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 CHAPTER TEN ~ The Good and the Bad Patience

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PostSubject: CHAPTER TEN ~ The Good and the Bad Patience   CHAPTER TEN ~ The Good and the Bad Patience EmptyThu Sep 13, 2012 6:26 pm

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CHAPTER TEN
The Good and the Bad Patience


Bad patience is to be patient in abstaining from Allah, His Love and His Will because this prevents man from being perfect and doing what he was created for. This is the worst and most difficult type of patience. There is no religious devotion greater than holding asceticism concerning what Allah has prepared for His followers which no eye has ever seen or ear has ever heard. (1)

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(1) Holding asceticism in this regard means that man does not seek what Allah has prepared for His pious servants in its own right. Rather , He seeks Allah’s satisfaction and wishes for His reward. (Translator)



Once a man said to an ascetic: “I have never seen an ascetic like you!” He said; “Your asceticism is stronger than mine because my asceticism is connected to this life, which is short and yours is connected to the hereafter. So, which of us is better?”

A man asked Shibli: “Which type of patience is most difficult for the patient?” He said. “Patience for the sake of Allah.” The man said; “No” Then Shibli said: “Patience for Allah.” The man said: “No.” Shibli said, “Patience with Allah.” He said: “No.” Then Shibli said: “Then, what is it?” The man said: “Patience in abstaining from Allah.” Then Shibli screamed as if he nearly died.

It was said that patience with Allah is fulfilment and patience in abstaining from Allah is harshness. All people agreed that patience in avoiding Allah is not praiseworthy.

Good patience is of two types: patience for Allah and patience with the help from Allah. Allah, the Most high, says:

{And do thou be patient, for thy patience is but with the help from Allah..}
(Surah 16: 127)

He also says:

{Now await in patience the command of thy Lord: for verily thou art in our eyes.}
(Surah 52: 48)

There was a dispute between people about which of the two types is more perfect. A group of them said: Patience for Allah is more perfect because what is done for Allah is perfect more than what is done by Allah. What is done for Allah is an objective and what is done by Him is a means. So, what is related to Allah is related to His Divinity. For this reason, to believe in His Divinity saves any person from polytheism. People of idolatry believed that Allah is the Creator and The Owner of this world but they did not believe in His Divinity, so their belief was useless for them.

Another opinion was that patience with the help from Allah is more perfect. To be patient for the sake of Allah depends on being patient with the Help from Allah. Allah, the Most High says, {And do thou be patient.} This, He orders His servant to be patient. Then He says: {for thy patience is but with the help from Allah.} This refers to the fact that he could not be patient without the help from Allah. Moreover, we read in a Qudsi Hadith:

“By Me he hears, by Me he sees, by Me he strikes and by Me he walks” (1)

This Hadith refers to the believer who performs the supererogatory Prayer until Allah loves him. As a result of that, Allah will be with him in whatever he does. Whoever is not patient with the help from Allah is like the one who does not wish to be near to Allah. This is what is meant by: “ I am his hearing with which he hears and his sight with which he sees and his hand with which he strikes and his legs with which he walks.” This does not mean the physical organs, as was said by the enemies of Allah, but this saying is interpreted by the Hadith: “By Me he hears, by Me he sees, by Me he strikes and by Me he walks”

In another Qudsi Hadith, Allah said;

“I am an associate to whoever mentions Me.”
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1. Transmitted by Al-Bukhari (6502)


Allah also said:
“I am with my servant whenever he mentions Me and moves his lips for Me.”

In another Hadith:

“If I love My servant I will be his hearing, sight, hand and supporter.”

In this connection, there is a point that must be taken into consideration, that whoever loves an attribute of Allah, it will be a link between him and Allah. Allah is the Most Patient and there is no one who is more patient than Him.

It was related that Allah inspired Dawud (David) and said: “Have My attributes. One of My attributes is that I am the Most Patient.” Allah loves His attributes and names and he loves to see the effect of them on His servants. He is the Most Beautiful and He likes beauty. He is the All-Forgiving and He likes Forgiveness. He is the Most Generous and he likes Generosity. He is the All-Knowing and He likes people of knowledge. He is the Most Strong and He loves the strong believer more than the weak one. He is the Most Patient and He loves the patient from among His worshippers. He is the All-Thankful and He loves those who are thankful.
Another group added another type of patience, namely patience with Allah, which means loyalty. Others said that patience with Allah is the patience in what Allah has destined, ordered and forbidden.

Other people added patience in what is related to Allah and it is like patience for Allah. Allah, the Most High, says:


{And those who strive in Our (Cause),- We will certainly guide them to our Paths.}
(Surah 29: 69)

He also says:

{And strive in His cause.}
(Surah 22: 78)

It was related that Jabir said: “When Allah resurrected my father He said: Say your wish.” He said: ”O my Lord! I wish that You return me back to life to be killed again for Your sake.”

From this we realise two things. The first one is the importance of being patient for Allah, and for His obedience, and man does this with his own choice. The second thing is that whatever happens to man is from Allah’s will and not from the hand of any person.

Some people say: “Patience with the help from Allah brings immortality.” This means that if the servant of Allah is patient with the help from Allah, everything will become easy. Their saying: “Patience is with Allah is fulfilment,” means that patience with him is perseverance in His orders. Allah, the Most High, says:

{And of Abraham who fulfilled his (commandments), }
(Surah 53: 37)

As for their saying: “Patience in abstaining from Allah is harshness,” it means that there is no harshness greater than this. There is no life, peace or comfort without Allah’s love and nearness. Moreover , what was said by Ya’qub (as the Qur’an states) refers to this. He said:

{(For me) patience is most fitting.}
(Surah 12:18)
Then his longing for his son, Yusuf (Joseph) made him say:

{How great is my grief for Joseph!}
(Surah 12: 84)

This does not contradict the first saying, but it means that he did not complain to others. Ya’qub said (also as the Qur’an states) :

{I only complain of my distraction and anguish to Allah.}
(Surah 12:86)

In this connection, we may remember that Allah, the Most High, ordered his messenger Muhammad (pbuh) to hold the most fitting patience and he obeyed Him and said:

"O Allah! I complain to You of my weakness and helplessness.”

Some scholars added another type of patience and called it “holding patience in the face of patience”.
They said it means that man holds patience so deeply to the extent that he becomes unable to be patient.

Actually, this is involved in the other types of patience, as it denotes perseverance in holding patience.
After all, Allah knows best.

Click Here to go to Chapter Eleven.


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