“Indeed, Ibraaheem was forbearing, grieving and [frequently] returning [to Allaah].”
Do I have these qualities in me? How can I become softer-hearted towards those around me?
Unfortunately, I do not have all these qualities in me. I think I may only have one – which is ‘forbearing’. I usually have a control over my emotions and tend to tolerate a lot of things – for the sake of peace, or for the purpose of practicing self-control, or because exhausting myself with harmful emotions does me no good and leads me to irrational behaviour.
I think the ‘grieving’ element is missing in me though; I feel cold-hearted sometimes. It’s strange because I know where I’m supposed to be feeling something, but somehow I’m not able to. I feel somewhat aloof. This makes me feel disgusted with myself. When I come across something or a situation that demands empathy, compassion, and moreover help, I think to myself: ‘Why isn’t it affecting you enough to do something about it? Why aren’t you feeling anything?’ May Allaah expand my chest and cleanse my heart and inculcate in me ‘feelings’!
As for returning to Allaah, I often do it inside my mind, but I guess that’s not sufficient as it has to even come into ’amal (i.e. by doing tawbah, istighfaar, etc).
Being soft-hearted towards those around us is essential, especially with those less privileged and those going through any kind of pain in life. I can become more soft-hearted towards people by putting myself in their shoes. I think I generally avoid doing this, because then it actually starts bothering me! Of course that isn’t the right approach. I should try to empathize, and really try to imagine myself going through the same thing they’re going through (sometimes it’s really difficult to imagine). Also, I should want for them what I want for myself. I should remember at all times that the deen is naseehah – true well-wishing!
May Allaah enable us to inculcate these beautiful qualities of the Prophets. Aameen.
A Student of the Quran
We must turn to Allah with humility, to ask Him for our needs, to beg forgiveness, in affection and love , for refuge and protection, for patience and the ability to do good.
We must also be extremely humble towards Allah. Arrogant people feel shame in turning towards anyone for anything, but a good believer recognizes herself or himself as poor and insufficient, and sees Allah as rich and self-sufficient, and knows that whatever she/he needs belongs to Him alone, and only he can provide it, and whatever one has, has also been provided by Him.
To be soft hearted, and forbearing requires patience, and we must ask Allah SWT to GIVE us patience. We must also always empathize with other people, and try to understand their problems from their perspective, and analyze the choices they make according to their experiences in life. We all go through different things, and we all take different routes to see the truth.
I donot think I have these qualities in me, but I am certainly working towards them.Alhamdolillah!
Unfortunately, I think I don’t have many of the above qualities. I really need to work hard on all of the above. The study of the Qur’an, being in an atmosphere where kalam Allah is being recited, is helping me in developing the attitude change. I can become softhearted by realizing how Allah states in the Qur’an – what am I really made of. What happens at death? Will I take the attitude with me. How will I be remembered after my death? I have to reform myself and alhumdulillah Allah has given me time to this. I need to think if I am not softhearted, what if Allah decides to be strict with me? Where will I go then.
I can only say that I wish and yearn for the characteristics and traits of the great khalil-ullah!
The kind of patience and forbearance he showed seems unimaginable and unattainable in this life….and this makes me wonder why? He was after all a human being and he had this trait, and we don’t even face the kind of difficulties that he had in his lifetime. Also, it is truly amazing how they asked Allah for a child and didn’t give up reliance on Allah, not even after waiting until reaching 100 years of age to get what they wanted! Now, we are not even patient for a couple of years! We are just looking for chances to give up and try other ways to attain what we want!
Grieving, having compassion for other was another of Prophet Ibrahim’s qualities. Even after receiving good news after waiting for so long, he didn’t forget other people. For me, be it good, normal or bad times, it is always about me, my family, and my kids! I come above all else! How often do I think about my neighbors or when I read in the news about some calamity or another affecting my fellow brothers and sisters do I actually do something about it? I won’t even give it more than a few minutes of my time! When will we stop thinking about ourselves!!!?Oh Allah, please help me to put others needs over mine.
Frequently turning to Allah….If I can take out time to do a few minutes of Dua that in itself is a great feat! I often want to turn to Allah in times of distress. I barely have time to turn to Allah when everything is going well or in happy times, that ironically have been granted to me by my One and Only Allah.
All, I can say is that this critical self analysis of myself in only 3 traits leaves me sadly lacking! I need to become soft-hearted towards others, so that Allah shows me compassion when I am going to need it the most. I need to pray to Allah for a soft-heart, to think of others needs above mine, to have patience and to give others priority in my life. May Allah grant me with the traits of his Prophet Ibrahim (AS).
A Student of the Quran
Out of the above three qualities mentioned I am mostly the second.
Forbearing : I really lack this. I may be tolerant at times, but I lose my patience a lot, especially with my siblings. I’ve tried to become this with those who I interact with, like my tailor , lady who works at my house etc. I would be furious if my clothes weren’t ready, but now I just say : “I‘ll get it inshAllah when it‘s ready.”
Even when conveying the message I may at times lose my patience when someone doesn’t believe that what the message I’m conveying to them is right and what they’re doing is wrong. I really need to make dua for patience and hikmah.
Extremely Grievous : I am definitely this. It really grieves me to find people around me and around the world not believing. I used to have this quality a lot and now it has increased even more. When I wake up at night or in the morning, I all of a sudden start thinking of the disbelievers and their end.
Besides the disbelievers, with fellow believers, I feel grievous if anyone is in pain or distress. I constantly think about people like Aafia Siqqidui and what they have gone through and are going through.
Frequently Returning: I feel I really lack this. I want to be of those who frequently return to Allah in repentance. I try to repent at least 100 times a day but need to do this, especially with all five conditions.
I can be more softhearted towards those around me by treating people the way I want them to treat me and by realizing that no one is perfect. We all make mistakes. I should also ask Allah for this quality because only Allah can grant this to me, if I’m lacking it.
A Student of the Quran