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 CHAPTER THIRTEEN ~ Patience is Indispensable

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CHAPTER THIRTEEN ~ Patience is Indispensable Empty
PostSubject: CHAPTER THIRTEEN ~ Patience is Indispensable   CHAPTER THIRTEEN ~ Patience is Indispensable EmptyWed Sep 19, 2012 12:05 pm

As Salamu Alaikum
CHAPTER THIRTEEN ~ Patience is Indispensable Title10

CHAPTER THIRTEEN
Patience is Indispensable

Man is overwhelmed by various responsibilities: an injunction to which he must be obedient, a restriction which he must avoid, fate which overtakes him by surprise, and bliss to whose Benefactor he must give thanks. As these states are constantly surrounding him, persevering with patience is of paramount importance.

Whatever man experiences in the life of this world comes under two categories. The first is in harmony with his desires and inclinations, while the second is not. Patience is required in both cases.

The first type is concerned with things like health, influence, property, as well as all kinds of permitted pleasures.
In this respect, man is constantly in need of patience in various ways:

First: Man should never rely on worldly comforts nor should they deceive him. Neither should they entice any noble heart to behave arrogantly.

Second: Man should never engage all his time and effort to achieve them, or even to enquire about them. Otherwise, the results will be at odds with his initial desire. Thus excessive eating, drinking and sex lead to utter deprivation.

Third: Man should be constant in rendering Allah’s due therein. He must not forfeit it; otherwise the comforts he seeks will be taken away from him.

Fourth: Only the truthful receives prosperity with patience, so let man be patient in disposing of them so as to keep away from what is forbidden. He should rather curb his soul from doing as he pleases, for it could draw him into the unlawful. Even the soul that is well-armored could be led to shameful behaviour.

Some Early Muslims said:
“Both the believer and disbeliever keep patient in times of adversity, while only the truthful believer remains patient in times of ease, i.e. he does not contradict Allah’s rule in both cases: adversity and in ease.”

‘Abdur-Rahman Ibn ‘Awf (may Allah be pleased with him) described the state of the Companions of the Prophet (pbuh) saying, “In times of adversity, we kept patient, while in times of ease some of us failed to remain patient.”

Therefore, Allah has warned His servants against the test of wealth, children and wives. Allah says,

{O ye who believe! Let not your riches or your children divert you from the remembrance of Allah.}
(Al-Munafiqun: 9)

He also says,

{O ye who believe! Truly, among your wives and your children are (some that are) enemies to yourselves.}
(At-Taghabun: 14)

‘Enmity’ here doesn’t stand for hatred and severance of relations, it rather means love that prevents parents from migration, fighting in Allah’s cause, acquiring knowledge and giving charity, etc.

At-Tirmidhi reported that Smack Ibn ‘Ikramah said: Ibn ‘Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) was once asked about the above mentioned ayah (At-Taghabun: 14) when he said: “When some Mekkans adopted , and intended to migrate to the Prophet (pbuh) their wives and children wanted to hinder them from doing so. Afterwards they joined the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) and found that other Muslims had become more well-grounded in religion, so they resolved to punish their wives and children. Then Allah revealed the Ayah in question.”
We wonder how much integrity and prosperity man may have given up due to his wife and children. The Messenger (pbuh) is reported to have said:
“A child is a cause of cowardice and avarice.”
Imam Ahmed has reported “Abdullah Ibn Buraidah to have said,
“ I heard my father say: “While the Messenger (pbuh) was preaching to us, Al-Hassan and Al Hussein came along wearing red robes and moving with difficulty, he (pbuh) came down from his pulpit, carried them, and seated them in front of him. He then said: “Truthful are the words of Allah ‘Verily your property and children are but a trial”. No sooner had I beheld these two young boys stumbling than I impatiently interrupted my speech and picked them up.” ‘Thus, he (pbuh) gave the Ummah a perfect example of mercy and kindness towards the young.
It is worth noting that persistence on patience in times of ease is much more difficult, for it is aligned with man’s control. Similarly a hungry man bears hunger more easily in the absence of food than in its presence.

The second category mentioned above, which is not in compliance with man’s desire, can be divided into three groups:
The first group is related to one’s freedom of choice. It is comprised of performing deeds of obedience to Allah and shunning those of rebellion. Observing one’s duty to Allah, Most High, needs to be done with patience, for man often resists performing extra acts of worship. In Prayers, for instance, laziness easily overtakes man, especially if his heart is hard and overcome by sins. This is the condition of the disobedient and negligent people. As a result, worship becomes difficult to perform. If this happens, worship is often carried out ceremoniously and ever absent-mindedly. When paying Zakah (poor-due), such a man may be overwhelmed with greed. The same applies to Hajj and Jihad.

Under such circumstances, patience must be maintained in three situations:

First: When starting an action, intentions must be purified, so as to contain sincere devotion. Ostentation must be avoided and the individual must have a strong and sincere resolve to perform the action properly.

Secondly: The work itself must be performed with patient perseverance. Man is required to ward off laxity and negligence, to reconsider his intentions whenever he starts a new work, and to keep his heart constantly full of Divine Remembrance.

It is not just a matter of mere performance, but rather a state of mind; remembering Him Who ordains all affairs. This is the nature of devoutly worshipping Allah. It includes man’s patience to perform rituals properly both in letter and spirit, and to remember Allah always. There must be an incorporation of the physical and the spiritual, as man remains conscious of Allah.

