Endurance: One of Our Provisions for striving to achieve Allah’s Pleasure


Any group of people who want to work for Islam must have their share and provision of endurance. Otherwise, they should leave this path to those who are more deserved of it, namely the truthful and patient believers.

(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.)

In his biography of the Prophet ﷺ, Ibn Kathir wrote, “The Messenger of Allah ﷺ spent ten years in Makkah, preaching to the people in their homes and in public gatherings and saying to them ,’Who would shelter me and support me until I convey the Message of Allah, and [such a person] will receive the [reward of] Paradise.’ But he did not find anyone to shelter and support him, until the Ansaar {or the helpers) believed him and embraced Islam. Seventy-two of them came to meet him at a place known as Al- ‘Aqabah. The Prophet ﷺ promised them Paradise if they accepted his conditions. The youngest of them, As’ad bin Zurarah, stood up and said, ‘Slow down, 0 people of Yathrib[1]. We did not tire our camels [on the way here] for him without knowing that he is the Messenger of Allah. Supporting him today will be in defiance of all the Arabs, it will result in the killing of your best men and the blow of swords upon you. Either you endure this, in which case take his offer and expect your reward from Allah, or if you are unsure of yourselves and afraid, in which case abandon him to his fate. So tell him your choice now, for either way he will vouch for you before Allah.’ They said, ‘Stand aside O As’ad! By Allah, we will never leave this allegiance to him, nor will we cancel it.”’

The Muslim Jama’ah that wishes to support this faith and aspires after Paradise by doing so must have sufficient endurance to enable it to fulfil this commitment, assume the responsibility and confront the enemies. If, however, it does not know what endurance is, cannot stand what it entails and has no intention to exercise it, it must admit to its failings and step aside. Doing so might excuse it before Allah and is better for Islam than going forth carrying the banner and then soon turning on its heels, dropping the banner, only to cause great tumult and oppression in the land.

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “And know that victory comes with endurance. “[2]

So whoever wants victory must show patience and endurance. Allah (SWT) says (which means),

  “And the fair promise of your Lord was fulfilled for the Children of Israel because they had patience and constancy.”[3]

  “And We made from among them (the children of Israel) leaders, giving guidance under Our Command, so long as they persevered with patience and continued to have faith in Our signs.”[4]

The Muslim Jama’ah, therefore, must teach endurance to its members, train them and cloak them with it. The Prophet ﷺ said, “He who tries to endure is assisted by Allah in his endeavour.” The Jama’ah must teach its members that endurance is a vehicle that must be alighted in order for them to attain the honour and success that are the dream and aspiration of the Muslim Ummah. It must also teach them that endurance is the conduit to all the degrees and stations of faith. Those who cannot endure will not achieve anywhere. Whoever wants to acquire some knowledge must patiently learn and memorise Whoever aspires to the higher stations of piety will not achieve this aim without patience and endurance. Likewise, those who wish to rid themselves of sinful habits and conduct and cleanse their hearts and limbs, need patience and endurance to carry them through this process. Indeed, patience and endurance is the key to all good and the light of all guidance. Allah (SWT) says (which means),

  “As for those who wage Jihad in Our Cause, We will surely guide them to Our Paths (i.e. Allah’s religion). And verily, Allah is with those who do right. “[5]

Furthermore, maintaining any of the stations thus achieved requires additional endurance. Those who cease to strive and abandon endurance will be stripped of their gains, their status will be reduced and their progress reversed.

The need for patience and endurance is especially important for those who work in the cause of Allah. Preachers need patient perseverance so as not to lose hope when they see that no-one has responded to their call. They also need to endure any reaction to their activities that might be harmful to them. Educationalists need patient perseverance to deal with the mistakes and inattention of their charges. The leaders need it to lead those who are not inclined to obedience.

Those who undertake enjoining good and forbidding evil need it to endure harm.

Endurance is not what many people today think it is, namely not speaking up for the truth and making compromises with falsehood. This is in fact no more than humiliation, degradation and disgrace, and has nothing to do with endurance. The endurance which our Shari’ah commands us to observe is of three categories.

a. Endurance in obeying Allah and His Messenger ﷺ:

While the self inclines to comfort and inaction, religious obligations entail a degree of hardship that varies from one commission to the next. Jihad, for instance, is more onerous than Hisbah; fasting is more onerous than making ablutions (wudu’); making wudu’ with cold water in winter is harder than making it in summer. The degree of effort also varies from one individual to the other: those who are closer to their homes and families find emigration extremely taxing; and those with a hardened heart find prayers laborious, but Jihad remains the most exacting of absolutely all acts of worship. This is the reason why some said, as the Qur’an recounts (which means),

  “Our Lord! Why have You ordered for us fighting? Would that You had granted us respite for a short period?”[7]

This means that every Muslim needs endurance to compel his self into obedience, for patience is needed before performing any act of obedience, to bring the self to start it and be sincere in devoting it to Allah. It is also needed while doing the act to make the self see it through in the best possible way. It is also needed after completion of the act to prevent the heart from admiring the act of obedience and the tongue from boastfully talking about it.

b. Endurance in avoiding the disobedience of Allah and His Messenger ﷺ:

This task is more difficult and demanding. For the human self, as the Qur’an said, is inclined to evil and wishes for it, and Satan entices and encourages the servant to commit the sin. Those who habitually indulge in sinful deeds advocate them and invite the faithful to join in, while society does not frown upon vice nor criticise the sinful. To the contrary, it sometimes praises the sinful because of the general corruption in which it wallows. So how can the limbs give succumb to the call of disobedience? Indeed, it is endurance which prevents the limbs from committing the sin. We definitely need the type of patience and endurance showed by Prophet Yusuf (AS) when he resisted the advances of Al-Aziz’s wife, saying (which means),

