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 CHAPTER NINE ~ The Difference Between the Degrees of Patience

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PostSubject: CHAPTER NINE ~ The Difference Between the Degrees of Patience   CHAPTER NINE ~ The Difference Between the Degrees of Patience EmptyWed Sep 12, 2012 9:52 pm

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CHAPTER NINE
The Difference Between the Degrees of Patience



As it has been mentioned before, patience is of two kinds: Voluntary and compulsory. Voluntary patience is more perfect than the compulsory one. All people perform acts which include compulsory patience, and it is handled by those who do not deal with voluntary patience. This was why the patience of the Truthful Yusuf (Joseph) in abstaining from being seduced by the wife of Al-‘Aziz as well as his patience in prison and the harm he faced, was greater than his patience in what had happened to him when his brothers threw him into the well and thereby separated him from his father. As for his compulsory patience, it was in handling the power which Allah, the Most High, gave him in the kingdom of Al-‘Aziz.
There was also the patience of Allah’s Intimate Friend (Ibraheem), Kalimullah (1) (Moses), Nuh (Noah), ‘Isa (Jesus) and the patience of the last Prophet, Muhammad (pbuh) in making the call of Islam and fighting against the enemies of Allah. For their patience, Allah called them the “Messengers of firm resolution” and He ordered His Messenger, Muhammad (pbuh) to be patient like them. He said:

{Therefore patiently persevere, as did (all) messengers of firm resolution.}

(Surah 46: 35)

The people of patience are those who are mentioned in His saying:

{The same religion has he established for you as that which He enjoined on Noah _ and that which We have sent by inspiration to thee – and that which Were enjoined on Abraham, Moses and Jesus.}
(Surah 42: 13)

Moreover, Allah, the Most High, says:

{And remember We took from the Prophets their covenant and from thee: from Noah, Abraham, Moses and Jesus.}
(Surah 33:7)

Ibn ‘Abbas and other Early Muslims held this. In addition, Allah, the Most High, ordered him not to be like the Companion of the Fish (Jonah) who was not patient like the Messengers of firm resolution in his saying:
{So wait with patience for the Command of thy Lord, and be not like the companion of the Fish, -- when he cried out in agony.}
(Surah 68:48)

Then Allah praised him and told him that He had saved him because of his calling. He said:
{And remember Dhu Nun, when he departed in Wrath: he imagined that We had no power over him! But he cried through the depths of darkness, “There is no God but Thou: Glory be to Thee: I was indeed wrong!.}
(Surah 21:87-88)
At-Tirmidhi narrated that the Prophet (pbuh) said:

“The invocation of my brother Dhu Nun (Jonah) which he said while he was in the stomach of the whale, whoever is afflicted and says it, Allah will relieve his affliction: “There is no god but You. Glory be to You! I was indeed one of the oppressors.”

Therefore, no one is forbidden to say the same invocation, as it was the invocation with which Jonah invoked his Lord. Nevertheless, Muslims are forbidden to do the same thing, which led to his ordeal, and made him call Allah to get him out of the stomach of the whale.
Some people of knowledge said that Allah forbids His Prophet in this verse to do the thing that caused Jonah’s trouble, which was weakness of determination and patience regards Allah’s judgement. Furthermore, Allah does not say here that the Prophet (pbuh) should not be like the companion of the whale who made a mistake, was then swallowed by the whale and finally called out to Allah. Yet He summarised the story and concentrated on its end and objective.

