April 23, 2011

Beautiful Reminder: Luqman's Advice to His Son, Part 3

Lessons to Take, cont. 
5. Being Patient
Towards the end of his advice, Luqman tells his son to be patient.
"...And bear with patience whatever befalls you. Verily, these are some of the important commandments." (Qur'an: Luqman, Verse 17)

Commenting on this, Ibn Kathir says in his tafsir, "Luqman knew that whoever enjoins what is good and forbids what is evil, will inevitably encounter harm and annoyance from people, so he told him to be patient...Being patient when people cause harm or annoyance is one of the most important commandments."

In the Sahih collections of Bukhari and Muslim, it's narrated that the Prophet, sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, said, "No one has been given anything more excellent and more comprehensive than sabr (patience)."

In his work, Patience and Gratitude, Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah says, "Every person has to exercise patience in order to face difficulties, whether he does so willingly or unwillingly. The noble person exercises patience willingly, because he realizes the benefits of patience, and he knows that he will be rewarded for his patience and will be criticized if he panics. He is aware that if he does not have patience, panicking and impatience will not help him to regain missed opportunities, and will not take away things he dislikes. Whatever is decreed and is qada’ wa qadr cannot be prevented from happening, and whatever is decreed not to happen cannot be made to happen. So an attitude of impatience and panic actually causes harm...The ignoble man exercises patience only when he realizes he has no choice. After wasting a lot of time and energy and panicking and struggling, he realizes that his impatience will not help him. Then he exercises patience in the same way that a person who has been tied up to be whipped exercises patience."

It's narrated in Bukhari that 'Umar ibn Al-Khattab, radiallahu anhu, said, "We considered the best part of our lives to be that in which there was sabr (patience)."

6. Humility
Luqman ends his advice to his son urging him to be humble and moderate, and to refrain from being prideful and arrogant. Luqman says, "And turn not your face away from men with pride, nor walk in insolence through the earth. Verily, Allah likes not any arrogant boaster. And be moderate in your walking, and lower your voice. Verily, the harshest of all voices is the braying of the asses." (Qur'an, Luqman: 18-19)

In Sahih Muslim, it's related that the Prophet, sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, said, "Whoever has an atoms worth of kibr (pride) in his heart will not enter Paradise." So a man said: What about a person who loves (i.e. takes pride in) wearing beautiful clothes and beautiful shoes? So he replied: "Indeed Allah is beautiful and loves beauty. Kibr (pride) is to reject the truth, and to despise the people."

In his work, Pride: A Barrier to Paradise, Shaykh 'AbdurRahman Ibn Naasir as-Sa'dee explains that to completely reject the truth of Allah, the Most High, and His Messenger, sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, out of pride is equal to disbelief (kufr) and to reject parts of the truth out of pride or preference for personal opinion is not disbelief, but still an act that is punishable by Allah.

Shaykh as-Sa'dee says in regards to this, "So it is obligatory upon the seeker of knowledge to give complete and absolute precedence to the saying of Allaah and the saying of His Messenger sal-Allaahu 'alayhe wa sallam over and above the saying of anyone else, and that he should make that the basis to which he returns, and the foundation upon which he builds; following the guidance of the Prophet sal-Allaahu 'alayhe wa sallam, striving hard to understand what is intended from it, and following this, both inwardly and outwardly."

The Shaykh goes on to explain the second type of pride mentioned in the hadith, saying that to despise the people is to look down upon them due to some amazement a person may have with himself, thinking himself to be better or higher than others.

In Sahih Muslim, it's narrated that the Prophet, sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, said, "It is enough evil for a person to despise his brother Muslim."

Ibn Taymiyyah said about the worshipper, "the more humble, needy, and subdued he is before Allah – the closer he will be to Him, and the dearer he will be to Him, and the greater in status he will be to Him. So, the happiest of the Creation is the one who is greatest in servitude to Allah," (Majmu' al-Fatawa' 1/67).

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