Understand, Live by, Inspire

The right Righteousness, Part 3

Dear sisters and brothers, Assalamu Alaikum.

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem.

I apologise for delaying this post (Part 3) which is the continuation of the write-up on Adopting al Birr, the right Righteousness. I got interested, rather got struck 🙂 in deeply understanding the further part of the ayah of our discussion, that is 2: 177. Anyway, let’s continue learning, Inshaa’Allah.

* 10. Having patience and being steadfast:

a) during البأساء :

الصابرين في البأساء والضّرّاء وحين البأس

Actually the translation of the ayah in discussion (that is, 2: 177) was taken from Saheeh International’s translation and team is translating البأساء as poverty.

Let us take other translations as examples to understand this part of this verse in a better way:

“and who are As-Sabirin (the patient ones, etc.) in extreme poverty and ailment (disease) and at the time of fighting (during the battles)”. (Mohsin Khan/Hilali)

“and show fortitude in hardships and adversity and in the struggle between the Truth and falsehood” (Maulana Maududi)

“and the patient in tribulation and adversity and time of stress” (Pickthall)

“and are patient in misfortune and adversity and in time of peril” (Sayyid Qutb)

According to the Hans Wehr Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic and the Dictionary of Qur’anic Usage, the word البأساء means ‘adversity’, suffering’, misery, wretchedness, distress.

If one understands the Qur’an directly from Arabic, it is really a great blessing from Allah, right?

From my study, I can say that Righteousness lies in showing fortitude by being patient and steadfast during hardships, misfortune, adversity, sufferings, tribulation, and in poverty.

Many people start cursing their fate and sometimes even the Creator for the miseries of their life. But if a person adopts patience while being in times of hardships especially during poverty-stricken condition, then Allah will change the situation in no time. But it needs a great deal of endurance on the part of a person to adopt patience in poverty and adversity.

By way of appreciating the goodness in my father, I would like to quote one personal incident here.

I remember in my childhood, my father was undergoing great hardships. I recall those old days when we were given just one bun (bun is a small piece of bread) per meal in a day and we were not eating anything beyond that. I had five siblings at that time and since I am the eldest in my family, I remember that my father was not giving up. He was offering more Salah and making lots of du’aa and remembering Allah. He was advising us to do the same. Being a man of self-respect, he would never ask for anyone’s help even though in those days we were living as a joint family in the same house with my uncles, grand father and grand mothers.

My father, in such a bad economic condition, was an epitome of patience. I love my father so much. Later on, things changed and as Allah says ‘with difficulty, comes ease”. Today we are in a position to help others, alhamdulillah

The message is clear: If you endure, Allah is always there to cure!

b) during الضّرّاء

الضّرّاء means distress, state of affliction, state of hardship, adversity

We know – and it is true – that the Qur’an is the miracle of all miracles. The two words used in this ayah are so close to their meaning yet they are different. While البأساء can be taken as adversity coming through misfortune and poverty  الضّرّاء can be taken as adversity coming through hardships, affliction and distress.

So the one who is righteous will have this quality in him or her, that he/she will resort to steadfastness by being patient during difficult times arising out of life’s hardships or affliction. Life is not a bed of roses, by the way.

c) during حين البأس

Heen حين means time, times; البأس means hardship, stress, danger.

So حين البأس means times of hardship, times of stress, times of danger.

Here hardship, stress and danger means the hardship, stress and danger arising out of the Jihad (struggle) between Truth and falsehood, and the Jihad (fighting) in the battlefront.

Now, I would like to quote some interesting points mentioned in Ma’aariful Qur’an by Maulana Mufti Muhammad Shafi:

“While referring to the moral principles or inner deeds only sabr (patience) is mentioned in the verse because sabr means to control the human self and guard it against evil. Even a little reflection can lead to the conclusion that sabr is the very essence of all inner deeds; through it, high morals can be achieved and through it, low morals can be eliminated.

Yet another change in style made here concerns the use of word والصابرين and not والصابرون on the pattern of والمؤفون which appeared immediately earlier. Commentators call it نصب على المدح which means that the word madh (praise) is understood here and the word al-sabireen is its object. This means that among the righteous, the sabireen (the patient) are worthy of special praise since sabr gives one special power to perform righteous deeds.”

Such are they who are Truthful, Such are those who are truly righteous, virtuous and God-conscious!

After defining what righteousness is and after listing the distinct characteristic features of those who can be called as righteous in the true sense of the term, the ayah concludes with a declaration, nay a standing ovation, I can say.

Such are they who are Truthful. It means only those who have these characteristic features are truly regarded as being true to their Faith. Now you got the point why turning one’s face towards east or west is regarded as a ‘faith’ with bottomless hole!

Not only this, the final seal is affixed here: Such are those who are al muttaqoon, the truly righteous, the virtuous and the God-conscious.

It is like saying: O mankind! If you want to know what true righteousness is all about, adopt al Birr whose elements are discussed in verse 2:177 of the glorious Qur’an by your very Creator, your own Lord! Otherwise, don’t rant about. Just get lost!

Dear brothers and sisters, there are some Qur’anic verses and ahadeeth relevant to the topic of our discussion, which I will take it up Inshaa’Allah in the next post.

Jazakumullah Khayr for taking your precious time.


March 30, 2012 - Posted by | Reflections | , , , , , , , , , , ,

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