is good for him.

Source: Sahih Muslim 2999, Grade: Sahih

Usama ibn Zaid reported: The daughter of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, sent a messenger to him requesting his presence as her child was dying, but the Prophet returned the messenger and told him to greet her with peace and to say:

إِنَّ لِلَّهِ مَا أَخَذَ وَلَهُ مَا أَعْطَى وَكُلٌّ عِنْدَهُ بِأَجَلٍ مُسَمًّى فَلْتَصْبِرْ وَلْتَحْتَسِبْ

Verily, whatever Allah takes is for Him and whatever He gives is for Him, and everything with Him has a fixed term, so she should be patient and hope for reward from Allah.

She again sent for him, swearing that he should come. The Prophet arose along with Sa’d ibn Ubada, Mu’adh ibn Jabal, Ubai ibn Ka’b, Zaid ibn Thabit and some other men. The child was brought to the Prophet of Allah while his breath was disturbed in his chest, as if it was a leather skin. The eyes of the Prophet started to shed tears. Sa’d said, “O Messenger of Allah, what is this?” The Prophet said:

هَذِهِ رَحْمَةٌ جَعَلَهَا اللَّهُ فِي قُلُوبِ عِبَادِهِ وَإِنَّمَا يَرْحَمُ اللَّهُ مِنْ عِبَادِهِ الرُّحَمَاءَ

It is mercy which Allah has rooted in the hearts of His servants, and Allah is merciful only to His servants who are merciful.

Source: Sahih Bukhari 1224, Grade: Sahih

Anas ibn Malik reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, passed by a woman who was weeping beside a grave. The Prophet said:

اتَّقِي اللَّهَ وَاصْبِرِي

Be mindful of Allah and be patient.

She said, “Go away from me, for you have not been afflicted by a calamity like mine!” And she did not recognize him. Then, she was told that it was the Prophet, so she went to the house of the Prophet and she did not find any bodyguards there. She said to him, “I did not recognize you.” The Prophet said:

إِنَّمَا الصَّبْرُ عِنْدَ الصَّدْمَةِ الْأُولَى

Verily, patience is at the first strike.

Source: Sahih Bukhari 1223, Grade: Sahih

Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

يَقُولُ اللَّهُ تَعَالَى مَا لِعَبْدِي الْمُؤْمِنِ عِنْدِي جَزَاءٌ إِذَا قَبَضْتُ صَفِيَّهُ مِنْ أَهْلِ الدُّنْيَا ثُمَّ احْتَسَبَهُ إِلَّا الْجَنَّةُ

Allah the Exalted says: I have nothing to give to My believing servant other than Paradise if I cause his dear friend to die and he remains patient.

Source: Sahih Bukhari 6060, Grade: Sahih

Aisha reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, was asked about pestilence and he said:

كَانَ عَذَابًا يَبْعَثُهُ اللَّهُ عَلَى مَنْ يَشَاءُ فَجَعَلَهُ اللَّهُ رَحْمَةً لِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ فَلَيْسَ مِنْ عَبْدٍ يَقَعُ الطَّاعُونُ فَيَمْكُثُ فِي بَلَدِهِ صَابِرًا يَعْلَمُ أَنَّهُ لَنْ يُصِيبَهُ إِلَّا مَا كَتَبَ اللَّهُ لَهُ إِلَّا كَانَ لَهُ مِثْلُ أَجْرِ الشَّهِيدِ

It is a punishment which Allah sends upon whoever He wills, but Allah has made it mercy for the believers. Any servant who resides in a town plagued with pestilence while remaining patient and hoping for reward from Allah, knowing that nothing will befall him except what Allah has written, then he will be given the reward of a martyr.

Source: Sahih Bukhari 5402, Grade: Sahih

Anas ibn Malik reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

إِنَّ اللَّهَ قَالَ إِذَا ابْتَلَيْتُ عَبْدِي بِحَبِيبَتَيْهِ فَصَبَرَ عَوَّضْتُهُ مِنْهُمَا الْجَنَّةَ

Allah said: If I afflict my servant in his two dear eyes and he remains patient, then he will be compensated with Paradise.

