Patience is divided into Wajib (obligatory), Mandub (recommended), Madhur (interdict), Makruh (reprehensible) and Mubah (permissible).
Obligatory patience has three kinds: patience in abstaining from what is forbidden, patience in performing what is obligatory, and patience during calamities which are beyond man’s control like illness, poverty and others.
Recommended patience is that is held in abstaining from what is disliked, in performing what is liked and in abstaining from taking revenge from others.
Interdict patience has many kinds. For example, there are holding patience in abstaining from eating and drinking to death, and abstaining from eating dead meat, blood and pork during famine when death is inevitable unless man eats them. Tawus and Imam Ahmad said: “Whoever is obliged to eat dead meat or blood and he does not and then he dies, he will enter Hell-fire.”
If someone asked: “What about holding patience in abstaining from begging?” The companions of imam Ahmad said that this kind of patience is permissible. “But what if a man fears that if he does not beg, he will die?” It was said that he will not, for Allah will give him his means of livelihood. Many of the companions of Ahmad and Ash-Shafi’I maintained that he has to beg and if he does not, he will be disobedient because begging will be his protection from death.
Interdict patience includes calmness and forbearance in whatever causes one’s death like lions, snakes, fire, or an unbeliever who wants to kill him. It also includes patience in the face of fitnah (turmoil and seduction).
The Prophet (pbuh) was asked about this matter and he said:
“Be like the best of Adam’s sons.”
In addition, he said in another tradition:
“Be like the servant of Allah who is killed and do not be like the servant of Allah who kills.”
And according to another narration:
“Let him carry his sin and your sin.”
And another narration reads:
“If the brightness of the sword dazzles you, put your hands over your face.”
Allah the Most High, narrated the surrender of the best of Adam’s sons and how Allah praised him. On the other hand, the Muslim must kill the unbeliever because he has to defend himself and the main reason for Jihad is to defend oneself and Muslims.
Reprehensible patience has many forms, such as patience in abstaining from food, drink, clothes and sex with one’s wife on condition that she agrees on it and that this does not cause harm to him. Also, there are patience in abstaining from what is harmful, and patience in doing what is liked or in doing good deeds.
Permissible patience is to hold patience in abstaining from deeds, which one can either choose to do it or not.