As Saboor – Discover God’s Inexhaustible Patience

In this month of Ramadan, we are reminded that this blessed month is a gift from God.

As the days progress we are able to draw strength from our devotion and we realize that are spiritual batteries are being recharged due to our focused devotion.

We are renewing our faith and consolidating our ability to be patient.  Patience is a very big part of Ramadan.

O you who believe, seek help through patience and prayer. Indeed, Allah is with the patient. (Quran, 2:153)

Indeed, the patient will be given their reward without account. (Quran, 39:10)

And it (Ramadan) is the month of sabr (patience); and for sabr (patience), the reward is Paradise. [1]

In this series we have learned that God must be referred to in the way He referred to Himself, or in the way Prophet Muhammad referred to Him. 

God has described Himself in great detail and during this series of articles we have pondered many of His Names.

As Saboor – The Most Patient

We have also learned to call upon God by the Name that suits our needs.  Now, in Ramadan we come to the name As Saboor, the Most Patient.

In this time when the fasting person abstains, during the daylight hours, from things that would be permissible at any other time, such as eating, drinking, and engaging in sexual relations patience is a essential trait.

Those who are fasting try to avoid confrontation of any kind, as well as lying, cheating, and idle talk. 

Under these circumstances we must be patient, with ourselves, and with each other. Could we learn patience from any one better than As Saboor? God the Most Patient.

God – There is no deity except Him. To Him belong the best names. (Quran 20: 8)

The most excellent Names belong to God: use them to call on Him, and keep away from those who abuse them– they will be revenged for what they do. (Quran 7:180)

Saboor comes from sabr (patience), and the root meaning is to confine or contain. We contain our feelings and thus accept delays, problems, and suffering without becoming annoyed or anxious.  

It also has the following connotations. To endure trials and afflictions in a good manner, to be contented without complaint, to bear and persevere calmly, to be steadfast, constant, restrained or able to confine oneself, including thoughts and feelings.

Prophet Muhammad informs us that:

No one is more patient in bearing the offensive things he hears than God.  He hears people saying that others are associated with Him, or that He has a son, yet He still grants them good health and provision. [2]

Learn Patience from the Most Patient

God is the Most Patient; He is not quick to punish the heedless or the sinful. He is not impatient when we are slow to find our way to the right path, and He is patient if we stray, always keeping our path accessible. 

As Saboor is The One who is the most patient, steadfast, and enduring. He does not hurry to carry out any action before its proper time.

We are able to derive a moral code from pondering God’s Name As Saboor. If we keep in mind God’s patience, and His way of dealing with people, we are able to be patient under all circumstances.

God is patient in the face of rudeness and disobedience yet He keeps on giving respite, and bestowing His blessings.  

Emulating this attribute over and over becomes a habit whereby we are able to face even the direst circumstances with patience and fortitude.

Waiting patiently for a single day in the path of Allah is better than this world and all that is in it. [3]

The renowned scholar of Islam Sheikh ibn Taymiyyah said:

“Patience through the performance of righteous acts is better and higher in status than patience in avoiding sins, for the benefit that comes from the performance of a righteous deed is dearer to God than the benefit that comes from abjuring sin.”

Ponder and Practice

When contemplating As Saboor, and the concept of sabr (patience), we will discover the beautiful patience of the prophets of Islam. There are many examples of their patience in the Quran and in the traditions of Prophet Muhammad.

When Prophet Jacob was grief-stricken over the loss of his sons Benjamin and Joseph, he was patient but that did not mean that he was not heartbroken. He said:

I only complain of my suffering and my grief to Allah. (Quran 12:86)

Luqman advised his son with the words:

O my son, establish prayer, enjoin what is right, forbid what is wrong and be patient over what befalls you…. (Quran 31:17)

Prophet Muhammad said that God said:

O son of Adam! If you remain patient restraining yourself and expecting my reward at the initial shock, I will not be happy without rewarding you with Jannah. [4]

Prophet Job was impoverished, stricken with disease, and without his family, friends, and livelihood yet he bore all this with patience and forbearance and he turned to God.

And (remember) Job, when he cried to his Lord, ‘Verily, distress has seized me, and You are the Most Merciful of all those who show mercy.’  So We answered his call, and We removed the distress that was on him, and We restored his family to him (that he had lost), and the like thereof along with them, as a mercy from Ourselves and a Reminder for all who worship Us (God). (Quran 21: 83-84)

The people those who ponder and then practice patience will be rewarded magnificently. When they enter Paradise, the angels will greet them saying:

Peace be upon you for the Sabr you practised. Excellent indeed is the final home. (Quran 13:24)

Remembering God and contemplating His Names and His Greatness is one of the keys to practicing patience, and patience is a key to Paradise. Those who call on upon As Saboor asking for patience will be granted the ability to be patient.

Whoever tries to be patient, God will help him to be patient. [5]

Note: Names Related to As Saboor

Sabr is the patience that arises from self-restraint, enduring something without complaint. Hilm on the other hand is the patience that arises from deep serenity, lenience, and calm deliberation

Al Haleem – The Most Forbearing

… certainly, God has pardoned them; surely God is Forgiving, Forbearing (Quran, 3:155).

Al Haleem is derived from the root word hilm which means: taking the necessary time to do something, care, attention, and sensibility.

God postpones chastising those who deserve to be chastised, giving them time to repent and thus He delays a penalty for some of those who deserve it. After that, He may penalize them or overlook their faults.

Al-Haleem may also overlook sins and cover up shortcomings.

[1] Ibn Khuzaima

[2] Saheeh Bukhari and Saheeh Muslim

[3] Saheeh Bukhari

[4] Ibn Majah

[5] Ibn Qayyim al jawziyyah, 1997, Patience and gratitude, English translation, United Kingdom, Ta Ha Publishers. P15

About Aisha Stacey
Aisha Stacey is the mother of three adult children. She embraced Islam in 2002 and spent the next five years in Doha, Qatar studying Islam and working at the Fanar Cultural Centre. In 2006 Aisha returned to university for a second time and completed at Bachelor of Arts and a Graduate Certificate in Writing. Aisha is also a published writer in both internet and print media and in 2009 -10 she was the Queensland editor at a national Australian Islamic newspaper ~ Crescent Times.