The Patience of Umm Ayyub

Umm Ayyub was an ordinary lady with extraordinary patience and strength.

She was a very ordinary women, so ordinary that you wouldn’t notice her. She was so ordinary that I still don’t know her name to this very day.

I don’t remember where I first met her, or when I met her. In fact, I don’t  think I ever actually met her. Rather, I’d see her, floating around in the background at various masjid and community organization events across the city.

She always wore the exact same clothes, a dark blue hijab and a white square hijab, folded over her head and secured under her chin. She said very little. In the beginning I thought that she didn’t speak English well, but later I found out that her English was quite good, despite the fact that she had recently immigrated from the Middle East with her husband and their two little girls.

Her husband was a very nice man, always helping others and driving their daughters to Qur’an classes at the masjid. From what it seemed, they were a stable and happy family.

All this time, I didn’t really take note of her. I didn’t even know she was pregnant with her third child, a boy, until someone from the community told me that she had gone to the hospital to deliver, only for the medical staff to inform her that his heart was no longer beating.

She gave birth to a stillborn baby, and named him Ayyub, after the patient Prophet, peace be upon him. The janazah prayer was held in the masjid and then the tiny coffin was taken to be buried.

Patience In Losing A Child

It can’t be easy to lose a child at any stage, much less through a stillbirth. The Umm Ayyub must have felt extremely sad, but she bore it all with extraordinary patience. Some sisters who visited her said that she was up and taking care of her family as normal. The words “Alhamdulillah” were always on her lips. After such a difficult situation, doing routine things takes enormous courage and strength, and she must have had a lot of it.

I didn’t think too much about her situation, besides sympathizing with her difficulties. Later, as I grew older and wiser, I learned more about the enormous rank granted to mothers whose children have died.

In a Hadith related in Sahih Tirmidhi the Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, said:

“When someone’s child dies, Allah Most High asks His angels, ‘Have you taken the life of the child of My slave?’ They say yes. Allah then asks them, ‘Have you taken the fruit of his heart?’ They say yes. Thereupon He asks, ‘What has My slave said?’ The Angels say, ‘He praised you and said, Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un (To Allah we belong and to Him we will return)’ At that Allah replies, ‘Build a home for my slave in Jannah and call it ‘Bayt al-Hamd’ (The Home of Praise).’”

Khalid al-‘Absi said, “A son of mine died and I felt intense grief over his loss. I said, ‘Abu Hurayra, have you heard anything from the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, to cheer us regarding our dead?’ He replied, ‘I heard the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, say, “Your children are roaming freely in the Garden.” (Bukhari)

If there was one thing I learned from this experience, it was that sometimes the most amazing people are not the ones that we look up to most. Sometimes, they are the most ordinary people that we don’t notice.

The Prophet Muhammad’s ﷺ Forbearance, by Imam Khalid Latif

In these dark and confusing times, Imam Khalid Latif reminds us how the best of mankind, Prophet Muhammad ﷺ responded to adversity.

Zayd ibn San’an (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates:
Once, God’s Messenger  borrowed some money from me. I was not yet a Muslim then. I went to him to collect my debt before its due time, and insulted him, saying; ‘You the children of ‘Abd al-Muttalib, are very reluctant to pay your debts!’ ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) became very angry with this insult of mine and shouted; ‘O enemy of God! Were it not for the treaty between us and the Jewish community, I would cut off your head! Speak to God’s Messenger politely!’
However, God’s Messenger  smiled at me and, turning to ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him), said, “Umar, pay the man his debt! And add to it the amount of twenty gallons because you have frightened him!”
Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) relates the rest of the story: “We went together. On the way, Zayd (may Allah be pleased with him) spoke to me unexpectedly;

O ‘Umar! You got angry with me. But I have found in him all the features of the Last Prophet recorded in the Torah, the Old Testament. However, there is this verse in it: ‘His mildness surpasses his anger. The severity of impudence to him increases him only in mildness and forbearance.’ In order to test his forbearance, I uttered what I uttered. Now I am convinced that he is the Prophet whose coming the Torah predicted, so, I believe and bear witness that he is the Last Prophet.

