The Four Ingredients

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم


In Surah Aal Imran (200), Allah ﷻ Said:

 يا أيها الذين آمنوا اصبروا وصابروا ورابطوا واتقوا الله لعلكم تفلحون 

❝ O you who have believed, persevere and endure and remain stationed and fear Allah that you may be successful. ❞


The command to (i) persevere and (ii) endure and (iii) remain firm and (iv) fear Allah are the main ingredients in developing purposeful characteristics in believers – which will go on to weather all types of challenges and trials in life. The ability to manage and navigate through such trials are in and of themselves, a means to a successful end.

Ibn al-Qayyim رحمه الله commented on this ayah, saying:

الفلاح معلق بمجموع هذه الأمور

“Success is held back by the (combined) entirety of these matters.”

In other words, unless the entire four ingredients are present in one’s character and reflected in the way one leads his/her life, success will remain suspended and deferred.

The first in the order of the command is *patience. This is because patience is the foundation of virtue – and necessitates anything else that comes after it, will be a product of perseverance. This is why it holds as the highest of noble attributes in our Deen and exactly how the Messenger of Allah ﷺ described (as recorded in Saheeh al-Bukhari, 1469):

وما أعطي أحد عطاء خيراً أوسع من الصبر

❝ None is granted anything better and more extensive than patience. ❞


‘Umar ibn Al-Khattab رضي الله عنه said (as recorded in ‘Kitab Al-Zuhd’ of ibn Hanbal #297):

وجدنا خير عيشنا بالصبر

“We found the best of our living to be (built upon) patience.”

And how can this not be the case when Allah ﷻ Mentioned in numerous places of the Qur’an:

إن الله مع الصابرين 

❝ Verily Allah is with the patient ❞ 

Ibn Uthaymeen رحمه الله said, commenting on this ayah in his ‘Sharh Riyadus-Saliheen’:

الآية دليل على أن الله يعين الصابر ويؤيده … حتى يتم له الصبر على مايحبه الله ﷻ

“This ayah is evidence that Allah assigns the patient one and supports him… until his patience becomes loved by Allah, the Almighty.”

Ibn Abi Dunya narrated in his ‘Al-Sabr wal Thawab’, that Sulayman ibn Qasim illustrated how immeasurable the reward for sabr is:

كل عمل يعرف ثوابه إلا الصبر
قال ﷻ: ﴿ إنما يوفى الصٰبرون أجرهم بغير حساب ﴾  قال: كالماء المنهمر

“The reward of every deed is known except for (the embodiment of) sabr. As Allah ﷻ Said *{ Indeed, the patient will be given their reward without account } [Al Zumar, 10]

He then said, “like flowing water.”


May Allah grant us the fruits of sabr and assist us to internalise its reality. Ameen.


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