Allah, the Most High, Praises Yunus (Jonah) and other prophets by allowing them to ask Him to relieve their afflictions. Allah praises Yunus by saying:
{And remember Dhu Nun, when he departed in Wrath: he imagined that We had no power over him! But he cried through the depths of darkness, “There is no god but Thou: Glory be to Thee: I was indeed wrong!}
(Surah 21:87-88)

Allah also praises Ayyub (Job) by saying:
{And (remember) Job, when he cried to his Lord “Truly distress hs seized me, but Thou art the Most Merciful for those that are merciful.}
(Surah 21: 83)

He also praises Ya’qub (Jacob) by saying:
{I only complain of my distraction and anguish to Allah.}
(Surah 12: 86)

And he praises Musa (Moses) by saying:
{O my Lord! Truly am I in (desperate) need of any good that Thou dost send me!}
(Surah 28: 24)

The prophet (pbuh) also complained to Allah by saying:
“O Allah! I complain to You of my weakness and helplessness.”

Complaining to Allah does not contradict patience. Allah, the Most High, listens to His servant’s complaints. Allah also blames he who does not return to Him when he is afflicted. Allah, the Most High, says:

{We inflicted punishment on them, but they humbled not themselves to their Lord, nor do they submissively entreat (Him).}
(Surah 23: 76)

The servant is weak and Allah, the Most High, wants him to be patient and to seek help from Him. Allah hates those who complain about Him to others and He loves those who complain only to Him. Someone asked a scholar how can he complain to the One Who knows everything? The answer was that Allah is satisfied when the servant returns to Him while he is in a case of humility.

What is meant by this is that Allah , the Most High,, ordered His Messenger to be patient like the messengers of firm resolution, who were patient in His judgement. This is the perfect patience. On the Day of Judgement, they will commit intercession to the best of them, Muhammad. May Allah be pleased with all of them!

If someone asked, “What is the perfect type of patience: patience in what is ordered, patience in abstaining from what is forbidden, or patience in what is destined?” The answer would be that patience which is related to orders and prohibition is better than patience in what is destined. The believer and unbeliever can be patient. Everybody has to be patient in what is destined, whether they like it or not. On the other hand, patience in what is ordered and what is forbidden is the patience of the followers of the prophets. The best of them is the most patient.

If someone asked, “Which patience is better to Allah, patience in what is ordered by Allah or patience in abstaining from what is forbidden?” The answer would be that this subject has many points of view. A group of scholars said that patience in abstaining from what is forbidden is better because it is more difficult. Good deeds can be performed by both the believer and the unbeliever, and no one can be patient in abstaining from what is forbidden except the truthful.
It is also said that when a person leaves what he loves, this is evidence that the reason behind his action is dearer to him than his soul. Others said that courage and magnanimity are related to this type of patience. Imam Ahmad said: “Magnanimity is to leave what you like, for what you fear.” Thus, the courage and magnanimity of the servant of Allah is according to this type of patience.

Another opinion held that there is no wonder if a man is patient in what is ordered. Most of these orders are dear to the righteous soul in accordance with its justice, benevolence, sincerity and piety. But it is a wonder when someone is patient in abstaining from what is forbidden, which often includes things that are dearest to the soul. This is when a person leaves the good things in life for the good things in the Hereafter.

What is forbidden, calls for four things: the soul of the human being, his devil, his affliction and his life. He does not leave them without striving and this is the most difficult thing for the soul. Abstaining from what is forbidden is considered a protection for the soul from its desires and carnal pleasures. The Prophet (pbuh) said:

“If I order you by an order, you have to do it as best as you can and what I prohibit you from, (likewise) you have to avoid it.” (1)
Another group of scholars said that patience in what is ordered is better than patience in abstaining from what is forbidden because to perform what is ordered is dearer to Allah.

This point, however, has different aspects of clarification. First to perform what is ordered is a legislated action. Allah created the whole creation to worship Him, believe that he is the One, and trust in Him and to be satisfied with him. Allah forbids what is forbidden because it prevents His servants from performing what He has ordered. For example, Allah, the Most High, forbids wine and gambling because He knows that they will prevent His servants from remembering Him and from prayer.

Second, the orders are related to Allah, His worship, remembrance, love and trust.

