Sabr is only from Allah: Tafsir al-Shinqitee

Allah says towards the end of surah al-Nahl:

وَاصْبِرْ‌ وَمَا صَبْرُ‌كَ إِلَّا بِاللَّـهِ ۚ وَلَا تَحْزَنْ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا تَكُ فِي ضَيْقٍ مِّمَّا يَمْكُرُ‌ونَ

And exercise sabr, [O Muhammad], and your sabr is not but through Allah. And do not grieve over them and do not be in distress over what they conspire. [16:127]

Briefly commenting on this ayah in his book of tafsir, Imam Muhammad al-Ameen al-Shinqitee wrote:

قوله تعالى : واصبر وما صبرك إلا بالله الآية [ 16 \ 127 ] . ذكر – جل وعلا – في هذه الآية الكريمة : أنه – صلى الله عليه وسلم – مأمور بالصبر ، وأنه لا يمتثل ذلك الأمر بالصبر إلا بإعانة الله وتوفيقه ; لقوله : وما صبرك إلا بالله الآية [ 16 \ 127 ] ،  ـ

Allah’s statement:

وَاصْبِرْ‌ وَمَا صَبْرُ‌كَ إِلَّا بِاللَّـهِ

And exercise sabr, [O Muhammad], and your sabr is not but through Allah

In this noble ayah Allah mentioned that the Prophet (ﷺ) was commanded to have al-sabr [steadfast patience], and that he could not comply with the command to exercise sabr without Allah’s aid and granting of success. This is according to His statement:

وَمَا صَبْرُ‌كَ إِلَّا بِاللَّـهِ

and your sabr is not but through Allah

وأشار لهذا المعنى في غير هذا الموضع ; كقوله : وما يلقاها إلا الذين صبروا وما يلقاها إلا ذو حظ عظيم [ 41 \ 35 ] ; لأن قوله : وما يلقاها إلا ذو حظ الآية ، معناه أن خصلة الصبر لا يلقاها إلا من كان له عند الله الحظ الأكبر والنصيب الأوفر ، بفضل الله عليه ، وتيسير ذلك له . ـ

And Allah has indicated this meaning elsewhere as well, such as His statement:

وَمَا يُلَقَّاهَا إِلَّا الَّذِينَ صَبَرُ‌وا وَمَا يُلَقَّاهَا إِلَّا ذُو حَظٍّ عَظِيمٍ

But none is granted it except those who are patient, and none is granted it except one having a great portion of good. [41:35]

For His statement:

 وَمَا يُلَقَّاهَا إِلَّا ذُو حَظٍّ عَظِيمٍ

 and none is granted it except one having a great portion of good. [41:35]

means that the trait of al-sabr is not granted to anyone except for one who has the greatest favor and greatest portion of good from Allah. This is out of Allah’s bounty towards him, and comes from Allah facilitating that for him.

[Adwaa’ al-Bayaan 2/469]

See also: Dealing with the human shayaateen and the jinn shayaateen: Imam al-Shinqitee

See also: Tafsir of Surah al-‘Asr: Imam al-Sa’di

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2 thoughts on “Sabr is only from Allah: Tafsir al-Shinqitee

    • Good question. The Arabic [ذُو حَظٍّ عَظِيمٍ] means “the possessor of a great portion” or “the owner of a tremendous share” of something. However a share or portion of what is not explicitly stated in the ayah. So, when we look into the recommended books of tafsir, we find a few explanations:

      -That it is a great share of reward and good.
      -That it is a great portion of good manners which Allah has blessed him with that, along with steadfast patience, enables him to repel evil with good and win over his enemies
      -That the great portion is al-Jannah – i.e. that the people who exemplify these good qualities are those who will enter al-Jannah.

      And all of these explanations are close in meaning and do not contradict one another. And Allah knows best.

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