Forbearance: the Master of Morality
Undoubtedly, man experiences different sorts of pressure in his life, in work, at home and when dealing with other people. Such pressures sometimes make him angry and abnormal. Therefore, The Prophet [pbuh] stressed that a Muslim must control himself in such moments when He said: “The strong man is not the one who wrestles, but the strong man is in fact the one who controls himself in a fit of rage.'' The hadith is about patience an attribute which was praised abundantly in the Qur`an and confirmed as one of the attributes of Allah the Almighty. Allah is repeatedly described with patience in about ten places: “And Allah is All-Knowing and Most Forbearing”, “And Allah is the All-Forgiving and Most Forbearing, “And Allah is Free of need and Most Forbearing”. Allah the Almighty says: “Indeed, Allah holds the heavens and the earth, lest they cease. And if they should cease, no one could hold them [in place] after Him. Indeed, He is Forbearing and Forgiving.” [Fatir; 41] Allah the Almighty maintained patience as the basic of His relation with the believers: “And if Allah were to impose blame on the people for what they have earned, He would not leave upon the earth any creature. But He defers them for a specified term. And when their time comes, then indeed Allah has ever been, of His servants, seeing.” [Fatir: 45] Qur`an stressed that patience is one of the attributes of the Messengers of Allah [peace be upon them] with which Ibrahim is particularly described: “Indeed, Abraham was forbearing, grieving and [frequently] returning [to Allah].”, “Indeed was Abraham compassionate and patient.” And praised Isma’il [peace be upon him]: “So We gave him good tidings of a forbearing boy.” [Hud: 75] It is a divine attribute which enables the one to have control over both his anger and revenge. He gets used to forgive and finds excuses for the mistakes of others. Exactly as stated by al-Ahnaf ibn Qays [may Allah grant him mercy]:“I consider the one who hurts me as one of three. If he is superior to me, I admit his superiority, if he is like me, I treat him kindly and if he is inferior to me, I refrain from harming him. He also said: beware of the opinions of Awghad [bastards]. He was asked: who are they? He said: Those who consider forgiveness a disgrace. Many people consider forgiveness as humiliation towards their opponents. Although, the one who forgives is Allah the Exalted the Lord of all humans who is capable of destroying all his enemies with a single word “Be”. He grants the disobedient another chance and forgives whoever repents and rewards him abundantly. Why don’t we follow the example of our Lord the Almighty who forgives the offensive? In resemblance to Allah the Almighty, we regard the Prophet [pbuh] providing the best example in controlling oneself and never getting angry except in the right situation. He was one of the most people seeking excuses for others. Anas [may Allah be pleased with him] narrated in the hadith recorded by Bukhari and Muslim: “Once I was walking with Allah's Messenger and he was wearing a Najran Burd with thick margin. A Bedouin followed him and pulled his Burd so violently that I noticed the side of the shoulder of Allah's Apostle affected by the margin of the Burd because of that violent pull. The Bedouin said, "O Muhammad! Give me some of Allah's wealth which is with you." Allah's Apostle turned, looked at him while smiling and ordered that he is to be given something.” In some of his narrations which are recorded by Abu Dawud and al-Nisa`I, he said: “We used to sit with the Messenger of Allah [pbuh] in the mosque and whenever he stands, we follow him. One day, He stood up and we followed him until He reached the middle of the mosque. A Bedouin followed him and pulled his [tough margin] garment from behind so violently that the margin of his garment left an effect on his neck. ‘Muhammad,’ said the Bedouin, ‘load on my two camels with the fortune of God that is in your possession, because it is neither yours nor your father’s. The Messenger of Allah [pbuh] said: “No, I seek Allah’s forgiveness; I won’t load your camels unless you compensate me for tugging at my wrap. The man said that he would give no compensation. The Messenger of Allah [pbuh] said that three times and the Bedouin each time says: By Allah, I won’t compensate you. Abu Hurira said: “when we heard the Bedouin, we approached him quickly. The Prophet [pbuh] turned to us and said: “those who heard my words shouldn’t leave their places except with my permission. The Prophet [pbuh] laughed and ordered to load the Bedouin’s camels with barley and wheat. After that, the Prophet [pbuh] said: “You may go.” Have you ever witnessed more patience? The Messenger of Allah, the seal of the Prophets and the head of the state treating the Bedouin who insults him with such a kind manner. The Prophet [pbuh] repaid his insult with benevolence, forgives him and gives him generously. Why not? The Prophet [pbuh] said in the hadith narrated by Ibn Majah from the narration of Ibn ‘Umar [may Allah be pleased with him] who said: The Messenger of Allah [pbuh] said: “There is no dose that is more rewarded by Allah the Almighty than a dose of anger that a slave restrains for His sake.” In the hadith narrated by Abu Dawud from Sahl ibn Mu`az through his father, the Prophet [pbuh] said: “Whoever controls his anger at the time when he has the means to act upon it, Allah will call him before all of mankind on the Day of Resurrection, and will let him choose of the Hur al-‘Ayn whoever he wants.” Moreover, the Prophet [pbuh] said to Ashaj Abd al-Qays in the hadith reported by Muslim in his Sahih: “You possess two qualities that Allah loves. These are clemency and tolerance. He said: “Are they adopted or I was created with, O, Messenger of Allah? He said: “No, you were created with them.” He replied: “Praised is Allah who created me with two qualities that are loved by Him and His Messenger.” Meanwhile, patience appears in situations which require getting angry and immediate reaction. Allah the Almighty grants the patient person the reward if he neglects taking revenge for oneself. The Prophet [pbuh] said in the hadith recorded by Muslim in his Sahih from the narration of Abu Huraira [may Allah be pleased with him]: “When two men insult one another, what they say is mainly the fault of the one who began it, so long as the one who is oppressed does not transgress.” A person may inquire, how can I be patient and I am a person who gets angry quickly? Are there any ways to help me acquire such a quality especially with constant pressures from everywhere? I say: the principal in attaining good is the good intention which the servant of Allah makes seeking the pleasure of His Lord the Almighty. And seeking the help of Allah the Exalted before, after and when getting angry. Because there is no success prosperity without Allah’s will. After that come some matters, the most important among them is the permanent surveillance by the person to his faults and sins. He becomes occupied with them and gets busy away from others seeking the reward for his actions. His sins appear great to him, so he fears them and his rewards seem little to him, so he is dedicated to them. This way he forgives the one who insults him and become patient towards the ignorant. . It is useful to accompany the righteous who remind the one if he forgets and instruct him when he makes a mistake. Furthermore, recalling the reward which Allah has promised the one who is patient and forgives others as Allah says in the Qur`an: “And the retribution for an evil act is an evil one like it, but whoever pardons and makes reconciliation - his reward is [due] from Allah. Indeed, He does not like wrongdoers.” [Ash-Shuraa: 40] It was reported that Ibn ‘Abbas [may Allah be pleased with them] said: On the Day of Judgment, those who entitled to reward from Allah will be called. No one rises except the one who pardons and reconciles. It is sufficient that Allah promised those who have patience and pardon others a Paradise as wide as the heavens and earth. Allah says: “And hasten to forgiveness from your Lord and a garden as wide as the heavens and earth, prepared for the righteous. Who spend [in the cause of Allah] during ease and hardship and who restrain anger and who pardon the people - and Allah loves the doers of good” [Al-Imran: 133].