#39 – Steadfastness
May 2 – 8, 2022
Shawwal 1 – 7, 1443



What have Allah and His Messenger said about


يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا۟ ٱسْتَعِينُوا۟ بِٱلصَّبْرِ وَٱلصَّلَوٰةِ ۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ مَعَ ٱلصَّـٰبِرِينَ
You who believe, seek help through steadfastness and prayer, for Allah is with the steadfast.

[Surah Al-Baqarah, Ayah 153]
يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا۟ ٱصْبِرُوا۟ وَصَابِرُوا۟ وَرَابِطُوا۟ وَٱتَّقُوا۟ ٱللَّهَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ
You who believe, be steadfast, more steadfast than others; be ready; always be mindful of Allah, so that you may prosper.

[Surah Ali ‘Imran, Ayah 200]
حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو بَكْرِ بْنُ أَبِي شَيْبَةَ، حَدَّثَنَا أَبُو الأَحْوَصِ، عَنْ أَبِي إِسْحَاقَ، عَنْ أَبِي سَلَمَةَ، عَنْ أُمِّ سَلَمَةَ، قَالَتْ وَالَّذِي ذَهَبَ بِنَفْسِهِ ـ صلى الله عليه وسلم ـ مَا مَاتَ حَتَّى كَانَ أَكْثَرُ صَلاَتِهِ وَهُوَ جَالِسٌ وَكَانَ أَحَبُّ الأَعْمَالِ إِلَيْهِ الْعَمَلَ الصَّالِحَ الَّذِي يَدُومُ عَلَيْهِ الْعَبْدُ وَإِنْ كَانَ يَسِيرًا ‏
It was narrated that Umm Salamah said:
‘By the One Who took his soul (i.e., the soul of the Prophet (ﷺ)), he did not die until he offered most of his prayers sitting down. And the dearest of the actions to him was the righteous action that the person does regularly, even if it were a little.”

[Sunan Ibn Majah 1225]
حَدَّثَنِي مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ عَرْعَرَةَ، حَدَّثَنَا شُعْبَةُ، عَنْ سَعْدِ بْنِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ، عَنْ أَبِي سَلَمَةَ، عَنْ عَائِشَةَ ـ رضى الله عنها ـ أَنَّهَا قَالَتْ سُئِلَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم أَىُّ الأَعْمَالِ أَحَبُّ إِلَى اللَّهِ قَالَ ‏”‏ أَدْوَمُهَا وَإِنْ قَلَّ ‏”‏‏.‏ وَقَالَ ‏”‏ اكْلَفُوا مِنَ الأَعْمَالِ مَا تُطِيقُونَ ‏”‏‏
Narrated `Aisha:
The Prophet (ﷺ) was asked, “What deeds are loved most by Allah?” He said, “The most regular constant deeds even though they may be few.” He added, ‘Don’t take upon yourselves, except the deeds which are within your ability.

[Sahih al-Bukhari 6465]

The patience and the Salah

And the method consists in turning to patience and prayers; for Allah assures us here that He is with those who are patient. This promise applies, above all, to those who offer prayers, whether fard فرض (obligatory) or nafl (supererogatory), for prayers are the supreme form of worship.

In explaining the context, we have mentioned a specific situation, but the verse, in fact, identifies the elixir for all the ills which are a necessary part of human existence, whether they be wants and needs, or anxiety and suffering. The Holy Qur’an itself has indicated; in a very subtle and eloquent way, the general efficacy of this remedy by employing a generalizing expression – “seek help” – without specifying the situation in which help is to be sought. (Mazhari)

Now, the two ingredients of this remedy are patience and prayers. The Arabic term Sabr (صبر) is much more comprehensive than its usual English equivalent, “patience”. Lexically, the word “Sabr” signifies “restraining oneself, or keeping oneself under control.” In the terminology of the Holy Qur’an and the Hadith, Sabr صبر has three modes:

(1) Restraining oneself from what the Shari’ah has declared to be illegal or impermissible (Haram حرام).
(2) Forcing oneself to be regular in the observance of the different forms of worship and to be steadfast in obeying the commandments of Allah and the Holy Prophet ﷺ .
(3) To endure all kinds of trouble and pain – in other words, to understand clearly and to believe that it is the will of Allah to make one suffer, and to hope that one shall receive a reward for this suffering. With regard to this last point, let us add that, on the authority of the commentator Said Ibn Jubayr, Ibn Kathir says that if one cannot help uttering a word of grief or a sigh of pain, it does not go against Sabr صبر ، or nullify it.

