Azizi Khalid

March 10, 2021

Patience: Family vs Stranger

I was reading hadith no 23 of the Forty Hadith of Imam Nawawi today with the Indonesian brothers and sisters studying in Murdoch University. One of things that got me really mind blown was the way Rasulullah described prayers and patience. Solah is described as nur, and patience (sabr) dhiya’. Both essentially means light, but of different intensity.

We can see the difference between nur and dhiya’ in one aya of the Quran where Allah uses both words in it:

هُوَ الَّذِي جَعَلَ الشَّمْسَ ضِيَاءً وَالْقَمَرَ نُورًا

“He is the One that made the sun dhiya’ and the moon nur”

Allah described the light from the sun as dhiya’ and the light from the moon, nur. Nur is the soothing kind of light that is neither piercing nor burning. Just like solah, it is soothing to the soul and bring serenity to our lives. And Rasulullah described solah as his source of relaxation.

Patience on the other hand, is like the sun light. It can be piercing to the eye and it can burn. Yet it is crucial to life on earth. Patience can be hard to practice in life, but it plays an important part to lead a happy life. And when perfected, it brings immense joy to the heart in everything that we face in life, no matter how difficult it is.

One interesting note about being patient; it is easier to have patience with strangers than with our family members. We can have the patience to smile when the cook at a restaurant screw up our food. But do we have the same smile when our wife does the same thing at home?

When Allah mentioned about patience to Prophet Muhammad in surah Taha:

فَاصْبِرْ عَلَىٰ مَا يَقُولُونَ
“And have patience on what they say”

Allah is telling the Messenger to be patient with those who oppose him with harsh words. The word used for this command is اصبر (Isbir).

But when Allah told the Prophet to teach his family to pray,

وَأْمُرْ أَهْلَكَ بِالصَّلَاةِ وَاصْطَبِرْ عَلَيْهَا
“And instruct your family to be patient with it”

the word used here is اصطبر (Istabir), with an additional ط in it. In the Arabic language the general formula is

زيادة المبنى تدل على زيادة المعنى
“Additional letters point to additional meaning.”

We should be more patient with our family than our enemies. And being patient with family members is harder than with strangers. Plus the Prophet said, the best among you are the ones that are the best to his family.

O Allah give me the strength to be kind and patient with my family.

Azizi Khalid
Making Islamic education fun at Qaswa House