Beautiful Names

As-Sabur

The Patient

God is the Most Patient One.

The Arabic word ‘Sabur’ implies many shades of meaning which is impossible to express in one word in English. It implies:-
– Patience in the sense of being thorough, not hasty,
– Patient perseverance, constancy, steadfastness, firmness of purpose,
– Systematic, as opposed to spasmodic or chance action,
– A cheerful attitude of resignation and understanding in sorrow, defeat, or suffering, as opposed to a negative or rebellious attitude.
– This element of constancy and steadfastness saves one from apathy.

God does not delay things beyond their appointed time or fail to finish them, nor does He hasten and imperfectly finish things.  Rather He does everything in its proper time and in just the manner that it ought to be done.

God does not hasten the punishment of the sinful. He sends them their sustenance, protects them from harm and lets them live in health and prosperity, for He has set a particular time for everything. All things must run their course. God is Merciful; His Mercy is in giving time for repentance.

The meaning of Islam is submission: to forego one’s ego desires in favour of the Will of God. To be able to submit, one has to be patient. In Islam, patience is a sign of faith – patient in the continuous battle with the ego, whilst persevering in keeping God’s directions and in His worship.

If people show patience, they receive rewards that far surpass the pain. If they are impatient, the misfortune doubles – first the initial calamity and then the greater misfortune of having lost the reward.

“. . . Seek (God’s) help with patient perseverance and prayer:” (Quran 2:45)

“O you who believe, seek help with patience, perseverance and prayer: for God is with those who patiently persevere.” (Quran 2:153)

“. . . but give glad tidings to those who patiently persevere – who say when afflicted with calamity, ‘To God we belong, and to him is our return.” (Quran 2:156)

“God is with those that steadfastly persevere.” (Quran 2:249)

“O you who believe, persevere in patience and constancy; vie in such perseverance; strengthen each other; and fear God; that you may prosper.” (Quran 3:200)

“Moses said to his people: ‘Pray for help from God and (wait) in patience and constancy:” (Quran 7:128)

“Obey God and His Messenger and fall into no disputes lest you lose heart and your power depart; and be patient and persevering: for God is with those who patiently persevere.” (Quran 8:46)

“Those who show patience and constancy, and work righteousness; for them is forgiveness (of sins) and a great reward.” (Quran 11:11)

“Those who patiently persevere, seeking the countenance of the Lord; establish regular prayers; spend out of (the gifts) We have bestowed for their sustenance, secretly and openly; and turn off evil with good; for such there is a final attainment of the eternal home.” (Quran 13:22)

“What is with you must vanish: what is with God will endure. And We will certainly bestow, on those who patiently persevere, their reward according to the best of their actions.” (Quran 16:96)

“So patiently persevere: for verily the promise of God is true: nor let those shake your firmness, who have (themselves) no certainty of faith.” (Quran 30:60)

“Say: ‘O you My servants who believe, fear your Lord. Good is (the reward) for those who do good in this world. Spacious is God’s earth. Those who patiently persevere will truly receive a reward without measure.” (Quran 39:10)

“So persevere in patience for the promise of God is true:” (Quran 40:77)

“But indeed if any show patience and forgive, that would truly be an exercise of courageous will and resolution in the conduct of affairs.” (Quran 42:43)

“So wait with patience for the command of your Lord, and be not like the Companion of the Fish – when he cried in agony.” (Quran 68:48)

“Therefore be patient with constancy to the command of your Lord, and listen not to the sinners nor the ingrates among them.” (Quran 76:24)

And God knows best.

Extracts from:- ‘Al-Ghazali The Ninety Nine Beautiful Names of God – al-Maqsad al-asna fi sharh asma Allah al-husna’, translated with notes by David B. Burrell and Naziha Daher.
‘The Name and the Named’ by Shaykh Tosun Bayrak.
‘A-Z Guide to the Quran’ by Mokhtar Stork.