An effort in f a c i l i t a t i o n

Endurance leads to success!

After a gap of about two months, I am continuing, alhamdulillaah, with the series on Yaaa Ayyuhal Lazeena Aamanu. 

Today’s discussion is on Ayah No. 200 of Surah Aali ‘Imran, the last ayah of this Surah.

This one short ayah is the sum and substance of Islam. It sums up all the obligations laid upon the Muslim Ummah by Shariah. This ayah is quintessential to all Muslims – Muslim individuals, Muslims as a Community and Islamic State.

Allah commands the Believers to adopt the most vital elements of Imaan, Islam and Ihsaan in their life.  


“O you who have believed, persevere and endure and remain stationed and fear Allah that you may be successful.” (Surah Aali Imran 3: 200)

Listen to this Beautiful Recitation, Inshaa’Allah.

In this Ayah, Allah issues four distinct commands:

1) Isbiruu – Persevere, Endure, Be steadfast, Persevere in patience and constancy!

Isbiruu is the imperative form of the verbal root sa-ba-ra from which the word ‘Sabar’ or ‘sabr’ is derived.

I would like to quote the comprehensive description of Sabr given in Ma’aariful Qur’an:

“Sabr (which is roughly translated as ‘patience’ for want of an exact equivalent) takes three forms:

a. Patience with duties: It means everything commanded by Almighty Allah and His Messenger must be patiently pursued, no matter how burdensome the adherence to them may appear to be. The aim is to keep one self almost rivetted to carry out injunctions despite hindrances.

b. Patience against sins: It means holding the desiring self back from whatever has been prohibited by Allah and His Messenger no matter how desirable and appealing it may be.

3. Patience in distress: It means enduring in hardship and forbearing in pain and avoiding excessive anxiety. Such patience requires that all pain and comfort be taken to have come from Allah and from realisation comes the strength to keep oneself under control”.

So we Muslims must try our best to adopt all the three different forms of Sabr in our practical life, Inshaa’Allah.

2) Saabiruu – Endure, Outdo all others in endurance, Be more patient, Excel in perseverance, Vie in steadfastness.

‘Saabiruu’ means ‘excel one another or vie one another in steadfastness, patience and endurance!’.

This is another form of imperative verb, wherein the action is mutual. That you need someone to compete with.

Here we Muslims are commanded to compete and outdo others in endurance, constancy, firmness, steadfastness and patience.

Life’s challenges that come because of one choosing Islam as one’s way of life must be faced with courage and steadfastness.

Sitting here on a comfortable sofa in an air-conditioned room, it is easy for me or anyone to say these things. But it takes courage to stay firm in practical life, neither giving up one’s faith nor giving in to the temptations of life’s trials and tribulations.

3) Raabithuu – Remain stationed, Be Ready, Guard your territory, Stand firm in your faith, Strengthen each other. Fortify yourself. 

The word ‘Raabithuu’ has been used in three connotations, and all three meanings apply here:

a) Raabithuu: Strengthen your hearts!

Allah says وَلِيَرْبِطَ عَلَىٰ قُلُوبِكُمْ “to strengthen your hearts” while recalling the Battle of Badr and mentioning about rain”:

“Remember He covered you with a sort of drowsiness, to give you calm as from Himself, and he caused rain to descend on you from heaven, to clean you therewith, to remove from you the stain of Satan, to strengthen your hearts, and to plant your feet firmly therewith.” (Surah al Anfaal 8: 11)

While describing the spirit of the Muslim youth of the Cave in lofty terms, Allah says  وَرَبَطْنَا عَلَىٰ قُلُوبِهِمْ

“We gave strength to their hearts: Behold, they stood up and said: “Our Lord is the Lord of the heavens and of the earth: never shall we call upon any god other than Him: if we did, we should indeed have uttered an enormity! (Surah al Kahf 18: 14)

Similarly Allah talks about  لَوْلَا أَن رَّبَطْنَا عَلَىٰ قَلْبِهَا “strengthening the heart of Musa’s mother”:

“But there came to be a void in the heart of the mother of Moses: She was going almost to disclose his (case), had We not strengthened her heart (with faith), so that she might remain a (firm) believer.” (Surah 28: 10)

As described in the post on heartline, the heart occupies an important position in Islam.

All Muslim individuals, therefore, must be ever ready with one’s heart to attain the pleasure of Allah – mardhaatil’laah. This can be achieved only through the Remembrance of Allah, and Birr, Righteousness.

b) Raabithuu: Muster steeds of war!

The word ‘rabata’ also has the meaning of ‘tying the horses’ and getting ready to defend by ‘mustering steeds of war’.

Allah mentions رِّبَاطِ الْخَيْلِ ”steeds of war” when He said:

“And make ready against them all you can of power, including steeds of war (tanks, planes, missiles, artillery, etc.) to threaten the enemy of Allah and your enemy, and others besides whom, you may not know but whom Allah does know. And whatever you shall spend in the Cause of Allah shall be repaid unto you, and you shall not be treated unjustly”. (Surah al Anfaal 8: 60)

The Islamic States, therefore, must be physically prepared and be ever ready with all expertise, military, army, navy, artillery, missiles and other war requirements, which the Ummah can muster in defence of Muslim land and faith.

c) Raabithuu: Tie up with Salah!

The other meaning of the word ‘ribaath’ that is derived from authentic ahadeeth is ‘to be so observant of and bound by making salah with Jama’ah that one starts looking forward to making the next salah soon after having performed one. 

For hadeeth references, please refer Tafseer ibn kathir (find the link below)

4) Wat’taqoo – Fear Allah, Observe your duty to Allah, Be mindful of Allah!

This element – the element of fearing Allah, the Most Merciful, is the marrow of all three aforementioned commands: Isbiruu, Saabiruu, Raabithuu.

If Muslims as individuals and/or as Muslim states are not conscious of Allah, then one cannot come up to the expectations of Isbirru, Saabiruu and Raabithuu.

Please read Fearing the Merciful for an interesting discussion on why we need to fear Allah even though He is the Most Merciful.

And finally while ending this Ayah, Allah gives the glad tidings of success.

That is to say, success can only be achieved through submission to the aforementioned four distinct commands of Allah, and of course with the Will of Allah.

To understand this amazing ayah in detail please go to Tafseer Ibn Kathir and Ma’aariful Qur’an.

May Allah guide us on the Right Path.

May we live and die in the state of submission to Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’aala.

Peace, mercy and blessings of Allah be upon the Prophet sal-lal-laahu-alai-wa-sallam, his family and his companions.

Jazakallaahu Khayra for reading this post.

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September 2, 2013 - Posted by | O You Who Believe! | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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