"The station of sabr (patience) is associated with the spiritual maturity that we need for a long journey during which we have to bear the burdens and difficulties of a life of seeming separation. A story told by the tenth-century Sufi master, Sarraj, illustrates this as the most difficult form of patience the patience of enduring His Absence:
"A man stood before Shibli (God's compassion upon him) and said to him: 'Which act of patience is hardest for one who is patient?'
"Shibli said: 'Patience in God.'
" 'No,' the man said.
"Shibli said: 'Patience for God.'
"The man said: 'No.'
"Shibli said: 'The patience with God.'
" 'No,' he said.
"Shibli grew angry and said: 'Damn you, what then?'
"The man said: 'Patience without God Most High.'
"Shibli let out a scream that nearly tore apart his spirit.”