all praise and thanks be to almighty allah and peace and blessings be upon the prophet muhammad, his family and his companions.
the present life is place of tribulations and the hereafter is the place of rewards. the believer has to face difficulties and tribulations in the present life, and who hasn’t?! what we need most is patience especially at our time, the time that witness many expatriations, immigrations, exiles and calamities. it is the time when the true believer who holds tight to his religion, is like the person who holds a burning coal.
we will talk about the great quality of patience that helps people go through difficulties and tests. may we all have patience!
what is patience?
patience is adhering to what allah orders us to follow by fulfilling our duties completely. it is to obey the commands of allah and avoid his prohibitions. it is to accept difficulties and conflicts that we face, deal with them patiently and with contentment till they are resolved.
some scholars defined patience as: “restraining the self from grievance, the tongue from complaining, the organs from hitting or slapping the face or body, tearing clothes, hitting objects and all the violent actions people do when angry or in grief”.
the merit of patience and patients:
* almighty allah rewards the patients more than anybody else. he says in the qur’an: “and indeed we will definitely try you with something of fear and hunger, and diminution of riches, and selves, and products; and give glad tidings to the patient, who, when an affliction afflicts them, say, ‘surely we belong to allah, and surely to him we are returning.’ upon those are the prayers from their lord, and mercy; and those are they (who) are the right-guided.” (al baqarah: 155-157)
* the patients are the leaders and imams of the religion; they help and guide others to face difficulties. almighty allah says in the qur’an: “and we made from among them leaders guiding by our command, since they (endured) patiently and had certitude in our signs.” (as-sajdah: 24)
* patience is the trait of prophets:
the life journey of prophets, peace be upon them all, reflects the best examples of patience, forbearance and endurance to spread the call to believe in almighty allah.
* listen to what the prophet of islam muhammad (peace be upon him) said about patience: “whosoever would be chaste and modest; allah will keep him chaste and modest and whosoever would seek self-sufficiency, god will make him self-sufficient; and whosoever would be patient, god will give him patience, and no one is granted a gift better and more comprehensive than patience.” [al-bukhari and muslim] allah’s apostle also said: “how wonderful is the case of a believer; there is good for him in everything and this applies only to a believer. if prosperity attends him, he expresses gratitude to god and that is good for him; and if adversity befalls him, he endures it patiently and that is better for him.” [muslim]
kinds of patience:
there are many kinds of patience such as:
1- patience in obedience to allah:
the muslim should be patient in performing acts of worship because they need effort, will and endurance.
2- patience in avoidance of sins:
the muslim should always resist the temptations that attract him to sins by making them exciting. this needs great deal of patience but it is possible with strong belief.
3- patience in tribulations:
the muslim is patient towards the calamities that befall him in his money, spirit and family. imam ali said: “if you are patient then you will face fate with reward, and if you grieve, you will also face fate but unrewarded.” this means to face it with reward, because whether we like it or not, we have to experience what befalls us.
4- patience on people’s mischief:
the prophet (peace be upon him) said: “the believer, who mixes with people and endures their harm, is better than the one who does not associate with people nor endure their harm.” [ibn maajah]
the fruits of patience:
1- the patients will be rewarded by allah’s protection and sustenance. almighty allah is with the patients as he says in the qur’an: “and obey allah and his messenger, and do not contend together, (and) so you would be disheartened and your vigor goes away; and (endure) patiently; surely allah is with the patient.”
2- multiplication of the patient’s rewards for their forbearance and endurance: “surely (the) patient will only be paid their reward in full without reckoning.” (az-zumar: 10)
3- gaining paradise and salvation from hell: “surely today, i have recompensed them for that they (endured) patiently; (and) (i.e., because) they are the ones who are triumphant.” (al-mu'minun: 111)
4- earning the love and satisfaction of almighty allah through forbearance and patience: “and similarly many a prophet there has been along with whom myriads manifold have fought; so in no way did they feel feeble for whatever afflicted them in the way of allah, and in no way did they weaken, and in no way did they yield themselves; and allah loves the patient.” (al-imran: 146)
motives of patience:
1- contemplating, analyzing and realizing the verses of the qur’an and prophetic teachings and sayings that focus on the merit of patience.
2- believing that everything is predestined and happens according to allah’s fate. this will help the muslim to endure any plight or tribulation he faces.
3- realizing that allah’s decree for the person is better than what the person chooses for himself. in other words, we should submit willingly to the will of allah.
4- remembering that the most afflicted and tested people are the prophets and righteous people, so being tested does not mean that allah hate the afflicted, it means allah is trying him so that if he endures, he will be raised to a higher degree and it will make his faith much stronger.
5- realizing that the time of the tribulation is limited, no matter how long it is, it will end, so it better end with winning allah’s reward.
may allah guide us to what pleases and satisfies him! may allah give us the blessing of the constant remembering of his names, attributes and blessings!