Forbearance

The Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said, “Allah is al-Haleem (the Forbearing) and loves forbearance in all matters.”

[Sahih al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Commentary:

The name of Allah al-Haleem is mentioned in a number of places in the Qur’an, for example the verses in which Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): “And know that Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Forbearing [Haleem]” [Al-Baqarah 2:235]

“Kind words and forgiving of faults are better than Sadaqah (charity) followed by injury, And Allah is Rich (Free of all needs) and He is Most-Forbearing” [Al-Baqarah 2:263]

Ibn Jareer (may Allah have mercy upon him) said in his Tafseer: “This means that He gives respite and does not hasten to punish the one who disobeys Him or goes against His command.” Al-Khattaabi (may Allah have mercy upon him) said in Sha’n al-Du’a’ (63): “He is forgiving and grants respite, the One Whose anger does not overwhelm Him and Who is not provoked by the ignorance of the ignorant or the disobedience of the disobedient. One who forgives when he is not able to punish does not deserve to be called Haleem (forbearing); rather the one who is al-Haleem is the One Who forgives when He is able to punish and Who gives respite and does not hasten the punishment.”

Qiwaam al-Sunnah al-Asbahaani (may Allah have mercy upon him) said in al-Hujjah fi Bayaan al-Mahajjah (1/144): “Forbearing towards the one who disobeys Him, because if He wanted to punish him at the time of the sin, He could do so, but He grants him respite until the appointed time. Even though this is a name that may be applied to a person, the forbearance of a person is not a quality with which a person is born and which then develops when he grows older; it may change at times of sickness or anger, or because of events that happen. His attribute dies when he dies, but the forbearance of Allah abides and never disappears. A person may forgive one thing but not another; he may forgive those against whom he is powerless to exact revenge, but Allah forgives even though He is able to punish.”

Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allah have mercy upon him) said in al-Nooniyyah (3278): “He is the Forbearing and does not hasten the punishment for His slave, (granting him respite) so that he may repent from his sin.”

Al-Sa’di (may Allah have mercy upon him) said in his Tafseer (19):  “Al-Haleem is the One Who keeps bestowing blessings, both visible and hidden, on His creation, even though they disobey Him and make many mistakes. So He forgives and does not give the sinners the punishment they deserve; He encourages them to repent and gives them time to turn to Him.”

Forbearance (patience, mildness, restraint, self control) is a praise-worthy quality which also brings human beings closer to one another, and on this count, Allah loves it.

And Allah knows best!

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