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 CHAPTER TWO ~ The Reality of Patience

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PostSubject: CHAPTER TWO ~ The Reality of Patience   CHAPTER TWO ~ The Reality of Patience EmptySun Sep 09, 2012 3:50 pm

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CHAPTER TWO
The Reality of Patience

Patience can be defined as a manner of spiritual superiority by virtue of which we refrain ourselves from doing evil. It is also a faculty of the intellect that enables us to live properly in this world.

Al-Junaid said, “Patience is to keep calmly content while facing affliction.”  Dhu-Nun said, “It is to restrain yourself from ill-conduct, remain quiet during affliction and without complaining.” Abu ‘Uthman said, “The one who has patience is the one who had trained himself to handle hardships.”
‘Amr Ibn ‘Uthman Al-Makki said, “Patience means to keep close to Allah and to accept calmly the trials He sends, without complaining or feeling sad.” Al-Khawwas said: “Patience is to adhere to the injunctions of the Qur’an and Sunnah.” Ruwaim said, “Patience means to refrain from complaining.” Another scholar said, “Patience means to seek Allah’s help.” Abu Muhammad Al-Hariri said, “Patience means that there is no difference in behaviour in times of prosperity and that of adversity and to be content at all times.”

The author of this book is of the opinion that: This is beyond our ability and we are not capable of being like that. Allah had created us in such a way, that we feel deeply the difference between these conditions.

At times we can hardly refrain from panicking during adversity, but patience does not mean that we have the same feeling during times of ease and times of hardship. The Prophet (pbuh) said, in his well-known du’a’,
“If you are not angry with me, then I do not bother about anything that happens to me but still I would rather have Your blessings and Favor.” (1)

This does not contradict the hadith which states,

“No one had ever been given anything better than patience.” (2)

Man, by nature, prefers prosperity but when he meets with affliction which is inevitable, patience is the best quality.
Abu ‘Ali Ad-Daqqaq said “Patience means not to object to your fate. “Expressing that one is afflicted, without complaining, does not contradict patience.

Complaint is of two kinds:

(1) To complain to Allah, and this does not contradict patience. The Qur’an states the words of Y’aqub (pbuh),

{I only complain of my distraction and anguish to Allah.}
(Yusuf:86)

He himself previously said,

{So patience is most fitting (for me).}
(Yusuf:83)

Although Ayyub (pbuh) was described in the Glorious Quran as patient, the Quran states the following words of him,

{Truly distress has seized me.}
(Al-Anbiya’:83)

Likewise, the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) complained to Allah, saying,

“Oh Allah, I complain to You of my weakness and  helplessness.”

Musa (pbuh) prayed to Allah, saying,

“Oh Allah, praise is to You, and complaint is made only to you. You are the Only One Whose help we seek, and in whom we put our trust, and there is no power or might except Yours.

(2)- To complain to people by either speech or behaviour. This is contradictory to patience.
It was also said, “Patience is courage.” Therefore, people say: Courage is to be patient for a brief time.
The soul is the mount on which we ride to Paradise or Hell-fire, and patience is its rein. Without a rein, the animal may redirect its course.
Al-Hajjaj said, “Suppress your own souls, because they are looking forward to committing sins. May Allah have mercy on whoever has bound it to Allah’s obedience; keeping away from disobedience to Allah. To be patient, keeping away from Allah’s forbidden things is easier than to be patient in His punishment.
Every person has two forces: driving and restraining. The driving force pushes him towards what benefits him and the other, holds him back from what harms him.

Some people can only be patient during a situation that is advantageous to them, but regarding harmful situations they become weak. They might have enough patience when performing acts of worship, but have no patience in suppressing their desires. On the other hand, there are some people who have a lot of patience in controlling their desires but fail to keep patient when performing acts of worship. Some other people have no patience in either.
Undoubtedly, the best people are those who master the two types of patience.
There may be a man who can remain patient when standing all night in Prayer, enduring hot or cold weather and spending the daytime fasting. However, such a man may not be able to remain patient when he knows he should lower his gaze and not look at women. Another may easily control his gaze but he cannot be patient in enjoining the good and forbidding the evil or to fight against disbelievers in the cause of Allah.
Someone said, “To have patience means that one’s reason and religious incentives are stronger than one’s whims and desires.” People have been created in such a way that they incline towards their desires but reason and religious incentives suppress such inclinations. There is an ongoing war between the two extremes: they win one another. The battlefield is one’s heart, patience, courage and steadfastness.

1. This du’a’ was said by the prophet (pbuh) when he went back from the town of Ta’if after being rejected by its people.
2. Reported by Al-Bukhari and Muslim.

Click Here to go to Chapter Three.

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