We live in a generation so fast paced that we expect too much from the world in a short period of time; we expect quick results, reactions and resolutions. The importance of patience is fading away from the aspects of life in which we need it the most. The word patience (sabr) has been mentioned in the Holy Quran around 90 times, therefore it is not something that should be overlooked but rather it is an element that needs to be embedded into our daily lives and in every single thing we do. By learning how to implement patience into our daily lives, we will begin to open doors that we never knew existed.
It might be easier if we break patience down into three different types; the first type of patience in Islam is the endurance needed to fulfil the commands of Allah, the second is the ability and intention to abstain from that which has been prohibited and lastly, the one which we tend to focus most on is patience when calamity befalls upon us. However it is important to know al all three types of patience are equally important and need the same attention in order to live a tranquil life.
Allah has mentioned patience alongside pillars of Islam and Imaan. Patience is mentioned in the Quran alongside righteous actions, gratitude, compassion, faith and truth. Therefore in order to fulfil these attributes one must adopt endurance into their attitude whilst faithfully fulfilling the commands of Allah.
1. Righteous actions:
“Except for those who are patient and do righteous deeds; those will have forgiveness and great reward.” [Hud 11:11];
“…Verily in this are Signs for everyone who patiently perseveres and is grateful” [ash-Shura 42:33];
“…And then being among those who believed and advised one another to patience and advised one another to compassion.…” [al-Balad 90:17];
“…And We made from among them leaders guiding by Our command when they were patient and [when] they were certain of Our signs” [as-Sajdah 32:24];
“…the truthful men and truthful women, the patient men and patient women…”[al-Ahzab 33:35].
How ignorant would we be if we expected good to come to us when we hinder our own paths? Restraining oneself from what has been prohibited is a sign of strong faith and patience. Take the famous story of when Prophet Yusuf (AS) for example, who was faced with his second trial, seduced by the chief ministers wife, instead of taking advantage of this temptation, Prophet Yusuf (AS) held back from what had been prohibited for him. This is one of many examples of how patience is used to hold back from sins.
And she, in whose house he was, sought to seduce him (to do an evil act), she closed the doors and said: “come on, O you.” He said: “I seek refuge in Allah (or Allah forbid)! Truly he (your husband) is my master! He made my stay agreeable! (So I will never betray him). Verily, the Zalimun (wrong, evildoers) will never be successful.” Indeed she did desire him and he would have inclined to her desire had he not seen the evidence of his Lord. Thus it was, that We might turn away from evil and illegal sexual intercourse. Surely, he was one of Our chosen, guided slaves. (Ch 12:23-24)
In this story it is clear that the Prophet Yusuf’s (AS) fear of Allah had been present throughout and through patience, he was able to remind himself in such an alluring situation that he must resist for the sake of Allah. Therefore it is vital to have patience during temptations; after all we have been placed on this earth to be tested, it’s how we react to the test that counts.
Lastly, we all face hardships in life -that is the nature of the world; we go through ups and downs, highs and lows. However what seems to be the issue amongst us today is that we only ever remind each other to be patient when we face struggles. We need patience throughout our lives, no matter what it is. Calamities are placed into our lives, only to by the will of Allah, and He does not burden a soul more than it can bear. Therefore we must trust and surrender to the will of Allah, with a heart full of hope, knowing that this difficulty is for our own self growth and will help us become closer to Our creator if we face it with patience and faith.
The prophet The Prophet (SAW) said:
“How wonderful is the affair of the believer, for his affairs are all good, and that does not apply for anyone except the believer. If something good happens to him he gives thanks, and that is good for him; if something bad happens to him he bears it with patience, and that is good for him.”
Saheeh Muslim, 2999
Always remember that your patience will never go unrewarded whether it is in this life or the next. The reward of every deed is known except for patience, imagine being amongst those who the angels will salute on the day of judgement- yes those will be the people of patience.
“…And the angels will enter upon them from every gate, [saying],”Peace be upon you for what you patiently endured. And excellent is the final home.” [ar-Ra’d 13:23-24].