People generally identify Sabr صبر with the third mode alone, and ignore the first two which are, indeed, more basic and essential. We cannot insist too much on the fact that all the three are equally obligatory, and that every Muslim is required to practice all the three forms of Sabr صبر . In the terminology of Holy Qur’an and the Hadith, Al-Sabirun is the title of those who are steadfast in observing all the three forms with equal rigour. According to the Hadith, people will hear a call on the Day of Judgment, “Where are the Sabirun صابرون ?”; at this, those who had been constant in observing the three forms of Sabr صبر will stand up, and they will be allowed to enter Paradise without having to present the account of their deeds.

A remedy to all problems

Moreover, Salah نماز does possess a special efficacy in releasing man from all kinds of trouble and pain, and in fulfilling all his needs. We may not be able to explain it rationally, but the efficacy is present as a characteristic quality in the very nature of prayers – as happens in the case of certain medicines too. But the efficacy shows itself only when prayers are offered in the proper way and according to the physical and spiritual etiquette laid down by the Shari` ah.

If our prayers seem to be fruitless, it is because we have been deficient in observing this etiquette, and have not turned to Allah in single-minded devotion and total submission. Let us not forget that, according to the Hadith, whenever the Holy Prophet (SAW) was faced with a grave problem of any kind, he always hastened to offer nail prayers, and through the barakah بر کہ (benediction) of the prayers Allah came to his aid and resolved the problem satisfactorily.

As to how Sabr صبر can save man from all kinds of trouble and pain and resolve all his difficulties, the secret has been revealed in the last phrase of this verse – “Surely, Allah is with those who are patient.” That is to say, as a reward for Sabr صبر man receives the honor of the “company” of Allah. And it goes without saying that when the might of the Lord of the Worlds Himself has come to the aid of a man, what pain or trouble can overcome him, and who can prevent his concerns from prospering?

[Maarif ul Quran Vol-1 (pg 400 – 403) , Maktabah Dar al Uloom, Translation by Prof. Muhammad Hasan Askari & Prof. Muhammad Shamim]

Spiritual Reminders

How to Preserve the Effects of Ramadan
Allah (SWT) gave us tawfiq to see the beautiful month of Ramadan and gave us the opportunities to do many things. May Allah (SWT) accept our prayers and whatever du’as and good deeds we have made or whatever charities we may have taken part in. May Allah (SWT) accept the du’as that the people aroundthe world have made for peace, comfort and prosperity, and may Allah (SWT) make this Ramadan a source of mercy descending upon the Ummah of Muhammad (SAW) in the days to come. Normally, the month of Ramadan is a very busy month for everyone – the time tables are slightly different and people are getting up for suhoor and having their meal for iftar and coming back and forth to the masajid, people are praying taraweeh and doing qiyaam – all kinds of beautiful activities are going on. Whenever a person stays in a good environment for some time, it starts having a positive effect on them. Our hearts become more inclined to Allah (SWT) and become a little purer, so the things we are thinking and planning become that of a very pious nature. This is one of the gifts that are given to us during Ramadan. One of the biggest questions is, “How do we make it last?” Often, we say, “Ramadan was so great, but it was so short, and now it is gone. Everyone is missing Ramadan.” Of course, they would miss Ramadan, but the question is, how can we make Ramadan last? The days of Ramadan will always come to an end after 29 or 30 days, but the effects of Ramadan should last for the whole year. There are a few things we can do to help that.

The first thing is, and this should always be done with our obligations, is that we should not compromise our obligations. For a Muslim, the biggest obligation and worship is salah. This is one thing that we cannot afford to compromise. There is no good deed that can take the place of fardh salah. This is one thing that we have to really, sincerely and honestly uphold, whether someone is there to remind us or not. This is our duty and our responsibility. The other thing is abstaining from all of those things that Allah (SWT) has forbidden. We often get into this cycle where we say, “Well, is it haram? If it is not haram, we should do it.” Deen is not just about halal and haram. Islam does not just consist of these two things. Yes, there are many things that are haram, but there are many more things that lead to haram. This is why Umar (RA) says, “We left 90% of things that were not haram when looked at by themselves. Because they led to things that were haram, we left them.” This question, “Is it haram?”, and the fact that we only stay away from that which is haram is not the talk of a believer or someone with strong Iman. Someone with strong Iman is not just abstaining from haram, but they are also abstaining from that which leads to haram. Generally speaking, there are four pathways through which the pure and cleansed heart becomes contaminated. If you were to compare the heart to a pond or reservoir that has four pipes depositing water into it, these four are where our hearts become contaminated, and the time comes where, even if there is something that we should abstain from, we do not because we do not feel compelled to do so. When we do not feel compelled to stay away from that which is inappropriate, it is a sign that the heart needs to be cleansed.

