The Virtues of Patience

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Tender Hearts and Compassionate Tears

The Prophet ﷺ said:

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“He is not one of us who strikes the cheeks, tears the clothes and calls with the call of jâhiliyyah (pre-Islâmic ignorance).” [17]

This is one of those textual threats related in the Revelation. It is related from Sufyân ath-Thawrî and Imâm Ahmad that they disliked explaining the meaning of such threats, so that people would have fear of committing such actions and would remain far away from them. This narration is a proof that the actions mentioned are against complete îmân (faith).

Al-Hâfidh Ibn Hajar (d.852H) whilst explaining the saying “Whosoever strikes the cheeks,” said:

“The cheeks have been particularised since that is the most common place of striking. However, striking any other part of the face is just the same.” [18]

The saying of the Prophet: “Tearing the clothes,” implies: tearing open the clothes from the chest. This was the practice of the people of jâhiliyyah (pre-Islâmic ignorance) as an expression of grieving for the deceased.

Ibn Taymiyyah (d.728H) said about: “And calls with the call of
jâhiliyyah.”:
“It means to wail over the deceased.” [19]

Ibn al-Qayyim – rahimahullâh – said:

“Included in calling with the call of jâhiliyyah is calling to tribalism, partisanship and party-spirit; being zealous and bigoted towards one’s madhhab (school of thought), party, or Shaykh; giving precedence to one over the other and calling to this; and forming alliances and enmity based upon this. All of this is from the calls of jâhiliyyah.”

Abû Umâmah relates the the Messenger of Allâh sallallâhu ’alayhi wa sallam cursed the woman who strikes her face, tears her clothes and wails over the deceased. [20]

So this is a proof that these matters are from the major sins. Also, whosoever laments lightly-without being impatient with Allâh’s Decree, nor complaining against it, and says only that which is true – then such lamenting is acceptable. Just like the lamenting of Abû Bakr [21] and Fâtimah [22] radiallâhu ’anhumâ when the Messenger of Allâh sallallâhu ’alayhi wa sallam died. There is a text also from Imâm Ahmad concerning this. [23]

However, this is not a proof for the prohibition of crying, since there occurs in an authentic narration: That when the Messenger of Allâh ﷺ came to know about the death of his son Ibrâhîm, he said:

“The eyes shed tears, the heart grieves, but we do not say except that which pleases our Lord. O Ibrâhîm! It is because of you that we are grieving.” [24]

In the two Sahîhs Usâmah bin Zayd relates: That the Messenger of Allâh sallallâhu ’alayhi wa sallam went to one of his daughters, who had with her a young child that was dying. So she raised the child and placed the child in his lap, who was gasping for air. On seeing this, tears rolled down the Prophet sallallâhu ’alayhi wa sallam’s eyes. So Sa’’d said: O Messenger of Allâh! What is this? So he replied:

“This is mercy which Allâh puts into the hearts of His servants. And Allâh is merciful to those of His servants that show mercy to others.” [25]

Trials Faced by the Believers

The Messenger of Allâh sallallâhu ’alayhi wa sallam said:

“Whenever Allâh intends to do good to a servant, He hastens to punish him in this world. And whenever Allâh intends evil for a servant, He postpones the punishment until the Day of Judgement.” [26]

His saying: “Whenever Allâh intends to do good to a servant, He hastens to punish him in this world.” means: that he is punished by being inflicted with afflictions and difficulties due to the sins he has committed, due to which he is cleansed from them all, and in the Hereafter he has no sins to account for.

Shaykhul-Islâm Ibn Taymiyyah said:

“The occurrence of afflictions are actually a form of blessing, since they are an expiation for sins committed and they call for a person to have sabr – for which he is duly rewarded. Likewise they cause the person to turn to Allâh in repentance, being humble and submissive before Him, whilst at the same time turning away from hoping in any of the creation. There are – besides these – other great advantages.

Thus, those afflictions which befall a person are actually the cause of Allâh wiping away his sins, and this is one of the greatest blessings. So the occurrence of afflictions are a source of mercy and bounty, providing such a person does not enter into that which is a cause for even greater disobedience than before. For this affliction will then become a cause of great evil to the person’s Dîn. Indeed, there are people who – when afflicted with a trial or a affliction; such as poverty, illness or starvation – causes hypocrisy to sprout in them, or causes their hearts to become diseased, or it causes them to fall into ingratitude and disbelief, or to abandon certain obligations or commit certain prohibited acts – all of which is extremely harmful to one’s Dîn. So to remain safe from, and to be protected against such afflictions and trials, is better for a person, since the afflictions and trials – rather than being a source of blessings – becomes a source of great injury. However, if the person had sabr and remained obedient, then such an affliction would have been the cause of mercy and blessings from Allâh – the Mighty and Majestic -which necessitates praising Him.

So whosoever is afflicted with a calamity and is provided with sabr, then this sabr is a blessing for the person and a mercy for him, since his sins are expiated due to it. Likewise his Lord bestows upon him praises and prayers, as Allâh – the Majestic – says: “They are those on whom are the blessings and praises from their Lord and His mercy. They are the ones who are guided.” [27] Such a person is also forgiven by his Lord for his sins, and is raised to higher ranks – all of this is due to the one who has sabr.” [28]

The saying of the Prophet: “Whenever Allâh intends evil for a servant, He postpones the punishment until the Day of Judgement.” means: such a person’s punishment is delayed until the Hereafter, where he will receive severe punishment.

Al-’Azîzî (d.1070H) said:

“Such a person is not punished in this world, so that in the Hereafter he can be punished for his sins in a way that he fully deserved.” [29]

In the above hadîth is a lesson and a reminder that one must have good expectations in Allâh and a good opinion about Him with regard to what He has decreed for a person, as Allâh – the Most High – says:

“It is possible that you hate a thing and it is good for you, and love a thing and it is evil for you. Allâh knows and you do not know.” [30]

(NOTE: If you want to build a strong and powerful relationship with Allah, check out Islamia TV, where you can watch Islamic speakers from across the globe deliver inspiring and motivational courses. Learn more at www.islamia.tv.)



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