Source: Sahih Bukhari 5329, Grade: Sahih

Abdullah ibn Mas’ud reported: I saw the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, tell the story of a Prophet who was beaten by his people and he wiped the blood from his face, saying:

رَبِّ اغْفِرْ لِقَوْمِي فَإِنَّهُمْ لاَ يَعْلَمُونَ

My Lord, forgive my people for they do not know.

Source: Sahih Bukhari 6530, Grade: Muttafaqun Alayhi

Aisha reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

مَا يُصِيبُ الْمُؤْمِنَ مِنْ شَوْكَةٍ فَمَا فَوْقَهَا إِلاَّ رَفَعَهُ اللَّهُ بِهَا دَرَجَةً أَوْ حَطَّ عَنْهُ بِهَا خَطِيئَةً

No believer is pricked by a thorn or more, except that Allah will raise him one degree in status or He will erase a sin.

Source: Sahih Muslim 2572, Grade: Sahih

Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

مَا يَزَالُ الْبَلَاءُ بِالْمُؤْمِنِ وَالْمُؤْمِنَةِ فِي نَفْسِهِ وَوَلَدِهِ وَمَالِهِ حَتَّى يَلْقَى اللَّهَ وَمَا عَلَيْهِ خَطِيئَةٌ

The believing men and women continue to be under trial in their selves, their children, and their wealth until they meet Allah without any sin.

Source: Sunan At-Tirmidhi 2399, Grade: Sahih

Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

مَنْ يُرِدِ اللَّهُ بِهِ خَيْرًا يُصِبْ مِنْهُ

If Allah intends good for someone, then He afflicts him with trials.

Source: Sahih Bukhari 5321, Grade: Sahih

Anas ibn Malik reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

لَا يَتَمَنَّيَنَّ أَحَدُكُمْ الْمَوْتَ مِنْ ضُرٍّ أَصَابَهُ فَإِنْ كَانَ لَا بُدَّ فَاعِلًا فَلْيَقُلْ اللَّهُمَّ أَحْيِنِي مَا كَانَتْ الْحَيَاةُ خَيْرًا لِي وَتَوَفَّنِي إِذَا كَانَتْ الْوَفَاةُ خَيْرًا لِي

None of you should wish for death because of a calamity that has afflicted him, but if he must do something he should say: O Allah, keep me alive so long as life is good for me and cause me to die if death is better for me.

Source: Sahih Bukhari 5437, Grade: Sahih

Khabbab ibn Al-Arat reported: We complained to the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, while he was leaning against his cloak in the shade of the Ka’bah. We said, “Will you ask Allah to help us? Will you supplicate to Allah for us?” The Prophet said:

كَانَ مَنْ قَبْلَكُمْ يُؤْخَذُ الرَّجُلُ فَيُحْفَرُ لَهُ فِي الْأَرْضِ فَيُجْعَلُ فِيهَا فَيُجَاءُ بِالْمِنْشَارِ فَيُوضَعُ عَلَى رَأْسِهِ فَيُجْعَلُ نِصْفَيْنِ وَيُمْشَطُ بِأَمْشَاطِ الْحَدِيدِ مَا دُونَ لَحْمِهِ وَعَظْمِهِ فَمَا يَصُدُّهُ ذَلِكَ عَنْ دِينِهِ وَاللَّهِ لَيَتِمَّنَّ هَذَا الْأَمْرُ حَتَّى يَسِيرَ الرَّاكِبُ مِنْ صَنْعَاءَ إِلَى حَضْرَمَوْتَ لَا يَخَافُ إِلَّا اللَّهَ وَالذِّئْبَ عَلَى غَنَمِهِ وَلَكِنَّكُمْ تَسْتَعْجِلُونَ

Among those before you, a believer would be seized and a ditch would be dug for him and he would be thrown into it. Then, they would bring a saw which would be put on his head so that he is split into two halves. His flesh would be torn away from the bone with iron combs. Yet, all of this did not cause him to abandon his religion. By Allah, this religion will be completed until a rider travels from Yemen to Hadhramaut fearing no one but Allah and the wolf lest it trouble his sheep. Rather, you are impatient.