Thirdly: To show patience after completing the actions follows:

1- To constantly keep himself away from whatever invalidates his action. Allah says:

{o ye who believe! Cancel not your charity by injury.}
(Al-Baqarah: 264)

2- Boasting about good deeds must be shunned because this is more harmful than disobedience.

3- Likewise, to refrain from disclosing these acts; for this is also more harmful than disobedience.

A servant, who performs a deed secretly between himself and Allah, gets it written down in the Book of secrets. But when he discloses it, it is moved to the Book of publicity.
Accordingly, let man never think that the carpet of patience is folded merely by completing the work.
Giving up all aspects of rebellion means to cut off customary practices and entirely abandon their votaries, which substantially support man. Habit is a peculiar character.
When desire is added to it, two soldiers of Satan are mobilized, which simple, everyday religious motivation fails to overcome.
The second group of circumstances in which man has no control over, such as death, theft, illness, etc. This is further divided into two types, namely; what is purely outside human power and what confronts him from his fellow-man, e.g., swears and insults.

Those elements which man has no control over contains four aspects:

A) Inability: Being unable to dispel such afflictions, man may be overtaken with anxiety, complaint and discontent.
B) Patience: Man maintains patience either for Allah’s sake or merely for a common sense of honor.
C) Contentment: It is more sublime than patience itself.
However, scholars are in disagreement as to the principle of it being obligatory.
D) Thanks-giving: It is better than contentment. The noble man considers affliction as bliss whose Giver is a Praiseworthy.
Concerning the situations that face man due to his fellows, there exists a further four elements. Namely:
First: Forgiveness and tolerance.

Secondly: Having one’s heart sincerely freed from satisfying his thirst for revenge, from its constant perusal of the crime and his being disturbed by it.

Thirdly: Fate, i.e. everything being Divinely ordained.

Fourthly: If wrong is done to man, he must turn with beneficence to the wrongdoer. This stand yields many untold benefits. Man will be satisfied with the vilest of people if he fails to inculcate ths noble attitude.

The Third group: These actions which he willingly carries out.
Being fully controlled by desires, man neither has the choice nor the power to ward them off. Like love, which starts with choice, it ends up with a disease which man exposes him to. When a man consumes alcohol, he cannot dispel it after taking it. It is at the beginning that patience is required, but if man fails, he should therefore persevere constantly to its end, by trying to disobey the whispering of his desires. In this respect, Satan embarks on an amazing scheme. This is done by getting man to imagine that partaking of something forbidden may be necessary or at least permissible as a remedy. This is, however, nothing more than treating oneself with intoxication or impurity. Unfortunately, some legal jurists have made it lawful, which is incorrect.
Such a remedy does not, in fact, put an end to illness, but rather nurtures it. There are many who have applied it to their detriment, both in this world as well as the Hereafter! The effective treatment is that of patience and trust in Allah, Most High.
Allah says,
{ But if ye persevere patiently, and guard against evil,.. then that indeed is a matter of great resolution.}
(Al ‘Imran: 186)

He also says,
{Behold, he that is righteous and patient, never will Allah suffer the reward to be lost, of those who do right.}
(Yusuf: 90)

Thus, patience and piety treat all the maladies of man’s religion. Patience and piety initiate the existence of each other.
One may wonder that if man shows patience and tries to maintain it, will he receive its rewards even if he happened to be excessive disobedient? Will he be held accountable for its consequences even though they are beyond his control?
Concerning the former question, the answer is in the affirmative, provided that he sincerely repents and earnestly regrets pursuing the unlawful means. In that way, man is rewarded for his patient perseverance; for he strives against his evil inclinations.
This turns out to be a good deed,
{Allah will never suffer the reward to be lost, of those who do right.}
(Yusuf: 90)

Regarding the punishment for its outcome, man is held punishable for both the unlawful means and their consequences, just as a drunkard is chastised for whatever he commits during intoxication. It is self-evident that “prohibition commands no justification.” A man who encourages error or a heretic is held responsible for the burdens of those who follow his example. In that way, Adam’s son, Cain, who killed his brother, Abel, shares the sins of all murderers until the day of Judgement. Allah says,
{That they may bear, on the Day of Judgement, their own burdens of those without knowledge, whom they misled.}
(An-Nahl: 25)
He also says,
{They will bear their own burdens, and (other)burdens along with their own, and on the Day of Judgement, they will be called to account for their falsehoods.}
(Al-‘Ankabut: 13)

One may further ask that how can we sincerely renounce such an outcome, when man gives up only what he knowingly commits? In such a case repentance stands for regret. Man is required to feel remorse for the action, forsake it and its motives, and completely keep himself away from it.
If the result of the action was related to another person, the man is entitled to remove it from him as far as possible. Thus, in order to repent from such actions, a man, who supported a heretic, must proclaim his falsehood so that the truth is made known. This is the way of true guidance.

Allah says,
{Those who conceal the clear signs that We have sent down, and the guidance, after we have made it clear for the people in the Book, - on them shall be Allah’s curse, and the curse of those entitled to curse – except those who repent and make amends and openly declare (the truth); to them I turn; for I am Oft-Returning, Most merciful.}
(Al-Baqarah: 159-160)

Thus repentance, making amends and openly declaring what they had previously denied are the conditions laid down by Allah for accepting anyone seeking to return to Him. Likewise, the hypocrites, who outwardly adopted Islam, but in reality were disbelievers, who supported the Jews against the Prophet (pbuh) were demanded to make amends for their corruption.
They were called on to seek refuge with Allah, rather than the infidels, and to worship Allah devoutly, rather than for ostentation and pretence. Such are the conditions of returning to Allah in repentance.

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