Imaan Is Patience And Gratitude
By: Shaykh ul–Islaam Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah
Source: Taken from the book: "Tools for the Patient & Provisions for
Translated By: Abbas Abu Yahya
Imaan is of two halves; half is patience (Sabr) and half is being
More than one from amongst the Salaf said: `Patience is half of
Abdullaah bin Masood - radi Allaahu anhu – said: `Imaan is of two
halves: half is patience and half is gratitude.'
This is why Allaah – Subhanahu – combines patience and being
thankful in His saying: "Truly, in this there are signs for every
patient, thankful person."
As Allaah has mentioned in the verses of soorat Ha Mim `Ain Seen
Qaaf 33, and soorat Saba 19, and in soorat Luqman 31. Indeed there
are considerations which have been mentioned for these
classifications of patience and gratitude.
The First Consideration:
That Imaan is a definition for all sayings, actions and intentions.
And this is divided into two divisions: performing righteous actions
and leaving prohibitions; so doing an action is obedience to Allaah
and that is the reality of Shukr. Leaving a prohibition is being
patient in keeping away from sins, and all of the Deen is about
these two aspects: doing that what you have been commanded to do,
and leaving what you have been commanded to leave.
The Second Consideration:
That Imaan is built upon two pillars: Yaqeen (certainty), and Sabr
(patience). They are two pillars that are mentioned in His Ta'ala's
saying: "And We made from among them (Children of Israel), leaders,
giving guidance under Our Command, when they were patient and used
to believe with certainty in Our Ayaat."
So with Yaqeen, the reality of commands and prohibitions is known,
and the reality of reward and punishment is also known. With
patience commands are carried out, and patience also stops a person
from doing that which he has been prohibited from. He will not
achieve true faith in fulfilling commands and keeping away from
prohibitions, knowing these commands and prohibitions are from
Allaah, nor will he achieve true faith of reward and punishment,
except with Yaqeen (certainty).
It is not possible for the slave to remain steadfast upon carrying
out commands, and stopping oneself from prohibitions except with
patience, therefore patience becomes half of Imaan, and the second
half of Imaan is being thankful, by carrying out what he has been
commanded with, and leaving that which he has been prohibited from.
The Third Consideration:
Imaan is sayings and actions. Sayings of the heart, and sayings of
the tongue. Actions of the heart, and actions of the limbs. The
explanation of this is: whoever knows Allaah with his heart, and
does not affirm it with his tongue then he cannot be a believer.
As Allaah said concerning the people of Pharaoh: "And they belied
the Ayat, wrongfully and arrogantly, though they themselves were
convinced thereof [i.e. those (Ayat) are from Allaah]."
And likewise, Allaah said concerning the people of `Aad and the
people of Salih: "And 'Ad and Thamûd (people)! And indeed (their
destruction) is clearly apparent to you from their (ruined)
dwellings. Shaytan made their deeds fair-seeming to them, and turned
them away from the Right Path, though they were intelligent."
And Musa said to Pharaoh: "Mûsa said: "Verily, you know that these
signs have been sent down by none but the Lord of the heavens and
the earth as clear evidences".
So these people achieved the sayings of the heart: which are al-
Ma'rifah (knowing) and `ilm (knowledge), but despite this they were
not regarded as believers. Also, the person who says with his tongue
that which is not in his heart is not regarded as a believer, but
rather he is regarded as being from the hypocrites.
Also, the one who knows with his heart and affirms it with his
tongue is not regarded as a believer with just that, until he
performs actions of the heart from love and hate, friendship and
hostility; so he loves for Allaah and His Messenger, and he has
loyalty to the `Aawliyah (friends) of Allaah and he shows enmity to
the enemies of Allaah, and he submits his heart to Allaah Alone.
Submitting oneself to following His Messenger and obedience to Him
(Allaah), and adhering to His Sharia' externally and internally, and
if he does this, it is not sufficient for him to have complete Imaan
until he does that what he has been commanded with.
So these four `Arkaan (pillars) are the `Arkaan of Imaan upon which
Imaan is built, and it is: going back to knowledge and action, and
abstaining from that which is prohibited, which is also regarded as
action. Both knowledge and action cannot be achieved except with
patience, so Imaan becomes two halves: one of which is patience, and
the other which is the result of this patience, is knowledge and
The Fourth Consideration:
The soul has two forces: a driving force, and a restraining force,
and the soul is always going back and forth between the rules of
these two forces; driven towards that which it loves, and abstaining
from that which it dislikes. The whole of the Deen is based upon,
motivating oneself and abstaining. Motivation towards obedience, and
abstention from sinning against Allaah. It is not possible to
achieve any of these except by patience.
The Fifth Consideration:
The whole of the Deen is hope and fear, so the believer is one who
has hope and fear. Allaah Ta'ala said: "Verily, they used to hasten
on to do good deeds, and they used to call on us in hope and in
And in the supplication at the time of going to sleep, which
Bukharee narrated in his `Saheeh': `O Allaah, indeed I have
submitted myself to You, and directed my face towards You, and
entrusted my matters to You.'
So you will never find a believer except that he is one who has hope
and fear. Hope and fear are not established except on the stalk of
patience, so fear encourages him to be patient and hope steers him
towards being thankful.
The Sixth Consideration:
That everything that a slave is exposed to in this world, does not
exclude that which will benefit him in this world and in the
Hereafter, or that which will harm him in this world and in the
Hereafter, or that which will benefit him in one of these two
places, and harm him in the other. The noblest types of action that
a person does are those that benefit him in the Hereafter, and he
leaves the other world and leaves that which will harm him in it,
and this is the reality of Imaan. Hence the action that benefits him
is Shukr (thankfulness), and leaving that which harms him is