What does the Quran say about Commitment?
In yesterday’s entry, I shared about HOPE. Hope is an important ingredient in staying committed. Without hope, we cannot move forward positively, enthusiastically and at a speed that make sense. Basically, if we cannot see victory in the mind, we will not even try. And many, when the idea is dead at the mind level, become dysfunctional. That is why having hope is crucial. I have always suggested that the most important reason to have a GOD and a belief system is to have Hope. God is the ultimate fountain and foundation of HOPE!
But hope by itself is not enough to get things done and make things happen. Hope is the starting point and the ‘spare tank’ that keeps us going when all else look dim. To stay the cause (some use course, instead of cause) as in the process of trying to achieve until the end, we need commitment.
I define commitment as the “ability to take the first step, stay the cause and complete the final step”. Commitment needs discipline and the ability to ‘force oneself’ and persevere even when you are ‘not in the mood’, facing setbacks, facing opposition and problems towards achieving a goal or fulfilling an obligation.
The source of the power to commit or stay committed is SABR (in Malay, sabar – although sadly I feel that in Malay the strength, width and depth of the word have been diluted to almost the point of inaction).
SABR (mostly translated as patient) is the ability to endure, persevere and be persistent in achieving one’s goal - patience in face of all unexpected and unwanted outcomes but you keep on going, and going and going! Not just sit and do nothing.
Muslim scholars suggest that SABR is half of faith, the other half being SHUKR. This is understandable because the Quran declared that God loves those who are patient at Quran 3:146 and God is with the patient at Quran 2:153. At Quran 2:177, SABR is said to be part of true piety and Taqwa- consciousness.
To commit, we need a heavy dose of SABR.
So here are 12 entries on SABR (patient).
All emphasis are mine to help readers focus on a particular message.
· But withal, if one is PATIENT in adversity and forgives - this, behold, is indeed something to set one’s heart upon! Quran 42:43
· And how many a prophet has had to fight [in God's cause], followed by many God-devoted men: and they did not become faint of heart for all that they had to suffer in God's cause, and neither did they weaken, nor did they abase themselves [before the enemy], since God loves those who are PATIENT in adversity; Quran 3:146
· And most certainly We shall try you all, so that We might mark out those of you who strive hard [in Our cause] and are PATIENT in adversity: for We shall put to a test [the truth of] all your assertions. Quran 47:31
· REMAIN, then, [O believer,] PATIENT in adversity, just as all of the apostles, endowed with firmness of heart, bore themselves with patience. And do not ask for a speedy doom of those [who still deny the truth]: on the Day when they see [the fulfillment of] what they were promised, [it will seem to them] as though they had dwelt [on earth] no longer than one hour of [an earthly] day! [This is Our] message. Will, then, any be [really] destroyed save iniquitous folk?” Quran 46:35
· Say: “[Thus speaks God:] ‘O you servants of Mine who have attained to faith! Be conscious of your Sustainer! Ultimate good awaits those who persevere in doing good in this world. And [remember:] wide is God’s earth, [and,] verily, they who are PATIENT in adversity will be given their reward in full, beyond all reckoning!’ ” Quran 39:10
· HENCE, remain thou PATIENT in adversity - for, verily, God’s promise always comes true. And whether We show thee [in this world] something of what We hold in store for those [deniers of the truth], or whether We cause thee to die [ere that retribution takes place - know that, in the end], it is unto Us that they will be brought back. Quran 40:77
· VERILY, for all men and women who have surrendered themselves unto God, and all believing men and believing women, and all truly devout men and truly devout women, and all men and women who are true to their word, and all men and women who are PATIENT in adversity, and all men and women who humble themselves [before God], and all men and women who give in charity, and all self-denying men and self-denying women, and all men and women who are mindful of their chastity, and all men and women who remember God unceasingly: for [all of] them has God readied forgiveness of sins and a mighty reward. Quran 33:35
o Note: Notice the verse spoke of men and women equally.
· But those who had been granted true knowledge said: “Woe unto you! Merit in the sight of God is by far the best for any who attains to faith and does what is right: but none save the PATIENT in adversity can ever achieve this [blessing].” Quran 28:80
· O YOU who have attained to faith! Seek aid in steadfast patience and prayer: for, behold, God is with those who are PATIENT in adversity. Quran 2:153
· And most certainly shall We try you by means of danger, and hunger, and loss of worldly goods, of lives and of [labour's] fruits. But give glad tidings unto those who are PATIENT in adversity 2:155
· Do you think that you could enter paradise unless God takes cognizance of your having striven hard [in His cause], and takes cognizance of your having been PATIENT in adversity? Quran 3:142
· O you who have attained to faith! Be PATIENT in adversity, and vie in patience with one another, and be ever ready [to do what is right], and remain conscious of God, so that you might attain to a happy state! Quran 3:200
Allow me to quote my favorite quote again from yesterday’s entry,
“So lose not heart, nor fall into despair: For ye must gain mastery if ye are true in Faith.” Quran 3:139