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Who is the Forbearing (halim) one?

By: Ayatullah al-Uzma Shaykh Nasir Makarim Shirazi
In regards to the explanation of one who is halim, we are told that: This is a person who, even though is able to do something, does not go forth to perform it before its time and does not make haste in regards to punishing a guilty person for his crime. He (SwT)s one who has a spiritually large soul and is in complete control over his emotions.
In his work al-Mufradat, Raghib has stated that, hilm means to maintain one's composure during a period of anger. Since this state of being comes forth through a person's intellect and cognizance, sometimes this trait (of forbearance) is referred to as a person's intellect and cognizance.[231]

The halim and Forbearing Person in the Islamic Narrations
1. The Noble Prophet (S) was once passing by a group of people, amongst who was a very strong person who was able to lift large stones. Those around this man referred to him as a very strong person and were amazed at his weight lifting abilities.
The Noble Prophet (S) asked these people, What is this gathering for? The people replied that they were watching a very strong and powerful weightlifter. The Prophet said to them, Should I not tell you of the one who is even stronger than this person? The Prophet (S) then said:

The person who is even stronger than this weightlifter is the one who when is cursed or sworn at, is able to show forbearance and is victorious over his own soul (and desires) and is victorious over his Satan while the Satan is alongside him.
2. Imam Jafar b. Muhammad as-Sadiq (as) has said:
Never argue with a person who has forbearance nor with a foolish person since surely the forbearing person shall take in whatever you tell him (and bear it), while the foolish person shall bug you for arguing with him.[232]
Hilm (an extreme form of patience) and the Halim in the words of Imam Jafar b. Muhammad as-Sadiq (as)]
: . :
Forbearance is the torch of Allah and through the light of it, the person is brought closer to His presence. A person can never become a halim (one with forbearance) except through assistance with the Celestial Illumination of Monotheism and Cognizance (of Allah).
Forbearance comes about through the following five conditions: in that instance in which a person has the ability to show greatness however he humbles himself; when he is speaking the truth however he is charged with lying; when he invites others to the Truth however the people ridicule him; the time when others accuse of him sinning while he is innocent; the time when he asks other people for his right, however they oppose him.
If you give all of those (five points mentioned) their right, then you have done the right thing. Respond to the foolish person by paying no attention to him and by not answering him. Thus, by doing so, people will be your supporters, because the person who answers the fool as the like one who has placed himself in the fire.
The trait of forbearance is the opposite of anger and it is through patience, humility and humbleness that a person is able to gain forbearance.
The traits of humility and humbleness can not be achieved except through realizing the truth of Monotheism and cognizance of the greatness, magnitude and power of Allah, the High. Since the person recognizes Allah (SwT) the all-Powerful as the only cause (of all effects in the Universe) and all-Encompassing and the Sole Assistant and True Ruler over all creations, then naturally he would keep the traits of pride, self-conceit and arrogance far from himself and would seek to show his servitude, humility, humbleness, obedience, lowness, submission, leaving everything up to Allah's will, with complete contentment and patience.
This is what is meant in the noble traditions about the status of knowledge coupled with forbearance - meaning that level and form of knowledge with is coupled with humility and humbleness and which keeps the traits of pride, self-conceit and arrogance far away from a person.
[231] Tafsir-e-Namuna, vol. 19, pg. 110
[232] al-Kafi, vol. 2, pg. 301

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