One of the most important channels is our eyes – our gaze. There are things that we are forbidden from looking at, but if we do, it is like we have contaminated our heart. Whatever the eyes see, it reflects directly upon the heart. If what we are looking at is from the likes of haram, right away, we are corrupting the heart and blackening it. This is one of the channels through which a person’s thoughts change. What we look at affects what we are thinking about as well. Controlling our gaze and deciding to control our gaze for the rest of the year is something that we have to decide now.
The other channel is that which we listen to. Whatever we listen to is programming us, whether we are listening to it deliberately or we just happen to be listening to it. Whatever we listen to also reflects upon our hearts and minds. This is where our thoughts and ideas take shape. It is taking this stimulus and input into our system and that input is shaping what is happening in our hearts and minds. Whatever happens in the mind and heart takes shape into actions. It does not stay hidden inside. While it is there, no one can see it, but eventually, it will come out in the form of action and deeds. It cannot be that a person is thinking pure thoughts all the time and they end up doing wrong things. Eventually, those pure thoughts will come out in the form of pure deeds. Similarly, it cannot be that a person thinks only impure thoughts all the time and the result is that they are always doing pure deeds. It is only a matter of time before those thoughts will come alive in the form of their actions. What we look at and listen to – if it is not in line with what Allah (SWT) wants us to do in life, it needs to be kept away. The third thing is what we talk about. Whatever we speak about has a direct impact on our hearts. You will notice this in any conversation where you exchange harsh words with someone. If you fight with someone and you are yelling at each other, you will walk away with a burdened feeling. You will not walk away feeling good. If you have a nice conversation, you will walk away feeling very good. If you listen to something that touched your heart, it will affect you heart, just like if you say something that touches someone else’s heart, it will touch your own heart.

There are different levels of speech; speech which is absolutely haram which we must stay away from in all circumstances, which includes lying, swearing and cursing, backbiting, making fun of other people and saying hurtful things to other people. All of these things are impermissible in Islam. A person who says things like this corrupts their own heart. The same thing happens to someone who talks about indecent things. Someone who talks like this, programs their mind and heart to act in that direction. The last thing, which is included in all of this, is what we think about. If a person is deliberately thinking of inappropriate things, this also soils their hearts. This pond or reservoir, which has four streams or channels taking water to it, only has the water stay clean if the water from all of the channels stay clean. If even one of the channels allows contaminated water to come in, the whole pool of water will be contaminated and rendered useless.

This is what happens to our hearts. To keep looking for proof that something is haram and only then abstaining from it is not the attitude of a believer – rather, the believer knows what is haram and what is not, but they also know what leads to haram. If they are unsure, they ask someone. The main thing is that whatever work we have done in Ramadan on ourselves should not go to waste. Many people’s graph of the year is like a line, spiking in the year of Ramadan and dropping after eid, then again turning into a straight line. For some people, it drops off gradually, taking a few days, weeks or months, but eventually it tapers off and becomes flat. This is not what we want our graph to look like. We want our graph of life to always look like it is increasing and going up consistently. We must add good things to our lives and remove that which is bad. This issue of maintaining all the good things that have happened in Ramadan is everyone’s responsibility. The question arises of how we do this, but the most important thing is the decision by everyone one of us that we will not do those bad things. Once we decide, Allah (SWT) will find ways in our circumstances where we can maintain and protect our hearts which is so precious to Allah (SWT). Our hearts will be the only thing that will avail us on the Day of Judgement. “That heart which has been protected from all its channels and remained uncontaminated will be the only thing of benefit for a person on the Day of Judgement.” May Allah (SWT) enable us to maintain the good deeds that we started in the month of Ramadan and abstain from whatever mistakes we may have made in the month of Ramadan and may Allah (SWT) enable us to increase in our piety and nearness to him as we go through our lives so that, when we meet Allah (SWT), we are even closer than before.

[Adapted from a talk delivered by Mufti Aasim Rashid titled: “How to Preserve the Effects of Ramadan “]



The Marriage of ‘Aishah (RA) to The Prophet (SAW)
Narrated ‘Urwah:
It was narrated from ‘Urwah, that ‘Aishah said: “The Messenger of Allah married me in Shawwal and my marriage was consummated in Shawwal.” –‘Aishah liked for her women’s marriages to be consummated in Shawwal –“and which of his wives was more beloved to him than me?”

[Sunan an-Nasa’i 3236]

Sunnah Acts

Fasting Six Days in Shawwal
Abu Ayub narrated that:
the Messenger of Allah (SAW) said: “Whoever fasts Ramadan, then fasts an additional six days in Shawwal, then that is (equal in reward) to fasting everyday of the year.”

[Jami` at-Tirmidhi 759]


Dua For a Steadfast Heart
يَا مُقَلِّبَ الْقُلُوبِ ثَبِّتْ قَلْبِي عَلَى دِينِكَ
Ya muqallib al-quloob, thabbit qalbee ‘alaa deenik

“O Controller of hearts, make my heart steadfast on Your Deen.”

[Jami` at-Tirmidhi 3522]

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