Firstly I apologize to my blog-readers for not being able to continue the tarbiyyah series during Ramadaan. I have to say, the month of Ramadaan for me, was definitely a month of sabr. I am so very grateful to Allaah for everything He has given me, and for putting me in the midst of a storm and taking me out of it whilst allowing me to benefit from the troubles. I have not seen a better teacher than experience itself. And I thank Allaah for that.
Moving on, one of the things I realized was how important it is for one to practice immense amount of patience [alongside worship] to remove any vices from the heart. Allaah says:
وَاسْتَعِينُوا بِالصَّبْرِ وَالصَّلَاةِ ۚ وَإِنَّهَا لَكَبِيرَةٌ إِلَّا عَلَى الْخَاشِعِينَ
And seek help through patience and prayer, and indeed, it is difficult except for the humbly submissive [to Allaah].
Muqatil bin Hayan said that this ayah means, “Utilize patience and the obligatory prayer in seeking the Hereafter. As for patience (here), they say that it means fasting.” There are similar texts reported from Mujahid. Al-Qurtubi and other scholars commented, “This is why Ramadan is called the month of patience,” as is mentioned in the Hadeeth literature. It was also said that ‘patience’ in the ayah means, refraining from evil, and this is why ‘patience’ was mentioned along with practicing acts of worship, especially and foremost, the prayer. Also, Ibn Abi Hatim narrated that `Umar bin Al-Khattab said, “There are two types of patience: good patience when the disaster strikes, and a better patience while avoiding the prohibitions of Allaah.” – Ibn Katheer.
Reference to perseverance is quite frequent in the Qur’aan, which presents it as crucial and indispensable in enduring hardship and making momentous decisions. One of the most difficult moments anyone can encounter is having to acknowledge the truth and relinquish power and material privilege as a result. But what do we understand from the directive to ‘seek strength in… prayer’. Prayer is seen by Islam as a link between man and his Lord and Master, through which the human heart draws strength and fortitude. It generates life and energy in the human soul. Despite his unique relationship with God and the lofty level of spiritual piety he attained, the Prophet Muĥammad was known to resort to prayer every time he experienced distress or anxiety. Prayer remains an inexhaustible fountain of peace, comfort and spiritual uplift for every believer.
A prerequisite of perseverance, or şabr, and fear of God, or taqwa, is the absolute and unshakable belief in man’s return to God when his actions will be reckoned and he will be judged. This is also an essential requirement for the establishment of values for this life and the life to come. Once the right criteria to judge these values are set, the world and all its treasures and riches are seen as worth very little when compared to the rewards in the hereafter.
– Sayyid Qutb
No one said taming the soul was going to be an easy ride. Its not just bumpy, but you will come across major obstacles, some that might even try to force you out of your path so you can fall into the next ditch, but with the right equipment, you will be just fine. Remember that shaytaan has vowed to deter the slaves of Allaah from His guidance, but did Allaah leave us to shaytaan‘s ploys without showing us how to fight him? Ofcourse not. Time and again, we have been reminded about patience, its importance, and how the Messengers, Prophets – may Allaah’s peace and blessings be upon all of them – their Companions and the righteous believers suffered through trials and albeit the battle scars, came out of them shinning with the light of imaan.And the real battles are the ones inside us. That is where is all begins. If we’re not at peace with ourselves, and the believers, we will never be able to withstand any other trial in life. One of the ways shaytaan overpowers us and ultimately destroys our religion is by dividing us and our hearts. This is what we need to prepare against.
So again, what were the two weapons of resistance? Sabr and Salaah. I cannot stress enough on how valuable these two treasures are, may Allaah increase us in both.
Now that we know what to use against the trials (diseases) of the heart, I will insha‘Allaah focus on how to use them and we will cover each trial separately in upcoming posts.