The Arabic term Sabr (صبر) is much more comprehensive than its usual English equivalent, "patience". Lexically, the word "Sabr" signifies "restraining oneself, or keeping oneself under control." In the terminology of the Holy Qur'an and the Hadith, Sabr صبر has three modes:
(1) Restraining oneself from what the Shari'ah has declared to be illegal or impermissible (Haram حرام).
(2) Forcing oneself to be regular in the observance of the different forms of worship and to be steadfast in obeying the commandments of Allah and the Holy Prophet صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم .
(3) To endure all kinds of trouble and pain - in other words, to understand clearly and to believe that it is the will of Allah to make one suffer, and to hope that one shall receive a reward for this suffering. With regard to this last point, let us add that, on the authority of the commentator Said Ibn Jubayr, Ibn Kathir says that if one cannot help uttering a word of grief or a sigh of pain, it does not go against Sabr صبر ، or nullify it.
People generally identify Sabr صبر with the third mode alone, and ignore the first two which are, indeed, more basic and essential. We cannot insist too much on the fact that all the three are equally obligatory, and that every Muslim is required to practice all the three forms of Sabr صبر .
In the terminology of Holy Qur'an and the Hadith, Al-Sabirun is the title of those who are steadfast in observing all the three forms with equal rigour.
According to the Hadith, people will hear a call on the Day of Judgment, "Where are the Sabirun صابرون ?"; at this, those who had been constant in observing the three forms of Sabr صبر will stand up, and they will be allowed to enter Paradise without having to present the account of their deeds.
In citing this hadith, Ibn Kathir points out that it is corroborated by the Holy Qur'an itself: إِنَّمَا يُوَفَّى الصَّابِرُونَ أَجْرَهُم بِغَيْرِ حِسَابٍ : "The Sabirun صابرون shall certainly receive their full reward without reckoning." (39:10)
Tafseer Maarif-ul-Quran -
Surah 2 - Al-Baqara - Ayah 153.