Part 7 Forbearance (Hilm) and Tolerance

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Part 7 Forbearance (Hilm) and Tolerance

Allah (Swt) is patient and loves those of his slaves who are patient. Many prophets and pious people were praised in the Qur’an for their patience. The meaning of hilm is to be forbearing and have a soft approach. In shariat it means to control your anger in difficult circumstances, despite having the ability to take revenge: a person controls his anger. The correct understanding of hilm is to be soft in one’s approach, humble and to forgive.


If a person is not able to avenge and yet is still patient then this is not hilm in shariat. Allah deals with his slaves with this very quality of hilm and forgives them for their sins. Despite having the ability to punish, He does not punish nor seizes his slaves immediately rather gives them an opportunity to repent. He (swt) sends prophets and messengers to rectify and guide the people, this is all a result of his hilm.

We see from the life of the Messenger (saw) the true example of hilm and how he emphasised on hilm in his teachings so that peace and love prevails and hatred and enmity vanishes. I will present a few Ahadith:

1) Abu Hurayrah (ra) reports Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) said, "The strong is not the one who overcomes the people by his strength, but the strong is the one who controls himself while in anger.

‎صحیح بخاری، باب الحذر من الغضب، حدیث 6114

2) 'A'isha, the wife of Allah's Apostle (ﷺ), reported that Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) said:

'A'isha, verily Allah is kind and He loves kindness and confers upon kindness which he does not confer upon severity and does not confer upon anything else besides it (kindness).

‎صحیح مسلم، باب فضل الرفق، حدیث 6766

3) It was narrated from Ibn ‘Umar that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said:

“There is no gulp that brings greater reward with Allah than a gulp of anger that a man swallows (suppresses), seeking thereby the pleasure of Allah.”

‎سنن ابن ماجہ، باب الحلم، حدیث 4189

4) Muadh bin Anas (ra) reports that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said:

“Whoever restrains his anger when he is able to implement it, Allah will call him before all of creation on the Day of Resurrection, and will give him his choice of any hoor that he wants.”

‎سنن ابن ماجہ، باب الحلم، حدیث 4186

5) The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: “On the day of Qiyamah, a proclamation will be made, where are the people of virtue. A small group of people will rise up and go towards Jannah. They will meet angels on the way who will ask them who are you? They will say we are the people of virtue. The angels will then ask what made you the people of virtue, they will reply when we were oppressed we were patient and controlled our anger (despite the ability to take revenge). The angels will say proceed to Jannah, it is a good abode for those who carried out good deeds.

‎اتحاف الخیرۃ المہرۃ، باب فی مجازات اھل الصبر واھل الفضل، حدیث 7786

6) Aisha (ra) reports that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: Allah’s love is most definitely for that person who is patient at the time of anger

‎کنز العمال، حدیث 5826

7) The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) would make this dua: O Allah bless me with knowledge, adorn me with forbearance, grant me honour through Taqwa and beautify me with afiyat (ease)

‎کنزالعمال، حدیث 3663

8) The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: “Indeed Allah loves the modest and tolerant person”

‎کنز العمال، حدیث 43485

A point to note: The anger which shariat prohibits is on those matters pertaining to dunya. If the matter pertains to deen then it is but natural to become angry. In our society we have a surplus of wealth, food and amusement. What we lack is morals without which love and peace cannot be attained. Let’s make an effort to bring these into our life so we can have the happiness of both worlds

Muhhamad Ilyas Ghumman


16th march 2017

Translated by: Mawlana Yousuf Baig