Patience in Islam “SABR”
Each of us goes through life wanting to understand more clearly our metaphysical relationship with Allah. In search of knowledge and wisdom, we broaden our horizons and equip ourselves with the tools to help fulfill this mission. As we strive towards self-actualization, we find ourselves thirsty and eager to learn even more about Islam.
Prophet Job symbolizes the essence of patience. He has been the example for mankind to follow. In Islam, the Arabic term for patience is "sabr." Literally, sabr means to tie down our uncontrolled fears, passions, and weaknesses. There are many characteristics of sabr. For example, it means not only patience but also constancy, endurance, perseverance, self-restraint, forbearance, and steadfastness. The essence of sabr is when people restrain themselves from committing evil, obey Allah's Orders by holding their hearts firm, and refrain from complaining about anything bad that happens to them. The best example of sabr is when people, who are faced with calamity and adversity, hold steadfast in their sabr and place their trust in Allah.
Without sabr, we are like a ship lost at sea never knowing which direction to turn. Sabr is the compass that directs and guides us to the straight path. For Muslims, sabr is proactive and a time to perform. This performance may be the length of time one can persevere even in the face of calamity and difficulty. In Islam, patience is attained through effort. This effort is not automatic; rather, it takes a great deal of concentration and control of one's inner self.
Sabr weeps tears of comfort and finds content in the midst of discontent. Sabr turns bitterness into sweetness. Human endurance is a part of a fabric of virtues which leads to faith. Sabr applies both to the worst of times as well as to the best of times. It is a virtue for all occasions.
Calamities and hardships are means by which Allah tests the purity and seriousness of our faith. Testing is a part of the verification of our faith. Patience is the energetic power of faith. We are tested by the good for-tunes in life as well as by the misfortunes in life. One should not seek calamity or disaster, but if it befalls him he should persevere in his patience to endure this difficulty.
we don't really know what sabr is until we have tasted its sweetness. After a pierod of hardship when you come away happy, not happy outside but happy in the heart as through this hardship you gain, what did you gain some sweetness of faith that is the true sabr. We are tested in life's good times too, hardships can come in the for of good too.