Patience at the Time of Calamities

وَلَنَبْلُوَنَّكُم بِشَيْءٍ مِّنَ الْخَوْفِ وَالْجُوعِ وَنَقْصٍ مِّنَ الْأَمْوَالِ وَالْأَنفُسِ وَالثَّمَرَاتِ ۗ وَبَشِّرِ الصَّابِرِينَ الَّذِينَ إِذَا أَصَابَتْهُم مُّصِيبَةٌ قَالُوا إِنَّا لِلَّهِ وَإِنَّا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُونَ أُولَٰئِكَ عَلَيْهِمْ صَلَوَاتٌ مِّن رَّبِّهِمْ وَرَحْمَةٌ ۖ وَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْمُهْتَدُونَ

“And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth, lives, and of fruits, but give good tidings to the patient, Those who, when disaster strikes them, say, “Indeed we belong to Allaah, and indeed to Him we shall return.” Those are the ones upon whom are blessings from their Lord and mercy. And it is those who are the rightly guided.”

[Sooratul-Baqarah (2):155-157]

Imaam Abdur-Rahmaan ibn Naasir as-Sa`dee rahimahullaah mentions in his explanation of the Quraan, ‘Tayseer al-Kareem ar-Rahmaan‘:

Allaah – the Most High – informed us that He will certainly test His servants with tribulations, so that the truthful ones are distinguished from the liars, and the impatient from the patient – this is the way of Allaah with His servants.

And because joy, if it were constant for the people of belief, without there being trials & tribulations – then there would be mixing (between the true believers and other than them); and in that would be corruption.

However, through the Wisdom of Allaah, the people of good are distinguished from the people of evil.

This is the benefit of calamities –  (they are) not to remove the believers’ faith, nor to turn them away from their religion, as Allaah will not cause His servants’ faith (eemaan) to be in vain.

In this verse Allaah mentions that He will try His servants with:

((Something of fear)) meaning: fear of the enemy.

((And of hunger)) meaning: with a small amount of it; because if He were to try them with fear in its entirety, or hunger in its entirety – they would perish. And calamities are for the purpose of purification, not destruction.

((And a loss of wealth)) This encompasses all types of loss that wealth may undergo, from catastrophes, such as pandemics, flooding, being misplaced, or taken by oppressive people – whether they be oppressive kings or highway robbers; and other than that.

((And lives)) i.e. the passing of loved ones, from one’s children, relatives, friends & companions, or those illnesses that affect the servant in his body, or the bodies of those beloved to him.

((And fruits)) i.e. [the loss of] cereal crops, fruits of the date-palm tree, and of all other trees, vegetables etc. by the cold (affecting them), or by hailstones, or burning, or an army of locusts & their like.

So these aforementioned matters will most certainly occur, because the all-Knower, the all-Aware informed us of such, so they took place just as He informed.

So when these calamities befall, the people split into two categories regarding them: the impatient one and the patient.

As for the impatient, then he gathers between two calamities:

  1. Losing his beloved, i.e. the calamity itself.
  2. He misses out on something greater than that; the reward contained in carrying out the command of Allaah to have patience.

So such a person only has the loss (of his close one), while at the same time being forbidden from the reward. His faith (eemaan) decreases; and patience, being pleased, and being thankful all pass him by. Instead he is discontent, (and this indicates) a severe deficiency (in him).

As for the one whom Allaah grants patience to at the time of calamity, and he restrains himself from showing discontent in his speech or action, rather he awaits the reward with Allaah for such, while being aware that which he attains from the reward of having patience is greater and more tremendous than the calamity that has befallen him; because this calamity becomes a way for him to achieve that which is better and of more benefit – then this person has carried out the command of Allaah and succeeded with the reward.

Due to this, He – the Most High – said:

((Give glad tidings to the patient)) meaning: Give them glad tidings that they will be rewarded without being taken to account.

So those who are patient – they are the ones who gain glad tidings, and a great bounty.

Then He described those who are patient with His saying:

((Those, who – when a calamity befalls them)) and it [the calamity] is everything that causes the heart to feel pain, or the body, or both – from those things that have been mentioned.

((They say: Indeed we are Allaah’s)) meaning: we belong to Allaah, and are under His plan and His Command & Control. We own nothing – not our own selves, nor our wealth – so if He tests us with something from that then He is the Most Merciful, and has caused such to take place in relation to those that He owns, and their wealth. So no one objects to Him, the Most High, regarding that.

Rather from the servants’ complete servitude is knowing that the trial is from The King, the All-Wise, Who is more merciful to His servants than they are to their own selves.

Due to that, the servant is pleased and content with that which has come from Allaah, and he thanks Him for His management of the affairs for that which is better for His servant, and he [the servant] does not know [that such a calamity is better for him].

And as we are owned by Allaah, we will indeed return to Him on the day of Resurrection. So every person will be rewarded in accordance with his action. Therefore, if we are patient and await the reward that is with Allaah, we will receive our reward in full with Him.

As for if we are impatient and despondent, we do not achieve except feeling discontent, while missing out on the reward. So acknowledging the fact that the servant belongs to Allaah, and will return to Him is from the greatest reasons of attaining patience.

((Those are the ones)) those described with the patience mentioned.

((Upon whom are blessings from their Lord)) meaning: Praise, and a commendation of their condition [i.e. of having patience].

((And mercy)) tremendous mercy, and from His mercy is that He causes them to have patience by way of which they attain the full reward.

((And it is those who are rightly guided)) Those that know the truth, and here it means their having knowledge that they belong to Allaah, and will surely return to Him. And they act in accordance with that, by having patience for the sake of Allaah (and hoping for His reward).