The mildness and forbearance of God’s Messenger  sufficed for the conversion of Zayd ibn San’an (may Allah be pleased with him), who was one of the Jewish scholars of the time. [Suyuti, al-Khasa’is, 1.26; I. Hajar, al-Isabah, 1.566.]
The Prophet was a person of Haleem, his example for us was that he had a sense of kindness and love and a sense of justice and compassion.
Your prayer is not only for you but for all of humanity, your forbearance impacts all of humanity. Look inside and ask yourself “What am I going to give?”
The Prophet in his forbearance was always merciful, compassionate, generous, loving and a source of hope.
Pray, smile and love others from your heart. The things that are happening around us, hardships do exist, ask yourself how will you meet it? If you meet it with anything less than true forbearance, to be able to recognise and what it means for us individually and communally, Allah will give us opportunities for growth and we will have to decide if we are going to take it on or not.

We are grateful to ICNYU for this recording.

Resources for seekers

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Prophetic Guidance: On Forbearance, Patience and Kindness

On forbearance, patience and kindness
From Imam Nawawi’s Riyad al-Salihin (‘Gardens of the Righteous’) tr. Ustadha Ayesha Bewley, chapter 74
Allah Almighty says, “those who control their rage and pardon other people. Allah loves the do good-doers,” (3:134) and the Almighty says, “Make allowances for people, command what is right, and turn away from the ignorant.” (7:199) The Almighty says, “Good action and bad action are not the same. Repel the bad with what is better and, if there is enmity between you and someone else, he will be like a bosom friend. None will obtain it but those who are truly steadfast. None will obtain it but those who have great good fortune.” (41:33-34; 41:34-35) The Almighty says, “But if someone is steadfast and forgives, that is the most resolute course to follow.” (W42:40; H42:43)
632. Ibn ‘Abbas reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said to Ashajj ‘Abdu’l-Qays, “You have two qualities which Allah loves: forbearance and steadiness.” [Muslim]
633. ‘A’isha reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Allah is kind and loves kindness in every matter.” [Agreed upon]
634. ‘A’isha reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Allah is kind and loves kindness and gives for gentleness what he does not give for harshness nor for anything else.” [Muslim]
635. ‘A’isha reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Whenever kindness is in a thing it adorns it, and whenever it is removed from anything, it disfigures it.” [Muslim]
636. Abu Hurayra said, “A bedouin urinated in the mosque. The people moved towards him and the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, ‘Let him be and pour a bucket or pail of water onto his urine. You were sent to make things easy and not to make them difficult.'” [al-Bukhari]
637. Anas reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Make things easy for people and do not make them difficult. Give good news to people and do not frighten them away.” [Agreed upon]
638. Jarir ibn ‘Abdullah said, “I heard the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, ‘Whoever is deprived of kindness is deprived of all good.'” [Muslim]
639. Abu Hurayra reported that a man said to the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, “Advise me.” He said, “Do not get angry.” He repeated his request several times and the Prophet said, “Do not get angry.” [al-Bukhari]
640. Abu YaÕla Shaddad ibn Aws reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Allah has prescribed good for everything. So when you kill, kill well. When you sacrifice, sacrifice well. Each of you should sharpen the edge of his knife and should calm down his sacrificial animal.” [Muslim]
641. ‘A’isha said, “The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, was never given a choice between two matters without taking the easier of them, as long as it was not a wrong action. If it was a wrong action, he was the furthest of people from it. The Messenger of Allah did not take revenge for himself in respect of anything unless it violated the sanctity of Allah. Then he would take revenge for the sake of Allah Almighty.” [Agreed upon]
642. Ibn Mas’ud reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Shall I tell you who is unlawful for the Fire – or the one for whom the Fire is unlawful? It is unlawful for everyone who is easy, flexible, modest and uncomplicated.” [at-Tirmidhi]

Abuse and Breaking the Ties of Kinship

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam
Question: As-salamu alaykum,
Fisrt: Can you please tell me the Islamic ruling for a person who wants to distance themselves from a family who repeatedly subject them to various kinds of abuse such as emotional, discrimination, neglect almost on an everyday basis over many years, with no signs of stopping?
Second: is it permissible for this person to talk about their situation to other people in order to get help, without the fear of punishment from Allah, especially when it comes to parents due to their high status?
Third: is it better for this person to remain patient with the calamity Allah has decreed and only seek help from Allah alone through prayer, supplication etc. or should they also seek help from the people; who would qualify as the right people to contact?
Fourth: if this person forgives the family, even if they do not ask for forgiveness, what will be their state in the eyes of Allah in this life and the life to come? Also what will be the state of the person being abused in the eyes of Allah in this life and the life to come?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.
(1) Harm is to be avoided. You should get in touch with somebody who can assist directly in your situation.
(2) Yes, it is permissible. However, do so in a manner that is not simply venting. See: When is Backbiting Permissible?
(3) No, we are called upon to take the means. Nobody said to sit still and suffer. Seek out somebody who can help. As for whom, it depends on the situation. Consider getting in touch with a local, reliable scholar.
(4) Forgiving those who have wronged one is from the high, noble sunna. Allah knows well the difficulties people face. Stay strong, ask Allah to lift the trial, pray the Prayer of Need [see: How Does One Perform The Prayer Of Need (salat al-haja)?], seek out some righteous company, and keep asking Allah for help.
And see: A Reader on Patience and Reliance on Allah and: How Do You Distinguish Between a Test From Allah and Punishment?
And Allah alone gives success.
Tabraze Azam
Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