  “Verily, he who fears Allah with obedience to Him and is patient, then surely, Allah makes not the reward of those who do right to be lost. “[8]

The Muslim Jama’ah is in need of teaching this type of patience and endurance to its members, for we will surely be defeated if we are disobedient. ‘Umar bin Al-Khattab spoke the truth in his instructions to the army commander, Sa’d bin Abee Waqqas when he said to him,

  “I command you and your soldiers to observe Taqwa which is the best preparation against the enemy and the strongest weapon of war. I command you and your soldiers to be more on guard against sins than against the enemy, for the sins of [your] army should be feared more than the enemy. Indeed, Muslims only triumph by the sinning of their enemy against Allah, for otherwise we would not have the strength and advantage over them. Our numbers are no match for them and our preparation do not compare. If we equal them in sins, they will prevail over us through their physical strength. If we cannot defeat them through our piety, we will not defeat them through our strength.”

He also said,

  “ And do not say that our enemy is more evil than we are, and that Allah will not send them against us even if we sin. For so many are those against whom Allah sent a people who are more evil than them, as happened with the Jews when Allah (SWT) sent against them the disbelievers from amongst the Magians who entered the very innermost parts of their homes, and it was a promise completely fulfilled.”

The Muslim Jama’ah also needs to teach its members how to patiently endure and persevere in their resistance to the inequity and oppression of people, and how to detest and abhor this evil quality. For if they do not learn to dissociate themselves from injustice, those of them who might, in the future, be in positions of power and responsibility might then succumb to the temptation of oppressing others.

Another great vice and abhorrent act of disobedience which members of the Muslim Jama ‘ah must avoid is the love of leadership and influence, for so often has the struggle over leadership split the Muslim community and weakened its resolve.

c. Enduring trials and tribulations:

It is necessary that every Muslim must exercise this type of endurance, for otherwise he will rebel against the Divine Destiny, thus committing a major sin,

  “Do people think that they will be left alone because they say, ‘We believe’, and that they will not be tested? And We indeed tested those who were before them. And Allah will certainly make [it] known [the truth of] those who are true, and will certainly make [it] known [the falsehood of] those who are liars [although Allah knows all that before putting them to test]. “[9]

These tests are important for separating between the good and the bad, and casting the bad away from the ranks of the caravan; the caravan of the people of truth and endurance.

Prevailing in this life is no easy task, for it implies the carrying of the burden of ruling the people by the tenets of this religion of Islam. This is why the laws that Allah established in the universe stipulates that only those entitled to occupy the positions of leadership should be allowed to govern. Trials and tribulations are, therefore, indispensable to distinguish the wicked from the good. Those who survive these tests are those worthy of authority and power,

  “Allah will not leave the believers in the state in which you are now, until He distinguishes the wicked from the good. “[10]

  “In order that Allah may distinguish the wicked (disbelievers, polytheists, evil-doers) from the good (the believers), put the wicked one on another, heap them together, and cast them into Hell. “[11]

The Muslim Jama ‘ah must preach endurance to its members if it is to deserve power. Day and night it must preach to them what Moses used to preach to his people (which means),

  “Seek help in Allah and be patient. Verily, the earth is Allah’s. He gives it as a heritage to Whom He will of His servants, and the [blessed] end is (best) for the righteous. “[12]

The Muslim Jama’ah must teach them thus,

  “Or think you that you will enter Paradise without such [trials] as came to those who passed away before you? They were afflicted with severe poverty and ailments and were so shaken that even the Messenger and those who believed along with him said, ‘When [will come] the help of Allah?’ Yes! Certainly, the help of Allah is near!”[13]

It must rear them to be true men, so that when the testing times come, they say what true men say (which means),

  “This is what Allah and His Messenger ﷺ had promised us, and Allah and His Messenger had spoken the truth. “[14]

Only such people are deemed qualified to carry the trust of this faith. Their enemies will soon be discharged as fire discharges impurities from smelted metal.

Patiently enduring hardships and calamities require the following:

1. To restrain the heart from rebelling against and complaining about the fate that Allah has ordained and to strive to achieve the station of acceptance and rejoicing in whatever fate brings them.

2. To stop the tongue from showing fright, or uttering what is forbidden, and to strive to achieve the higher station of saying what Allah has instructed us to say,

“Innaa lil-laahi wa innaa ilaihi raaji’oon (To Allah we belong, and to Him is our return). “[15]

3. To restrain the hands from committing acts of disobedience, such as slapping the cheeks and tearing the clothes, as such actions reflect the lack of one’s pleasure with Allah’s destiny.

This is the type of endurance which is legally commendable, and how excellent this provision is!

  “And Allah loves the patient. “[16]

1 Yathrib was the name of the city which later came to known as Al-Madeenah.

2 Tirmidhi.

4 Surah As-Sajdah (32), Ayah 24.

5 Surah Al-‘Ankabut (29), Ayah 69.

6 Surah Al-Baqarah (2), Ayah 216.

7 Surah An-Nisa (4), Ayah 77.

8 Surah Yusuf (12), Ayah 90.

9 Surah AI-‘Ankabut (29), Ayah 2-3.

10 Surah Ale-Imran (3), Ayah 179.

11 Surah Al-Anfal (8), Ayah 37.

12 Surah Al-A’raaf (7), Ayah 128.

13 Surah Al-Baqarah (2), Ayah 214.

14 Surah Al-Ahzaab (33), Ayah 22.

15 Surah Al-Baqarah (2), Ayah 156.

16 Surah Ale-Imran (3), Ayah 146.

Extracted from “In Pursuit of Allah’s Pleasure” published by Al Firdous Publications, Distrubuted by Message of Islam [Abridged]

(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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