Tuesday 10 Muḥarram 1446 - 16 July 2024

Is her immense grief for her father contrary to sabr (patience)?


My father died three months ago, may Allah have mercy on him, and I miss him dearly and am suffering from a lot of mood swings. Sometimes I mourn deeply, as if he died yesterday, and sometimes I feel that I do not want to live. And sometimes I feel numb and do not feel anything at all.… I have studied a fair amount of Islamic knowledge, and I have read a number of religious books, and I attend religious classes and lectures, and I know the meaning of sabr (patience) and the reward for it. I offer a lot of supplication for him, and I usually repeat in my heart, and even before I sleep, “I am content, Lord, with Your decree, for You are the Giver and You are the Withholder, the decree is Yours; forgive me for what I know and what I do not know.” But I still feel confused and wonder if I am a hypocrite; and if I am patient, how can I feel this immense pain and distress? Is what I feel contrary to true sabr, and how can I attain contentment if I am not truly patient?… I have read the meaning of the divine name as-Salaam and I reflected upon the verses which contain this divine name, and I offer supplication for my father, calling upon Allah by this name, saying: “O Allah, You are as-Salaam and from You is all peace, blessed are You, O Possessor of majesty and honour, I ask You to keep my father safe in his grave and keep him safe on the Day he is resurrected.” Is this supplication of mine sound?


Praise be to Allah.

There is no one in this worldly life who is safe from its calamities, whether they affect him himself, his family, his loved ones, his property and so on.

What is required of the believer is to be patient if any of that befalls him, and if he is able to attain the level of contentment and acceptance of the divine decree, then that is better, greater and will bring the greatest reward. We have previously discussed the difference between patience and contentment in the answer to question no. 219462 .

What you are feeling sometimes is not contrary to patience, so long as it does not go beyond being mere feelings in the heart, and is not manifested in the form of words or actions that are contrary to Islamic teachings, such as wailing, rending one’s garment and so on. This feeling (intense grief) comes to a person without him wanting it to, especially if it results from the loss of someone who was very dear to him, as in your case.

But what is required of the Muslim is not to respond to that grief and let himself get carried away with it, so that it will not have any impact on his life and his worship. So do not spend a lot of time on your own, and do not think about this distress and grief. Keep yourself constantly busy with useful things, and do not be a prisoner to this grief that is provoked by the Shaytaan to keep the Muslim distracted with grief and make him depressed, for the Shaytaan rejoices if he is able to cause grief to the Muslim. Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): “Private conversation is only from Satan that he may grieve those who have believed, but he will not harm them at all except by permission of Allah. And upon Allah let the believers rely” [al-Mujaadilah 58:10].

You can attain the level of contentment, by constantly thinking that this is something that Allah decreed and is something that was inevitable, so grief can never alleviate this calamity; rather it only makes it worse.

Always think of the reward for contentment with Allah, for the one who is content with the divine decree will attain the pleasure of Allah, and there is nothing greater than Allah being pleased with His slave.

The supplication that you offer for your father is a good supplication, and we ask Allah, may He be exalted, to answer it and to compensate you with good for what has befallen you.

And Allah knows best.

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Source: Islam Q&A