Suratul Ahzab (verse 35 continued)

(One must know) that Sabr (patience) is ‘true patience’ only at the time of the first encounter (of difficulty, sorrow or calamity), that is, when the trial newly appears or it is the first time it has been encountered. After this, it becomes easier for a person’. (Tafseer Ibn Katheer vol.3 pg. 487-488  Published by Amjad Academy Lahore Pakistan 1982)

The verse (35) continues to describe another attribute of the believers and states, ‘and the men and women who are humble’. Here, the beautiful trait of humility is described as a quality of the true believers. In the verse, the Arabic word used is ‘Khaashi’een’ which comes from the word ‘Khushu’ and is translated as ‘the humble men and the humble women’. The word however, in the Arabic Language, has a broad understanding, and refers to much more than the concept of humility. It means peace, tranquillity, friendliness/love, dignity, sincerity, humility and modesty. That which induces and encourages a person to have these attributes is the fear of Allah. Hence, ‘the humble men and women’ refer to those who humble themselves before their Lord (on account of fear for Him) and they inculcate the noble traits that are found within ‘Khushu’ as mentioned in the Holy Quran.

The believers are those who humble themselves to Allah and submit to Him. They do so with their hearts and limbs in all acts of worship as well as, in all their dealings. Hence, on account of this they do not entertain pride in their hearts, and do not display haughtiness and arrogance in their conduct and attitude.

The verse further states, ‘and the men and women who give Sadaqah (charity)’. Here, the noble trait of giving Sadaqah (charity) has been mentioned as a characteristic of the believers. ‘Sadaqah’ is in reality, kindness to those who are in need and are weak. They have no means of earning, nor do they have anyone who can earn for them. Those who give Sadaqah (charity) to them, give out of the surplus of their wealth in obedience to Allah, and being kind to His creation. (Tafseer Ibn Katheer vol.3 pg. 488). So, the believers are those who spend in giving Zakaat, optional charities and spend on the poor, orphans and on needy relatives.

Verse 35 continues and states, ‘and the men and women who observe fasting’. Here, fasting is highlighted as an outstanding quality of the believing men and women since it is the ideal way of purifying the body. The believers are those who observe the fast of Ramadhan, and also observe the optional fast.

Another attribute of the believers that is mentioned is that of ‘guarding one’s chastity’. Regarding this, the verse states, ‘and the men and women who guard their chastity’. It means that believing men and women are those who protect themselves from unlawful and sinful actions. They refrain from all types of indecent dress, conduct and action, and strive to guard the chastity which Allah has given to them. They protect their private organs from such places which Allah has made Haram (unlawful) for them (like fornication and adultery), and uphold the limits set by Allah in this regard.

Verse 35 mentions the other outstanding attribute of the believers and says, ‘and the men and women who remember Allah in abundance’. Here, besides the other qualities which have been mentioned above, it is stated that making the remembrance of Allah (Dhikr) is indeed a remarkable attribute of a true believer. This is a quality that beautifies the soul and body of the believer, and illuminates his heart with the light that comes from Allah. The remembrance of Allah is a very important and great teaching in Islam, which is understood to be the prime objective of all other acts of worship. In other words, every other act of worship is done in order to remember Allah and to establish the remembrance of Allah. For example, in Sura Taha, Allah says, ‘Establish Salaah for My remembrance’. (Taha (20) verse 44). In another verse, the Quran states, ‘And certainly, the remembrance of Allah is the greatest’. (Sura Ankabut (29) verse 45)

            Besides the fact that the compulsory acts of worship bring about the remembrance of Allah, the believers are encouraged and exhorted to remember Allah abundantly through different forms of optional worship. This includes performing extra optional salaah, observing optional fasts, giving sadaqaat (charities) reciting the Holy Quran etc. This also includes the act of praising and glorifying Allah, and hymning His greatness by calling and reciting His beautiful names and supplications which have been narrated from the Prophet (S.A). This act is very virtuous and brings about great rewards in this life and the hereafter.