Surah Baqar (No. 2) Verses 153 - 157)
Allah is with the Steadfast
ALLAH IS WITH THE STEADFAST
Sabr is enjoined and commanded throughout the Quran. It is important that believers should bear in mind verses 153 to 157 of the 19th Ruku of Surah Baqar which Pickthall has rendered into English as follows:
" O ye who believe! Seek help in steadfastness and prayer. Verily, Allah is with the steadfast."
"And call not those who are slain in the way of Allah "dead". Nay, they are living, only ye perceive not."
"And surely We shall try you with something of fear and hunger, and loss of wealth and lives and crops;
but give glad tidings to the steadfast."
"Who say, when a misfortune striketh them: Verily, we are Allah's and, verily unto Him we are returning."
"Such are they on whom are blessings from their Lord, and mercy. Such are the rightly guided."
- Believers are taught in Surah Al-Fatihah to declare before Allah:
"Thee alone we worship, Thee alone we ask for help."
In verse 153 we are told that we should seek Allah's help through Sabr and prayer. The precedence given to Sabr over Salat is significant. The word connotes, besides patience and steadfastness, control of fear, anger, grief and selfish desires and acting reasonable. Shah Abdul Qadir tersely explains the word in Musahul Quran as meaning Mehnat Saharna, or steadfast endeavour. Believers are told in LXIV-13 and other verses to rely on Allah. A believer whose faith is true naturally relies on Allah, Lord of the worlds, and seeks His help through steadfast endeavour and prayer. In an earlier verse of the same Surah (II-45) we have:
"Seek help in patience and prayers; and truly it is hard save for the humble-minded".
Freedom from arrogance is an essential attribute of a true believer. Earnest prayer promotes fortitude. Muslims of the earlier days whose faith was firm relied on Allah and sought His help through steadfast endeavour and earnest prayer. Allah helped them and their endeavours were crowned with success. The success achieved by the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and his immediate followers has drawn the admiration of the historians of the world. We should never forget that Allah is with those who practise Sabr, that is, those who are steadfast through self-discipline, which is an essential virtue of believers.
- All that is in this world is perishable except good deeds which are to endure forever. That is what the expression Baqiat-Ussalihat in XVIII-47 and XIX-77 means. Those who die in the way of Allah live forever. Such were those who laid down their lives for the defence of Islam. The term Sabilillah includes ordinances of Allah and desire of learning.
- Believers of the earlier days suffered heavy losses of various sorts and remained steadfast under the inspiring guidance of the Prophet (peace and blessings Allah be upon him) and his Khulafai Rashideen (may Allah be pleased with them). Their faith remained staunch and they remained steadfast in the face of heavy losses of life and property. They were beset with dangers and difficulties but they remained undaunted. A believer knows that we are for Allah and that to Him we are to return. This belief imparts to believers indomitable moral courage, which enables them to bear losses and to fear dangers and privations of every sort with equanimity. It is an essential merit of a believer that he should not be perturbed by privation or dangers, and that he should not allow himself to be overwhelmed by any sort or loss, no matter how unbearable it may appear to be. A true believer's faith and hope are irrepressible:
- "Verily none despaireth of the mercy of Allah save disbelieving folk." (XII-87).
Believers know that "With hardship goeth ease" (XCIV-5, repeated in verse 6). A true believer's faith guides him firmly along the path of moral rectitude. So that any deviation from it is abhorrent to him. The Quran says again and again that the reward of faith and good deeds is freedom from fear and grief or frustration. The notable achievements of the believers of the earlier days in numerous forms of beneficial human activity were due mostly to the high courage and vitality which faith and the moral code of the Quran imparted. They received blessings and mercy from Allah for their faith and steadfast endeavours. Such are the rightly guided.
- The importance of prayer for a Muslim cannot be urged too strongly. It is a valuable safeguard against indecency and sin (XXIX-45), if performed in a sincere spirit. It is also a great aid to self-discipline. We need Allah's aid more than ever to meet the dangers and difficulties that confront us. Let us all seek it as it should be sought---through Sabr, that is steadfast endeavour and strict self discipline, and prayer.