Forbearance

A person who follows Islamic teachings possesses such good manners which include pardoning and tolerance, justice, affection, chastity and purity, selflessness and sympathy, generosity, and forbearance. Every quality has its own virtue, but forbearance is such a quality whose virtue can benefit the whole society.

Meaning of forbearance

Tahammul [forbearance] is derived from Hilm. It means the quality of being calm, patient and gentle despite being able to express your annoyance and anger. (Kitab-ut-Ta’reefat, pp. 66) In the Holy Quran, forbearance has been mentioned amongst the attributes of pious people. Allah Almighty has stated:

وَ  الْكٰظِمِیْنَ  الْغَیْظَ 

And who restrain anger.

[Kanz-ul-Iman (translation of Quran)] (Part 4, Surah Aal-e-‘Imran, Ayah 134)

Four attributes of pious people have been mentioned in this blessed verse. One of them is to control anger, (Siraat-ul-Jinaan, vol. 2, pp. 54) and many virtues of it have also been mentioned in blessed Ahadees.

Two blessed sayings of the Holy Prophet صَلَّى اللّٰەُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم about forbearance

1 Five things are from the Sunnah of Rasools عَلَيْهِمُ السَّلَام. One of them is to have forbearance. (Mawsu’ah Ibn Abid Dunya, vol. 2, pp. 24, Hadees 6)

2 Undoubtedly, by virtue of forbearance, a Muslim man attains the status of a fasting person and the one who worships in the night, staying awake. (Mawsu’ah Ibn Abid Dunya, vol. 2, pp. 27, Hadees 8)

Embodiment of forbearance

Our Beloved Rasool صَلَّى اللّٰەُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم was the embodiment of forbearance, pardoning and tolerance. There were such conditions and incidents in which even very forbearing people may give up, but our Beloved Rasool صَلَّى اللّٰەُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم remained tolerant and did not take any retaliatory action. The occurrences of endurance and forbearance on the cruelties inflicted by the people of Makkah and cruelties suffered during the journey to Taif are its clear proofs. We should also follow in our Beloved Prophet’s footsteps.

Our society and lack of tolerance

Today, at one place, brother is an enemy of his brother whereas at the other place, there are disputes amongst families. There are houses which present the scene of a battlefield whereas at some places, there are strained relations between good friends. In short, hatred is rising, and love and affection is decreasing day by day. Sometimes people start fighting with each other on a very trivial matter. The main reason for all such acts is that we are losing tolerance. If even one party acts with forbearance on the things which provoke quarrels, conflicts and discord will automatically end. Remember! Forbearance is the excellent shield which can soften even the heart of our enemy. Therefore, we should promote forbearance so that our society becomes a place of love and affection.

Parable and lesson

It has been narrated about Sayyiduna Imam Zain-ul-‘Aabideen رَضِىَ اللّٰەُ عَنْهُ:  Once a person spoke ill of him. He رَضِىَ اللّٰەُ عَنْهُ took off his dark-coloured chador and gave it to him, and also ordered to give him one thousand dirhams. (Ihya-ul-‘Uloom, vol. 3, pp. 544)

Islamic scholars have said: In this way, Sayyiduna Imam Zain-ul-‘Aabideen رَضِىَ اللّٰەُ عَنْهُ gathered five good qualities. (1) Forbearance (2) Causing no trouble (3) Protecting that person from something which could cause him to distance himself from Allah Almighty (4) Motivating him to repent and regret (5) Doing good in return for evil. In this way, he رَضِىَ اللّٰەُ عَنْهُ bought all these things in return for the ordinary world. (Ihya-ul-‘Uloom, vol. 3, pp. 544)

May Allah Almighty grant us the privilege to act upon the bright teachings of Islam.

اٰمِيۡن   بِجَاهِ   النَّبِيِّ  الۡاَمِيۡن  صَلَّى  اللّٰهُ  عَلَيۡهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم  

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