Third, the need of the servant to perform what is ordered is greater than his need to avoid what is forbidden. There is nothing greater than to know Allah and to be sincere to Him, to believe in His Oneness and to love and obey Him. This need is dearer to man than his soul and his soul is dearer to him than food which builds his body. However, to be obedient to Allah is better for both his heart and soul.
Fourth, all sins are related to two things: to avoid what is ordered and to perform what is forbidden. If a person performs all things that are forbidden until he does a small thing related to what is ordered, he would be saved from the eternal Hell-Fire. Likewise, if he avoids what is forbidden and neglects to perform any order of belief, he will be one of the dwellers of the Fire.
Fifth, when a person performs what is forbidden, it could be forgiven by repentance.
Sixth, the sin of Adam was his performance of what was forbidden and then Allah accepted his repentance and forgave him. The sin of Satan is that he disobeyed what was ordered; Allah punished him, as mentioned in the Qur’an, and has made it a warning till the Day of Judgement.
Seventh, Allah loves what is ordered and detests what is forbidden. The expectation of the servant is to repent, ask for pardon and to be submissive and the decree of Allah is to forgive him. Allah destined that what seems harmful is the way to what He loves. Allah, The Most High, created the whole creation to perform what He loves, that He alone is to be worshipped. Allah the Most High, says:
{I have only created Jinns and men that they may serve Me.}
(Surah 51: 56)

Eighth, when the servant avoids what is forbidden, Allah will not reward him until He compares it with what he has performed from the orders of belief. Also, the believer will not be rewarded for avoiding what is forbidden until it is compared with his intention.

Ninth, the reward of what is ordered is equalled by ten grades and this may be increased according to Allah’s will. On the other hand, what is forbidden is considered only one sin and it could be forgiven by repentance.

Tenth, Allah forgives the sins of the servant during his life in six ways: by repentance, the invocation of the believers, the angels’ asking for pardoning him, expiation of sin, asking for forgiveness, or by the accepted deeds. There are two other ways during his death, which are death itself and its affliction. It could be by the terror and the alarm of the two Angels in the grave, by intercession, or by Allah’s Mercy and He is the Most Merciful. If all these things are of no use, he must enter Hell-Fire and stay there according to his sins.

Eleventh, the reward of orders is recompense and it is related to mercy, benevolence and favor. The punishment of what is forbidden is related to anger and justice. The Mercy of the Most High comes before His Anger. So what is related to mercy and favor is dearer to Allah than what is related to anger and justice. To neglect what is related to mercy is detestable to Allah than to do what is related to anger.

Twelfth, to perform what is ordered is the basic part of the order. It is considered perfection. If the servant performs the order, he will be perfect. For example, to avoid bowing to idols is not perfection, but perfection is to bow to Allah. Another example, if a person stops telling lies about the Messenger, he is not considered a believer until he believes in him, and loves and obeys him.

Thirteenth, Allah orders his servant to perform some things and avoid others. If he performs both of them, then what Allah likes and hates is performed, but the good things which he has done could expiate the bad ones. For example, a king may order his servant to kill his enemy and he does, and he may order him not to drink wine but he does. The first action could expiate the second. Allah created all His creatures like this. This can be noticed in the treatment between leaders and servants, parents and children, kings and soldiers and between wives and husbands.

Fourteenth, the one who performs what Allah loves cannot perform all forbidden things, but if he avoids what is ordered, then he does not perform what Allah likes him to do because to avoid forbidden things is not considered obedience without performing the orders.
Fifteenth, Allah loves the repentant, the benevolent, the thankful, the patient, the pure people, the people who strive for His sake, the people who fear Him and the people who give charity. Allah, the Most High says:

{I have only created Jinns and men that they may serve Me.}
(Surah 51: 56)

Allah created the whole creation for only one reason, which is to follow His Rules.

Sixteenth, Allah forbade things because He knows that they will delay and contradict His orders.
Finally, it may now be clear that performing orders is better, and the patience contained in it, is the best kind of patience. By this, patience will be easy in abstaining from what is forbidden and in what is destined.

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