patience

Truth and Falsehood, Praise and Blame

It is reported that Khālid b. Ma’dan – Allāh have mercy on him – said:
Whoever seeks praise by going against the truth, Allāh will throw it back upon him as blame, and whoever faces blame in order to conform to the truth, Allāh will return it as praise for him.

Al-Dhahabī, Siyar A’lām Al-Nubalā` 4:540.

The trials of a Believer and the Trials of a Sinner

Salmān Al-Fārsī – Allāh be pleased with him – once visited a sick friend. When he entered upon him he said:

Have glad tidings, for verily Allāh makes the illness of a believer an expiation [for his sins] and a cause of being pleased, whereas the illness of a sinner is like a camel that has been tied by its owners, then released by them: it knows not why it was tied up nor why it was released.

Al-Bukhārī, Al-Adab Al-Mufrad in the Chapter on the Expiation [of sins through] illness. Graded ṣaḥīḥ by Shaykh Al-Albānī in Ṣaḥīḥ Al-Adab Al-Mufrad.

Imam Ahmad on Rebelling against Rulers

Abul-Ḥārith Aḥmad b. Muḥammad Al-Ṣā`igh, the close and respected friend of Imām Aḥmad, reports:

I asked Abū ‘Abdillāh (Imām Aḥmad) about something that had occurred in Baghdād, and [because of which] some people were considering revolting [against the ruler]. I said, “O Abū ‘Abdillāh, what do you say about taking part in the revolt with these people?” He decried it and started saying, “Subḥānallāh! The blood [of the people], the blood [of the people]! I do not believe in this and I do not tell others to do it. For us to suffer our situation in patience is better than the fitnah (tribulation) in which blood is spilt, property is taken, and the prohibited are violated (e.g. the honor of women). Do you not know what happened to the people (in the days of the previous fitnah)?” I said, “And the people today, Abū ‘Abdillāh, are they not in fitnah [because of the ruler]?” He replied, “If so, it is a limited fitnah, but if the sword is raised, the fitnah will engulf everything and there will be no way to escape. To suffer patiently this [current difficulty], where Allāh keeps your religion safe for you is better for you.” I saw him decry revolting against the leaders, and say, “[Do not spill the people’s] blood. I do not believe in this and I do not command it.”

Abū Bakr Al-Khallāl, Al-Sunnah article 89.

Umar on obeying the Muslim Ruler

Suwayd b. Ghaflah reports that ‘Umar b. Al-Khattāb – Allāh be pleased with him – once took him by the hand and said:

O Abū Umayah, by Allāh, I know not if we will meet again after today. Fear and obey Allāh your Lord until the Day of Resurrection, as if you see Him, and obey the ruler (imām) even if he is a cut-nosed Abyssinian slave: if he beats you, be patient; if he robs you, be patient and if he belittles you, be patient. And if he tells you [to do something] to the detriment of your religion (to sin), say: “I hear and obey, [but] my blood goes before my religion.” Never leave the Main Muslim Body (Al-Jamā’ah).

Ibn Zanjawayh, Kitāb Al-Amwāl article 30; Ibn Abī Zamanīn, Uṣūl Al-Sunnah article 205 with a slight variation in wording. Also recorded in other collections.

Soft Poison

It is reported that ‘Alī b. Abī Tālib wrote to Salmām Al-Farsī – Allāh be pleased with them both – saying:

The likeness of this worldly life (dunyā) is that of a snake: soft to the touch, it will kill you with its poison. So turn away from what impresses you of it, since what stays with you is so little. And do not be concerned about it, since you are certain about its parting. And be most happy in it when you are most heedful of it; for every time its companion takes solace in one of its delights, it gives way to one of its woes.
Was-Salām.

Ibn Abī Al-Dunyā, Kitāb Al-Zuhd article 164.