Can Patience be Blameworthy?

Answered by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him)

Is sabr (patience), in some states, considered blameworthy?

Sabr in its true sense is only praiseworthy and is a cause of ascension. Sabr is to remain steadfast in performing what you have been commanded to do to the best of your ability and to be patient in abstaining from that which you have been prohibited from doing. Then you look at the various events that occur in your life. If something unavoidable occurs which is hard to take, then you must patiently bear it.

If a Muslim is abased in front of you or someone is oppressed and you are able to prevent such things happening but do nothing this is not regarded as sabr. This is in fact weakness and cowardice. Likewise to remain in the state which you are in, not taking the means to ascend to a higher state is not regarded as sabr. This is in fact laziness. So sabr is never blameworthy as it is defined in the Sacred Law. Rather it is a means of attaining limitless reward. Allah says: Only those who are patient will receive a reward without measure.1 He also says: Give good tidings to the patient ones.2

Sabr dictates that you should not be anxious when a problem arises that you cannot avert. You should instead be patient, surrender to Allah and fulfil your obligations with regards to the state that you are in.

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1 Al-Zumar, 39.10

2 Al-Baqarah, 2.155