Ghazali on sabr (part 2)

Ghazali lived in 5th century Hijri and his book, Kitaab Al-Arba’in Fi Usul ad-Din, ‘The Forty Principles of the Religion,’ which he wrote before his death, is a summary of Ihya Ulumuddin, and his life’s works and thoughts. In the last ten principles of the forty, he looks at good traits. The first is tawbah. The second is khawf and the third is Zuhd. The fourth quality is sabr. Sabr helps us navigate our journey to Allah safely. Allah Almighty says: وَٱصْبِرُوٓا۟ ۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ مَعَ ٱلصَّـٰبِرِينَ be patient. Indeed, Allah is with the patient. (8:46) Ghazali, in his Forty Principles of the Deen quotes from the Quran, showing the importance of the quality of sabr. Allah has mentioned sabr in the Quran almost 70 times so it appears in the long surahs, short surahs and throughout, because it is a quality everyone requires. Sabr is the struggle between desire and restraint Ghazali’s definition of sabr is the conflict between desire and control. When you can defeat your desire, you reach the point of sabr. The motivation of control comes from Allah, and the motivation for desire is fuelled by Shaytan, who tries to hunt us, trap us and trick us at every corner. Ghazali delineates three levels of sabr – high level is to have full control, low level is to lack control altogether and to be controlled by desire and the middle level is band that the majority of us fall in – in which we keep trying, slipping up, and trying again. Sometimes we are successful and sometimes we fail, but we keep striving and struggling against bad desires. (We are allowed to fulfil good desires in the way that it pleases Allah). Do we need sabr? We need sabr in everything we do, though sometimes we … Continue reading Ghazali on sabr (part 2)