Source: Sahih Bukhari 6544, Grade: Sahih

Abdullah ibn Mas’ud reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, was distributing charity among people when a man from the Ansar said, “By Allah, Muhammad did not intend to please Allah with this distribution!” I came to the Prophet and informed him about this, then anger could be seen on his face and the Prophet said:

قَدْ أُوذِيَ مُوسَى بِأَكْثَرَ مِنْ ذَلِكَ فَصَبَرَ

Moses was hurt with more than this, yet he remained patient.

Source: Sahih Bukhari 5749, Grade: Sahih

Anas ibn Malik reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

إِذَا أَرَادَ اللَّهُ بِعَبْدِهِ الْخَيْرَ عَجَّلَ لَهُ الْعُقُوبَةَ فِي الدُّنْيَا وَإِذَا أَرَادَ اللَّهُ بِعَبْدِهِ الشَّرَّ أَمْسَكَ عَنْهُ بِذَنْبِهِ حَتَّى يُوَافِيَ بِهِ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ

When Allah intends good for His servant, He hastens the punishment for him in this world, and when Allah intends evil for His servant, He withholds punishment for his sins until he appears on the Day of Resurrection.

Source: Sunan At-Tirmidhi 2396, Grade: Hasan

Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

لَيْسَ الشَّدِيدُ بِالصُّرَعَةِ إِنَّمَا الشَّدِيدُ الَّذِي يَمْلِكُ نَفْسَهُ عِنْدَ الْغَضَبِ

The strong are not the best wrestlers. Verily, the strong are only those who control themselves when they are angry.

Source: Sahih Muslim 2609, Grade: Sahih

Sulayman ibn Surad reported: Two people abused each other in the presence of the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, and the eyes of one of them became red like embers and the veins of his neck were swelling. So the Prophet said:

إِنِّي لَأَعْرِفُ كَلِمَةً لَوْ قَالَهَا لَذَهَبَ عَنْهُ الَّذِي يَجِدُ أَعُوذُ بِاللَّهِ مِنْ الشَّيْطَانِ الرَّجِيمِ

Verily, I know a word he could say to calm himself: I seek refuge in Allah from the cursed Satan.

Source: Sahih Muslim 2610, Grade: Sahih

Abu Huraira reported: A man came to the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, and said, “Advise me.” The Prophet said:

لَا تَغْضَبْ

Do not get angry.

The man repeated his request twice, and the Prophet said:

لَا تَغْضَبْ

Do not get angry.

Source: Sahih Bukhari 5765, Grade: Sahih

Abdullah ibn Mas’ud reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

إِنَّهَا سَتَكُونُ بَعْدِي أَثَرَةٌ وَأُمُورٌ تُنْكِرُونَهَا

Verily, after me there will be favoritism and many things you will reject.

They said, “O Messenger of Allah, what do you order us to do if we live during that?” The Prophet said:

تُؤَدُّونَ الْحَقَّ الَّذِي عَلَيْكُمْ وَتَسْأَلُونَ اللَّهَ الَّذِي لَكُمْ

Fulfill your responsibilities and ask Allah for your rights.

Source: Sahih Muslim 1843, Grade: Sahih

Usaid ibn Hudair reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

إِنَّكُمْ سَتَلْقَوْنَ بَعْدِي أَثَرَةً فَاصْبِرُوا حَتَّى تَلْقَوْنِي عَلَى الْحَوْضِ

Verily, you will see favoritism after me, so you should be patient until you meet me at the fountain in Paradise.

Source: Sahih Muslim 1845, Grade: Sahih

Abu Huraira reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

‏لاَ تَمَنَّوْا لِقَاءَ الْعَدُوِّ فَإِذَا لَقِيتُمُوهُمْ فَاصْبِرُوا

Do not wish to meet the enemy in battle, but if you meet them, then be patient.

Source: Sahih Bukhari 2863, Grade: Sahih

Success comes from Allah, and Allah knows best.