The True Nature of Sabr

The True Nature of Sabr

Sabr  is  a  noble  trait  that  acts  as a  shield  against  evils.  The  Qur’aan Shareef lauds  this noble trait  more  than  seventy  times  and  elaborates  on  its  many  virtues. Rasulullaah  صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَم   stated that  sabr  is half  of Imaan. The  word  sabr  literally  refers  to restraining  oneself during  trying  times.  The  Shari’ah  defines  sabr  as  not  allowing emotions  to  overwhelm  the  intellect,  thereby  not  stepping  out  of the  bounds of the  Shari’ah.

 

The  term  sabr  is used  for  many  situations, such as:

  1. When sabr  is  exercised  against  sexual  urges,  it  is  referred  to  as  remaining chaste
  2. When sabr  is  exercised  against  wealth  and  riches  (by  shunning  pride  and miserliness),  it  is referred to  as  abstinence
  3. When sabr  is  exercised  against  cowardice  on  the  battlefield  or  elsewhere,  it is referred to  as  bravery
  4. When sabr is exercised against anger,  it  is  referred  to  as tolerance
  5. When sabr is exercised against calamities, it  is  referred  to  as courage
  6. When sabr  is  exercised  against  the  urge  to  expose  the  faults  of  people,  it  is referred  to  as  being  dignified
  7. When sabr  is  exercised  against  rebelling  against  living  with  the  bare necessities,  it  is referred  to  as  contentment
  8. When sabr  is  exercised  against  extravagance  and  exuberance,  it  is  referred to  as  asceticism
  9. When sabr is exercised against the urge  to  sin, it  is referred to  as  Taqwa
  10. When sabr  is  exercised  against  hardship  and  difficulties,  it  is  referred  to  as patience  (this is  most  commonly  referred  to  as  Sabr)

 

Allah طائلة  had  blessed  Hadhrat  Yusuf  عليه السلام  with all  these  variants  of  Sabr,  thereby making  him  an  example  worthy  of being  followed.

 

It  is  seen  that  Hadhrat Yusuf  عليه السلام exercised  Sabr  when:

  1. His brothers opposed him
  2. He was forced into  slavery
  3. Efforts were  made  by  the  women  to  seduce  him
  4. He had to  endure  prison  life
  5. He was  appointed  head  of  Egypt’s  finances  (by  guarding  against  pride  and arrogance)
  6. He exercised  abstinence  and  contentment throughout  his life
  7. He forsook  the desire  for  vengeance  and  chose  to  forgive  his brothers