PATIENCE, OH SOUL, PATIENCE
اصبر صبرا جميلا(The Holy Qur’an: Chapter 70, Verse 5)
So be patient in a beautiful manner..”
PATIENCE, OH SOUL, PATIENCE: “I’ll be patient till even patience tires from me.” (Ali Bin Abi Taalib R/A)
Patience.A word as common as difficulty itself. A word as old as time itself. An aspect of good character, without which a man cannot be sincerely praised.
A required aspect of life, without which there would be utter turmoil on earth, anarchy, disarray and rebellion. A quality possessed in all its depth, by the greatest human being, the most Beloved of Allah and the Leader of all mankind (صلى الله عليه وسلم/ PBUH).
A praiseworthy quality possessed by the sinless Prophets, their Noble Companions and all their ardent, honourable followers. A quality, whose virtues are innumerable, whose glory shines as bright as the sun by day and the moon by night. A quality, which allows a person’s memory to imprint upon mankind, for centuries to come.
No one has attained the glad tidings of The Majestic Paradise of the Almighty without patience. No human has reached the extreme heights of piety and the lofty stages of honour and respect without patience. No human has been praised for his good conduct without the glory of patience.
I could enumerate for you, hundreds of incidents regarding Notables of the past – be it from historians and history books or from narratives and ancient literature – of those from all walks of life, Muslim or otherwise. Incidents that depict that their patience took them to heights of piety and success. Incidents that prove that their patience paid off.
We have learnt much about Our Beloved Prophet (PBUH). He had lost all of his children, except his youngest daughter, during his lifetime. He buried two of his wives. He was born without a father and lost his mother at the tender age of six. He was driven out of his hometown by his own nation, tribe and family. Yet, he remained a pillar of strength and cried for you and I even though he didn’t know us! Did any of us ever hear of him complaining? Was he then not supposed to be our ultimate role model?
His companions and Ummah have followed suit. Take a peek into the life of Imam Abu Hanifah. A great scholar in the field of Islamic jurisprudence, who could be termed as a giant in the field of knowledge.
His deep understanding of knowledge, coupled with his faith, memory, sharp intellect, innumerable good qualities and his mountains of patience paid off. His reward in the Hereafter is definite, but the honour and acceptance that he received in this world is soulful. To this day, his works are well known and his name is respected.
On many occasions, he bore the troubles of unethical neighbours and ignorant masses. There was one particular incident that occurred during his old age, where a man called him from outside his home claiming that he had a question. Imam Abu Hanifah lived on a high place and had to descend a flight of stairs to respond. This man called out to him seven times and each time the Imam descended, he said he had forgotten and would call out once he recalls his question.
He kept calling the Imam only to say that he had forgotten his query. Eventually, he recalled it and the question he posed was, ‘Are human feaces bitter or sweet?’ Imam Saheb hadn’t expressed any annoyance. Rather, he responded calmly, ‘It’s sweet when moist and bitter when dry.’ The man further questioned how so. He replied, ‘That’s because flies settle on it when moist and they don’t do so when it’s dry.’
There are too many notables from the past as well as those of contemporary times to mention.
But if you come across a nobleman, take note of the fact that he does possess patience.
If we look at the famous Mohandas Karamchand Ghandi of India, Nelson Mandela of South Africa, Martin Luther king Jr. of the U.S, Abraham Lincoln of the U.S and other top-ranking world leaders, patience wasn’t absent from their lives. Infact, their patience, perseverance and hard efforts led them to their ultimate victory, bi-idhnillah. Today, they are remembered well for their goodness and their works, and their sayings are still treasured.
Dear Reader, if patience was required from such folks and we haven’t heard of their complaints, then why do we whine about our mundane difficulties? Why is it so that when we’re advised to be patient, we question the Decrees of our Lord? Why is it so that when we are told of the blessings of deep faith and patience, we turn our cheeks, as if out of oblivion to our belief that patience reaps success in this world as well as the next? Why is it so that we admire the great people of the past and the present, but we blatantly refuse to follow in their footsteps?
Patience is your pillar of faith, your medicine in this assembly of difficulty and your weapon against the harsh world. It’s the greatest way to fill your bank for the hereafter, it’s the greatest tool to please your Rabb and the epitome of good conduct. Patience will take you to heights that money wouldn’t allow you to reach, it will draw love from others like a magnet and it will attract blessings in this life as well as the next.
It does not mean that you’re weak neither does it depict any srt of helplessness. Infact, a strong believer is patient. Allah loves the patient ones and He states this numerous times in the Quran. Glad tidings have been expounded in the hadeeth over and over again for the patient and tolerant.
Be patient and allow that quality to reap your rewards and grant you goodness, that you may have never fathomed.
I leave you with the Perfect Words of our Creator: و لربك فاصبر
Be patient purely for the pleasure of Your Lord, for He will surely give you the Best of Rewards.