Patience and Perseverance by Al-Hafiz ibn Abi Al-Dunya (d. 281H)
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Sulayman ibn Qasim said, “The reward of every deed is known except for patience, for Allah Almighty Said: ‘Indeed, those who endure patiently will be given their reward in full without limit.’ [Al-Zumar, 10]
The attribute of patience is less about the ability to sit tight and wait out any adversity or misfortune, and more about holding good etiquette and Islamic propriety while waiting. This includes persevering throughout the ordeal, not complaining about one’s condition (except to Allah) and recognising that Allah’s wisdom and decree necessitate holding good positive thoughts about Him.
Allah, the Most High, presses the believers to seek His assistance through patience and prayer. It is a realisation that Allah doesn’t put you through hardship except to grant you relief, nor place a burden on you more than you can bear. To know that He tests those whom He loves, will make you appreciate even the harshest of trials you may be going through is in fact, good for you.
Allah also Said: “And We test you with evil and good as a trial” [21:35] Meaning: “With evil”, to see how you’ll show patience. “And with good”, to see how you’ll show gratitude.
‘Al-Sabr wa’l Thawab ‘alayha’ is Dar as-Sunnah’s second instalment of an Ibn Abi Dunya’s work. We hope this complete English translation will inspire the reader to appreciate the realities of patience and put in place items of action that will guide them through their own set of difficulties in life.
About the author
Al-Hafiz Abu Bakr, Abdullah ibn Muhammad, ibn Abi Al-Dunya was an authoritative and prolific writer and compiler of Hadith. Highly respected for leading an exemplary lifestyle, he was known for his piety and asceticism, spending much of his adult life teaching and counselling. Over a hundred works have been attributed to him, many of which are no longer extant. What is available runs into approximately sixty titles. He died in the year 281 Hijri, may Allah be pleased with him.