A Reader on Patience and Reliance on Allah



Islamcast: Ramadan with the Beloved of Allah. Episode 02. The gentleness, restraint and wisdom of the Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace)

Khutbah: Patience (sabr)–its virtues, reality, and manifestation

Patience & Steadfastness – Guidance of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) on Steadfastness from Nawawi’s Gardens of the Righteous (tr. Bewley)

The Qur’an on Patience, Steadfastness, Resolve, Mindfulness, and Success – 3.200

Guidance of the Prophet Muhammad on the Virtues of Patience (and Thankfulness) in Tribulation and Hardship

Qur’anic Reflections: Divine Tests and the Great Virtue of Steadfast Patience

Du’a – Supplication for one whose affairs have become difficult

What Are Some Prophetic Supplications That Can Help Me Deal With Trials in My Life?

Contentment, Reliance on Allah, and Pure Intention – Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad

Divine Decree, Contentment, and Lessons From the Prophet’s Life

Supplication for Overcoming Difficulty

Is There a Supplication (Du`a) to Help Control a Bad Temper?

Answered by Sidi Tabraze Azam

Question: I have a twin 1 year old daughter and a son.  They do not get sound sleep. Is there any dua to supplicate on them other than Ayatul Kursi?  And sometimes I loose my temper while putting them to sleep or when they spit food.  Am I allowed to shout at my children.  If not is there any dua to control my temper.  Please help me.

Answer: Assalaamu alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I hope you are in the best of health and spirits insha’Allah. I apologise for the delay in answering your question.

First of all: remember that they are only children. Sometimes there can be specific reasons for children not getting a sound sleep at night; therefore it may be wise to speak with an expert regarding the matter.

Losing one’s temper

With regards to losing one’s temper, Sayyiduna Abu Hurayra narrated that a man came and said to the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), “advise me”, the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Don’t get angry”. The man kept seeking advice and the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) responded with “Don’t get angry”.

Look at how the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) gave only one piece of advice which if followed would change people’s lives. Such is the wisdom of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) and the beauty of our religion when followed in love, devotion and worshipfulness.

Remember that they are only children and children cry and spit out food. Don’t let it affect you spiritually, you are mother engaged in a great act of worship, every difficulty you bear, you will be rewarded for in the hereafter.

It has been mentioned that if one does get angry, to sit down if standing up, to lie down if sitting and to make wudu or minimally wash one’s face as anger is a fire which is lessened by water.

Turning to Allah in supplication

“If My slaves ask you about Me, I am near. I answer the call of the caller when he calls on Me.” [2:185] One should have absolute conviction in the words of Allah, Most High remembering that one is engaged in one of the greatest acts of worship in raising pious, righteous children if one makes this their intention.

اللهم إني أسألك من خير ما سألك منه نبيك محمدٌ، صلى الله عليه وسلم؛ وأعوذ بك من شر ما استعاذ منه نبيك محمدٌ، صلى الله عليه وسلم، وأنت المستعان، وعليك البلاغ؛ ولا حول ولا قوة إلا بالله

“O Allah, I ask You for the good for which Your Prophet Muhammad, Allah bless him and give him peace, asked You and I seek refuge from the evil from which Your Prophet Muhammad, Allah bless him and give him peace, sought refuge. You are the One who is asked for help and it is only You who can transmit it. There is no power nor strength except by Allah.”

Consider taking the Parenting course here on Seekers Guidance; seek to become a mother with high resolve and aspiration for her children. With every difficulty comes ease, ponder over the words of the Qur’an, “So truly with hardship comes ease. Truly with hardship comes ease” [94:5-6]. Whenever they cry, remember the blessings of Allah upon one; how many a parent longs for a child but it is not destined for them; “if you are thankful, surely I will increase you” [14:7].

