Sabr - Patience and Perseverance

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Sabr (Arabic: صَبْرٌ ṣabr‎) is moral virtue which comes from the root sabr which means to tie, or in other words to tie down uncontrolled feelings of fear or weakness. Some equivalent English words would therefore be perseverance, fortitude, resolution, self-discipline and control.

Perseverance is Tied to Obedience

"And seek help through patience and prayer, and indeed, it is difficult except for the humbly submissive [to Allah ]" [1]

﴾ وَاسْتَعِينُوا بِالصَّبْرِ وَالصَّلَاةِ ۚ وَإِنَّهَا لَكَبِيرَةٌ إِلَّا عَلَى الْخَاشِعِينَ ﴿

WastaAAeenoo bissabriwassalati wa-innaha lakabeeratunilla AAala alkhashiAAeen

"O you who have believed, seek help through patience and prayer. Indeed, Allah is with the patient." [2]

﴾ يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اسْتَعِينُوا بِالصَّبْرِ وَالصَّلَاةِ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ مَعَ الصَّابِرِينَ ﴿

Ya ayyuha allatheena amanooistaAAeenoo bissabri wassalatiinna Allaha maAAa assabireen

"The patient, the true, the obedient, those who spend [in the way of Allah ], and those who seek forgiveness before dawn." [3]

﴾ لصَّابِرِينَ وَالصَّادِقِينَ وَالْقَانِتِينَ وَالْمُنفِقِينَ وَالْمُسْتَغْفِرِينَ بِالْأَسْحَارِ ﴿

Assabireena wassadiqeenawalqaniteena walmunfiqeena walmustaghfireenabil-ashar

Asking Allah To Help Us Persevere

And when they went forth to [face] Goliath and his soldiers, they said, "Our Lord, pour upon us patience and plant firmly our feet and give us victory over the disbelieving people." [4]

﴾ وَلَمَّا بَرَزُوا لِجَالُوتَ وَجُنُودِهِ قَالُوا رَبَّنَا أَفْرِغْ عَلَيْنَا صَبْرًا وَثَبِّتْ أَقْدَامَنَا وَانصُرْنَا عَلَى الْقَوْمِ الْكَافِرِينَ ﴿

Walamma barazoo lijalootawajunoodihi qaloo rabbana afrigh AAalayna sabranwathabbit aqdamana wansurnaAAala alqawmi alkafireen

Allah Supports Those Who Persevere

"Yes, if you remain patient and conscious of Allah and the enemy come upon you [attacking] in rage, your Lord will reinforce you with five thousand angels having marks [of distinction]" [5]

﴾ بَلَىٰ ۚ إِن تَصْبِرُوا وَتَتَّقُوا وَيَأْتُوكُم مِّن فَوْرِهِمْ هَٰذَا يُمْدِدْكُمْ رَبُّكُم بِخَمْسَةِ آلَافٍ مِّنَ الْمَلَائِكَةِ مُسَوِّمِينَ ﴿

Bala in tasbiroo watattaqoowaya/tookum min fawrihim hatha yumdidkum rabbukumbikhamsati alafin mina almala-ikatimusawwimeen

Success Comes to Those Who Persevere

"O you who have believed, persevere and endure and remain stationed and fear Allah that you may be successful." [6]

﴾ يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اصْبِرُوا وَصَابِرُوا وَرَابِطُوا وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ ﴿

Ya ayyuha allatheena amanooisbiroo wasabiroo warabitoo wattaqooAllaha laAAallakum tuflihoon


  1. Qur'an [2:45] Surat Al-Baqarah (The Cow) - سورة البقرة
  2. Qur'an [2:153] Surat Al-Baqarah (The Cow) - سورة البقرة
  3. Qur'an [3:17] Surat 'Āli `Imrān (Family of Imran) - سورة آل عمران
  4. Qur'an [2:250] Surat Al-Baqarah (The Cow) - سورة البقرة
  5. Qur'an [3:125] Surat 'Āli `Imrān (Family of Imran) - سورة آل عمران
  6. Qur'an [3:200] Surat 'Āli `Imrān (Family of Imran) - سورة آل عمران