By: Michelle Cabanas
Sabr- to be patient, persistent, and persevering. As Muslims, through the Qur’an and Sunnah, we are taught the importance of being patient and having perseverance, even in moments of adversity. What better time to utilize these skills than during a global pandemic. Despite the chaos, turmoil, and uncertainty going on in the world today, remaining calm, having faith, and continuing to be strong is crucial. During difficult times, having sabr is key to overcoming hardships.
How will someone accomplish anything without perseverance? It’s not easy to persevere and stay patient, but with practice, embracing the true meaning of sabr, can become second nature. With all that is going on, remembering to persevere can be difficult for most.
think about it this way, if you were to focus solely on the negatives of your surroundings and dwell on them, how likely is it for things to change?
Without sabr, one will not get through these unprecedented times. Despite the 2020 craziness, one must understand that they are in charge of their own life, not what is going on around them. It is easier said than done but repeating that to oneself daily, will help them Sabr.
Here are some steps to help guide you towards having patience and embodying perseverance:
Recalling past experiences when one was persistent and strong, is a first step. Psychologist and author, Rick Hanson, believes looking back on past experiences, adds strength to our ability to persevere. One has to remember other times where they were struggling but remained strong and never gave up. When you realize that that you’ve survived and pushed through past experiences that were tough, you’re more likely to gain the strength needed for hard times like these.
Sabr will never mean helping oneself alone. Dr. Ketam Hamdan from the Institute for Muslim Mental Health explains that it is okay to get help when needed. It’s 2020, it’s time that our community and society has a whole moves past the shame of “getting help”; this should not be a time to suffer in silence. Sometimes, there are things that we can’t do on our own and it’s understandable. It’s okay to not go through struggle on our own. Be honest with yourself and talk to a licensed expert, family, or a friend. More importantly, as long as we are taking the steps to help themselves, Allah- SWT- is there to help back.
Looking for the positives and being thankful for what one currently has builds more patience. The Qur’an assures us that those who persist during difficult times will get rewarded. We must strive to seek out the positives in negative situations. By seeking out the positives in situations, we’re teaching our minds to be be more optimistic and persevere through things. Even something as “simple” as life shouldn’t be taken for granted.. The fact that we are breathing alone, is a reason for why we should keep fighting and persevere.
Prophet Muhammad -SAW- never gave up. Throughout the 23 years of his prophethood, Prophet Muhammad-SAW- faced many hardships and continued to persevere. “Continue then in the right way as you are commanded, as also he who has turned (to Allah) with you, and be not inordinate (O men!), surely He sees what you do.” (11:112) Without Sabr, Prophet Muhammad- SAW- would have not been able to spread the message of Islam and in essence, impact the lives of Muslims today.
Despite all of the craziness of 2020, we have to understand that we are in charge of our own lives. While it's easier said than done, reminding ourselves of the importance sabr and that we are capable will help get us through this time.