What is Patience?
Patience is not rushing into anything. It’s about not stressing or worrying about how things will work out for us. Instead of overthinking, it’s about aligning our faith with the divine timing and trusting that everything that belongs in our life is making its way towards us right now.
What is the beauty of Patience?
According to Neal A. Maxwell, “Patience is tied very closely to faith in our Lord. When we are unduly impatient, we are suggesting that we know what is best–better than Our Creator does. Or, at least, we are asserting that our timetable is better than His. We can grow in faith only if we are willing to wait patiently for God’s purposes and patterns to unfold in our lives, on His timetable.”
Beauty of Patience in the Light of Islam:
The Noble Qur’an says: وَٱصْبِرْ فَإِن ٱللهَ لا يُضِيعُ أجَْرَ ٱلْمُحْسِنِينَ
And be patient; for indeed Allah never lets the reward of those who do good go to waste. Surah Hud – (Verse:115)
Let’s look at the story of Prophet Yusuf (also known as Joseph in the Old Testament). Prophet Yusuf was a man of great patience and forbearance. He faced several challenges in his life, including being sold into slavery by his own brothers. He was thrown into prison for a crime he did not commit. Despite being wrongly accused and punished, Prophet Yusuf did not lose hope or give up. He remained patient and he knew that Allah would show him a way out of these endless trials. He continued to worship and pray to Him, knowing that his circumstances would eventually change for the better. As it turned out, his patience was finally rewarded when he was released from prison, given a position of superiority over his brothers who once tried to kill him and he reunited with his parents in the noblest way.
Look at the wonders of Sabr, of remaining in Sabr because your human mind will never be able to grasp the wisdom behind what’s happening in your life. The question is, ‘Can we be as patient as Yusuf (A.S) was when faced with challenges and hardships in life?’ We get to learn similar lessons from the story of Prophet Ayyub (also known as Job in the Old Testament). Prophet Ayyub(A.S) was a Prophet of Allah from the descendants of Prophet Ibrahim (A.S). He was blessed with everything a man can desire in this world: good health and a devoted family. He was blessed with wealth in the form of herds, lands and servants. But he suddenly lost them all as a test from Allah. God tested him with a series of calamities. First, he lost his wealth and property, but he remained firm and constant. He continued to glorify his Lord. Then Allah took away the lives of his many children. He continued to remain steadfast in service & devotion to his Lord. He then lost his health. He was afflicted with terrible pain and suffering, and such loathsome ailments that people shunned him. But his faith and serenity remained undisturbed, as his heart was with Allah. Prophet Ayyub (A.S) was a man who lost everything, but he did not lose faith in the Almighty. His disease lasted so long that his companions left him and his visitors were disgusted by him. They expelled him from his own city and threw him onto a refuse heap outside the city. No one remained sympathetic to him except his wife. Ibn Kathir narrates that his wife looked after his welfare, helped him fulfil his needs and stood by him throughout. May Allah be pleased with her. After several years of trial, Allah removed his affliction from him and he became as sound as he had been previously. Allah, the Almighty says about Him in the Qur’an:
إِنَّا وَجَدْنَٰهُ صَابرًِۭا نِّعْمَ ٱلْعَبْدُۖ إِنَّهُ أوََّابٌۭ
“We truly found him patient. What an excellent servant he was! Indeed, he constantly turned to Allah.” (Surah Saad – Verse:44)
In his suffering and loneliness, Ayyub(A.S) cried to Allah, and the Qur’an mentions this in Surah Al-Anbiya, verse أنَىِّ مَسَّنِىَ ٱلضُُّّرُّ وَأنَتَ أرَْحَمُ ٱلرَّٰحِمِينَ : 83
“I have been touched with adversity, and You are the Most Merciful of the merciful.”
Allah answered his prayer & removed all his afflictions. May Allah’s best blessings and peace be upon this Prophet. Subhanallah! He has taught mankind the vital lessons of patience and steadfastness. The moment we are tested, we forget all the times that Allah has blessed us. The question remains, ‘Can we be as patient as Ayyub (A.S) was when faced with challenges and hardships in life?’
One of the pearls of wisdom that Luqman (a man whom Allah had blessed with wisdom) passed onto his son was to remain content with Allah’s Decree come what may. If good happens to him, he must be grateful, and when faced with misfortune, he must be patient. He must know that after every hardship comes ease.
يَبُٰنىَ أقَِمِ ٱلصلَوٰةَ وَأمُْرْ بِٱلْمَعْرُوفِ وَٱنْهَ عَنِ ٱلْمُنكَرَ وَٱصْبِرْ عَلىَٰ مَآ أصََابكََۖ إِن ذَٰلكَِ مِنْ عَزْمِ ٱلْْأُمُور
“O 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.” (Surah Luqman – verse 17)
There are 2 things that we humans are defined by:
Our patience when we have nothing
Our humility when we have everything
The language of patience is more powerful than all the languages in the world. If someone hears your bitter words and chooses to remain silent, it does not mean he has been defeated.
Don’t forget that for those who do not take revenge, Allah Himself answers on their behalf. . The voice of the patient reaches Allah through the seven heavens. The dua of the patient shakes everything from the sky to the earth. Allah never rejects the cry of the patient. He Himself promises that I am with those who are patient. (Surah Al Anfal Verse 46)
وَٱصْبِرُوٓ۟ا إِنَّ ٱلَّلَّهَ مَعَ ٱلصَّٰبِرِينَ
This article is inspired by the incidents in the life of Prophet Yaqub (A.S), when on being separated from two of his most beloved sons, he chose patience above everything. The Qur’an mentions these incidents in Surah Yusuf, verses 18 and 83. Ya Rabb! Grant us patience in our times of difficulty, and keep us away from jealousy, pride and arrogance when we are granted everything. “…Our Lord, pour upon us patience and let us die as Muslims [in submission to You].”