Resolve and Determination

Overall Meaning: Meaning of resolve and determination:
`Azm and `Azimah linguistically: It is diligence. `Azama `ala al-amr ya`zimu `azman wa `zimatan (He is determined over a matter, exercising determination). `Azama `alayh layaf`alann (he was determined with him over a matter) means that he took an oath. [423] al-Muhkam, Ibn Sidah (1/533).
`Azm and `Azimah technically: It is going ahead with one’s view, and not wavering after being clear in one’s rightness. [424] al-Tahrir wa al-Tanwir, Ibn `Ashur (4/190).

Encouragement towards resolve and determination in doing good from the Qur’an and Sunnah:
❖ Allah, exalted, says, “It is out of Allah’s mercy that you Prophet have been lenient with them. Had you been cruel or hard-hearted, they would have certainly abandoned you. So pardon them, ask Allah’s forgiveness for them, and consult with them in conducting matters. Once you make a decision, put your trust in Allah. Surely Allah loves those who trust in Him.” (Al `Imran: 159)
❖ He also says, exalted, “My dear son, establish prayer, encourage what is good and forbid what is evil, and endure patiently whatever befalls you. Surely this is a resolve to aspire to.” (Luqman: 17)
❖ Abu Hurayrah, Allah be pleased with him, narrates that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, “Let none of you say, ‘Allah, forgive me if you wish. Allah, have mercy on me if you wish.’ Let him have resolve in supplication. Allah does what He wishes and no one can coerce him.” [425] Reported by al-Bukhari (6339) and Muslim (2679) and this is his wording.

Quotes of the scholars on resolve and determination:
Ibn al-Jawzi said, “There is no lash better than resolve when it comes to instilling morals.” [426] Sayd al-Khatir, Ibn al-Jawzi (p. 67).

Benefits of resolve and determination:
1- A perceived cause for supplications being accepted. 
2- A means to refine the self and acquire virtuous morals. Allah, exalted, says, “Whoever endures patiently and forgives then surely this is a resolve to aspire to.” (al-Shura: 43)
3- Aids in realising piety. 
4- Aids in leaving sins. 
5- A means to rid oneself from the whispers and confusions of the devil. 
6- Best aid in seeking knowledge. 
7- Having resolve in seeking truth gives radiance and majesty of faith. 

Barriers to acquiring resolve and determination:
1- Having a sick heart and weak, defeated soul. 
2- Inability and laziness. 
3- Procrastination, wishful thinking, and not taking the means to establish things. 
4- Fear of failure. 
5- Wavering and not having clear goals. 
6- Having evil expectations of Allah, sanctified and exalted. 
7- Despair and losing hope, and having a pessimistic outlook on life. 
8- Having little patience and not being steadfast. 
9- Seeing the way as too long and being hasty to achieve results. 
10- Accompanying those of weak resolve and who are demotivating. 

Means to acquiring resolve and determination:
1- Relying upon Allah and having good expectations of him, sanctified, in reaching one’s goal. Allah, exalted, says, “Once you make a decision, put your trust in Allah. Surely Allah loves those who trust in Him.” 
(Al `Imran: 159)
2- Supplication. 
3- Sincere faith and sound theology. 
4- Following in the path of the righteous and strong-willed, emulating them. Allah, exalted, says, “Endure patiently, as did the Messengers of Firm Resolve.” (al-Ahqaf: 35)
5- Being swift in execution, not wavering once one has resolve in fulfilling a matter. Allah, exalted, says, “Then, when the matter is determined, if they are loyal to Allah it will be well for them.” (Muhammad: 21)
6- Steadfastness and patience upon difficulty during work. Allah, exalted, says, “Endure patiently whatever befalls you. Surely this is a resolve to aspire to.’” (Luqman: 17)

Examples of strong resolve and determination from the life of the Prophets and companions:
❖ Allah, exalted, says, “Musa said to his servant, ‘I will not rest until I reach the place where the two seas meet, even if I travel for ages!’” (al-Kahf: 60)
Allah, exalted, narrates the story of His Prophet Musa, peace be upon him, and how intent he was in seeking out goodness and knowledge. He said to his servant, I will keep travelling even if the journey is great in length, and even if it becomes very strenuous. This, until I reach the joining place of the two seas.’ This is the place whence it was revealed to him, ‘You will meet a slave among the slaves of Allah, Lord of the worlds, having knowledge which you do not possess. “Even if I travel for ages;” meaning: a very long distance, and this is firm resolve from him, which is why he was able to realise it. It did not deter him from his travel him saying, “We have certainly been exhausted by this journey;” meaning: tiredness. Furthermore, his resolve did not wean when they realised they took the wrong path. “He said, ‘That was what we were looking for.’ So they returned, retracing their footsteps.” (al-Kahf: 64 - 66) The reason why the Prophet of Allah, Musa, travelled to seek knowledge was that “While Musa was sitting in the company of some Israelites, a man came and asked him, ‘Do you know anyone who is more learned than you?’ Musa replied, ‘No.’ So Allah revealed to Musa, ‘Rather, Our slave Khadir is.’ Musa asked how he could meet him, so Allah made the fish a sign for him and it was said to him, ‘When the fish is lost, turn back and there you will meet him.’ [427] al-Bukhari (74).
❖ The resolve of Anas ibn al-Nadr, Allah be pleased with him, is not quietened except by death. Ibn al-Jawzi said, “If not for the diligence of Anas ibn al-Nadr in leaving his desire - and I have heard from the utterances of his resolve that he said, ‘If Allah allows me to witness a battle, He will see what I do!’ He went forth on the day of Uhud, fighting until he was killed. He was not recognised afterwards except by the tips of his fingers - if not for this resolve, his face would not have rejuvenated when he took the oath. ‘By Allah, the teeth of al-Rubayyi` shall not be broken!’” [428] Sayd al-Khatir, Ibn al-Jawzi (p. 139).
❖ Zayd ibn Thabit, Allah be pleased with him, learnt Hebrew in half a month with unyielding resolve. He, Allah be pleased with him, says, “The Prophet ﷺ ordered me to learn the writing of the Jews. He said to me, ‘By Allah, I do not trust the Jews upon a written matter.’ It was not even a month until I learnt the language for him. I even wrote letters for the Prophet ﷺ to the Jews and also read their letters when they wrote to him.” [429] Reported by al-Bukhari hung (7195); Abu Dawud reported it connected (3645) as well as al-Tirmidhi (2715) and the wording is his, and Ahmad (21618). al-Tirmidhi said, “It is sound, authentic.” al-Hakim authenticated it in al-Mustadrak (1/147). al-Albani said in Sahih Sunan al-Tirmidhi (2715), “It is sound, authentic.”

Resolve and determination in poetry:
Al-Mutanabbi said,
“In accordance to the determined do great matters come,
And in accordance to the noble do the noble matters come.
Little matters seem great in the eyes of the little one,
But the great matters seem little in the eye of the great.” [430] Diwan Abi al-Tayyib al-Mutanabbi (p. 385).