Abu Sa’id and Abu Hurayra reported that the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, said, “No fatigue, illness, anxiety, sorrow, harm or sadness afflicts any Muslim, even to the extent of a thorn pricking him, without Allah wiping out his mistakes by it.” [Agreed upon]

And Allah alone gives success.

Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Related answers:

A Little Fiqh on Controlling One’s Anger

Is Anger Sinful?

How Do I Deal with Anger?

Anger: How do I cleanse myself?

Prophetic Guidance: On forbearance, patience and kindness

Habib Ali al-Jifri – Lessons on Anger, Forbearance, and Disciplining the Soul Through Prophetic Wisdom – from the RIS Knowledge Retreat

قبس النور المبين من إحياء علوم الدين – دروس وخطب – موقع الداعية الإسلامي الحبيب علي الجفري

Lessons by al-Habib Ali al-Jifri on explaining “The Ray of Clear Light of the Revival of the Religious Sciences” written by al-Habib Umar bin Hafiz, delivered at this year’s excellent Reviving the Islamic Spirit Knowledge Retreat.

Lesson One: The Blameworthiness of Anger
Download: Lesson One (right click to save)
* Renewing intention when attending gatherings of knowledge
* The rank of knowledge & scholars
* Terms and the science of purification of hearts
* The rank of the sciences of excellence and purification
* Answers to issues arising regarding Imam Ghazali and his Ihya’
* An overview of the “Book on the Blameworthiness of Anger, Malice, and Envy”
* The contemporary importance of this Book
* The harms of anger

Lesson Two: The Reality of Anger
Download: Lesson Two (right click to save)
* The wisdom behind the creation of desires
* The true understanding of freedom
* Freedom of expression, and anger when sacred symbols are violated
* The reality of anger in a human
* The principles of dealing with anger and the way of balance

Lesson Three: Can Anger Be Extinguished Through Spiritual Discipline?
Download: Lesson Three (right click to save)
* The outward and inward effects of excessive anger
* The harmful inward results of anger: malice, envy, thinking ill of others, etc
* Looking with insight at the tricks of the ego is a great means to Allah
* Spiritual discipline isn’t possible without anger
* The praiseworthy balance
* Anger and how it is directed: the case of the Danish cartoons

Lesson Four: The Virtues of Restraining One’s Anger
Download: Lesson Four (right click to save)
* Beginning with questions from the students
* The cure for the misgivings that lead to anger
* Allah has made us responsible for that which is closer to the Sacred One (al-Quddus) and not to lower selves (nufus)
* The vitues of restraining one’s anger for the sake of Allah
* A poem in praise of Imam Ali Zain al-Abidin and the meanings of forbearance it contains
* The contiguously transmitted (musalsal) hadith on love

Lesson Five: Forbearance (hilm)
Download: Lesson Five (right click to save)
* Why forbearance is superior to restraining anger
* Knowledge is through strudy and forbearance is through forcing oneself to be forbearant
* Forbearance is a sign of complete intelligent and the submission of one’s capacity for anger
* Correcting the understanding of strength for the sake of Allah Most High
* The meaning of malice (hiqd) and its harmful consequences

Lesson Six: Problems in Contemporary Muslim Life
Download: Lesson Six (right click to save)
* Lesson for Questions and Answers
* The reason behind the crimes of both terrorism and the fight against it
* Are we fulfilling our responsibilities as bearers of a Divine Message?
* The role of forbearance in our contemporary context
* The reason for the weakness in Islamic discourse: the weakness of the institutions of sound traditional Islamic learning
* Caution in whom one takes one’s religious understanding from
* The dangers of declaring other Muslims disbelievers (takfir) and of accusations of polytheism (shirk)
* Remembering priorities

From Habib Ali’s site.
In Arabic: قبس النور المبين من إحياء علوم الدين – دروس وخطب – موقع الداعية الإسلامي الحبيب علي الجفري
In English:

Lessons conducted at the RIS Knowledge Retreat: Knowledge Retreat 1430

The text in Arabic: The Condemnation of Rage, Rancor and Envy (pdf)
Habib Ali al-Jifri, with Shaykh Hamza Yusuf and Shaykh Yahya Rhodus
Habib Ali at Shaykh Talal Ahdab’s House, with a number of scholars and activists.

Pictures taken from Habib Ali al-Jifri’s web site. The first two pictures are (c) Reviving the Islamic Spirit, 2010, and taken by Umar Shahzad.