And in this verse is an indication that the one who does not have patience, then for him is the opposite of that. So he is dispraised by Allaah, and punished, misguided, and at loss.

So how great is the difference between the two parties, and how little is the stress and fatigue of the patient one. And how great is the pain of the despondent, impatient person.

These two verses contain in them:

  • Preparing ourselves for calamities before they occur, so that they seem lighter and easier if they come about.
  • (And in these verses) is how to face a calamity if it took place, and that is with patience.
  • And in these verses is a mention of what aids a person upon patience, and what is for the patient from reward.
  • And from these verses we come to know that the state of the impatient is opposite to that of the patient.

And these calamities and tests are the way of Allaah that have occurred before, and you shall not find a change in Allaah’s course.

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2 Responses to Patience at the Time of Calamities

  1. saadburbank says:

    عَنْ أُمِّ سَلَمَةَ أَنَّ أَبَا سَلَمَةَ حَدَّثَهَا أَنَّهُ سَمِعَ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ ـ صلى الله عليه وسلم ـ يَقُولُ: ‏
    مَا مِنْ مُسْلِمٍ يُصَابُ بِمُصِيبَةٍ فَيَفْزَعُ إِلَى مَا أَمَرَ اللَّهُ بِهِ مِنْ قَوْلِهِ إِنَّا لِلَّهِ وَإِنَّا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُونَ اللَّهُمَّ عِنْدَكَ احْتَسَبْتُ مُصِيبَتِي فَأْجُرْنِي فِيهَا وَعُضْنِي مِنْهَا – إِلاَّ آجَرَهُ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهَا وَعَاضَهُ خَيْرًا مِنْهَا ‏”‏ ‏.‏ قَالَتْ فَلَمَّا تُوُفِّيَ أَبُو سَلَمَةَ ذَكَرْتُ الَّذِي حَدَّثَنِي عَنْ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ ـ صلى الله عليه وسلم ـ فَقُلْتُ إِنَّا لِلَّهِ وَإِنَّا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُونَ اللَّهُمَّ عِنْدَكَ احْتَسَبْتُ مُصِيبَتِي هَذِهِ فَأْجُرْنِي عَلَيْهَا ‏.‏ فَإِذَا أَرَدْتُ أَنْ أَقُولَ وَعُضْنِي خَيْرًا مِنْهَا قُلْتُ فِي نَفْسِي أُعَاضُ خَيْرًا مِنْ أَبِي سَلَمَةَ ثُمَّ قُلْتُهَا فَعَاضَنِي اللَّهُ مُحَمَّدًا ـ صلى الله عليه وسلم ـ ‏.‏ وَآجَرَنِي فِي مُصِيبَتِي ‏.‏

    It was narrated from Umm Salamah that Abu Salamah told her that he heard the Messenger of Allaah (ﷺ) say:
    “There is no Muslim who is stricken with a calamity and reacts by saying as Allaah has commanded:
    إِنَّا لِلَّهِ وَإِنَّا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُونَ اللَّهُمَّ عِنْدَكَ احْتَسَبْتُ مُصِيبَتِي فَأْجُرْنِي فِيهَا وَعُضْنِي مِنْهَا
    (Truly, to Allaah we belong and truly, to Him we shall return. O Allaah, with You I seek reward for my calamity, so reward me for it and compensate me),’
    Except that Allaah will reward him for that and compensate him with something better than it.” She said: “When Abu Salamah died, I remembered what he had told me from the Messenger of Allaah (ﷺ) and I said:
    إِنَّا لِلَّهِ وَإِنَّا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُونَ اللَّهُمَّ عِنْدَكَ احْتَسَبْتُ مُصِيبَتِي فَأْجُرْنِي فِيهَا
    (Truly, to Allaah we belong and truly, to Him we shall return. O Allaah, with You I seek reward for my calamity, so reward me for it).’ But when I wanted to say:
    وَعُضْنِي مِنْهَا
    (and compensate me with better), I said to myself: ‘How can I be compensated with something better than Abu Salamah?’
    Then I said it, and Allaah compensated me with Muhammad (ﷺ) and rewarded me for my calamity.”

    Ibn Maajah no. 1598, Shaykh al-Albaanee said Saheeh, authentic.

    عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ عَمْرٍو قَالَ تُوُفِّيَ رَجُلٌ بِالْمَدِينَةِ مِمَّنْ وُلِدَ بِالْمَدِينَةِ فَصَلَّى عَلَيْهِ النَّبِيُّ ـ صلى الله عليه وسلم ـ فَقَالَ ‏”‏ يَا لَيْتَهُ مَاتَ فِي غَيْرِ مَوْلِدِهِ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ فَقَالَ رَجُلٌ مِنَ النَّاسِ وَلِمَ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ قَالَ ‏”‏ إِنَّ الرَّجُلَ إِذَا مَاتَ فِي غَيْرِ مَوْلِدِهِ قِيسَ لَهُ مِنْ مَوْلِدِهِ إِلَى مُنْقَطَعِ أَثَرِهِ فِي الْجَنَّةِ ‏”‏ ‏.‏
    It was narrated that ‘Abdullah bin ‘Amr said:
    “A man died in Al- Madinah, and he was one of those who were born in Al-Madinah. The Prophet (ﷺ) offered the funeral prayer for him and said: “Would that he had died somewhere other than his birthplace.” A man among the people said: “Why, O Messenger of Allaah?” He said: “If a man dies somewhere other than his birthplace, a space will be measured for him in Paradise (as big as the distance) from the place where he was born to the place where he died.”

    Ibn Maajah; no. 1614 Shaykh al-Albaanee said Hasan, good.

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