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 CHAPTER TWELVE ~ Factors that Support Patience

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CHAPTER TWELVE ~ Factors that Support Patience Empty
PostSubject: CHAPTER TWELVE ~ Factors that Support Patience   CHAPTER TWELVE ~ Factors that Support Patience EmptyMon Sep 17, 2012 7:16 pm

As Salamu Alaikum

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Factors that Support Patience

Since Allah has commanded patience, He has also provided some means that lead to and support it. Whenever Allah ordains something, He grants the necessary help and appoints the way to maintain it.

Allah never inflicts a disease except He provides its remedy by which, recovery is ensured, if He wills.

Though difficult for the soul, patience is possible to attain and something to strive for. Patience has two aspects: theory and practice. In these, cures of the hearts and the body are found.

The theoretical aspect, as well as the practical, should be present so that the most effective treatment may be facilitated.

The theoretical aspect requires us to get acquainted with good ness, benefits, bliss and perfection of this obligation; as well as the evil and harm of what is forbidden.

When both are realized, and man adds to them his truthful resolution, powerful will and his sense of honor, patience is the result. When this occurs, hardships become of little importance, bitterness become pleasure and man’s agonies become joy.

There is a continual struggle between patience and impatience. Both seek victory over the other but the only way to true success is to support one at the cost of the other.

When one’s lusts and whims become stronger and gain supremacy, to the point that relief is unavailable, man is usually tempted by promises of gratification and dissuaded from the Divine Remembrance and contemplation of what is beneficial to him both in this world and the Hereafter. However, if he is resolved to treat himself and resist such a spiritual infection, he can overcome it by observing the following;

First, the negative side of the desires is nourished by that which stimulates and stirs it into action. So to weaken the effect of this process, we should avoid the stimulus such as excessiveness in food. Fasting helps to control and cure the desires, especially if the fast is broken with a modest meal.

Second, to avoid the effect of envy often stimulated by actions like gazing the eyes should be lowered as much as possible. The motivation of one’s will and desire, with which the heart may be moved, are stirred by gazing. Abu Hudhaifah reported that the Prophet (pbuh) said,
“A gazing is a poisonous arrow of Satan’s”.
Satan sends its arrow against an unarmored heart. By “armor”, here, we mean either lowering one’s eyes or diverting them. Such an arrow is thrown from the bow of physical forms. If you abandon it, it misses its target, otherwise the heart would be smitten.

Third, pleasure should be sought in what is permissible. Man’s natural instincts can be satisfied with what Allah has permitted. As pointed out by the Messenger (pbuh), this is an effective treatment prescribed for most people.

Fourth, to ponder the harms of wrong-doing in this world. In fact, if there were neither Paradise nor Hell, contemplating the harms of wrong-doing in this world would be sufficient to lead man away from doing wrong.

Fifth, to think of the ugly aspects of the evil inclinations and whims of his soul. A man, having even the slightest sense of honor, naturally dislikes to be involved in any evil affairs.

The Incentive of Religion

The incentive of religion is empowered by:

1- Glorifying Allah: This means to glorify Allah by refraining from disobedience for He is Ever-Hearing and Ever-Watching. When your heart is full of Divine sublimity, you cannot act sinfully.

2- Loving the Creator: If the heart is full of the love of Allah, man gives up all sins. Indeed, love commands obedience.

3- Gratefulness to the Divine Bounty and Beneficence: A virtuous person can never repay his benefactor with offensive deeds. This is something only the wicked can do. One should fall down in disgrace, out of humility, as he recognizes Allah’s bounties being continually sent down to him, then any repulsive sins seem all the more detestable.

4- Fearing Allah’s wrath and punishment: If man insists on rebellion, Allah’s wrath descends upon him. His wrath cannot be resisted. At the same time, man is weak by nature, so, is in constant need of Allah’s Mercy and Guidance.

5- Expecting loss because of sin: Sinful man is in a state of loss in as much as he loses good both in this world and the next. The smallest atom of faith is better than the whole universe. How can man desire to relinquish it? Can he trade it for a brief moment of pleasure that fades away in no time, but whose consequences will be felt for ever? Desires languish while misery remains. Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the prophet (pbuh) said,
“He who commits adultery is not a believer (at the moment of his sin).”
According to some Companions of the Prophet (pbuh), faith is taken away from him like an umbrella from over his head. When he repents, he obtains it once more.

6- Longing for a victory over one’s self and Satan: When man controls his desires and overcomes Satan, he finds sweetness and delight in his heart. It is a greater victory than one over human enemies. It is also more impressive and pleasurable. Its outcome is more praiseworthy. It is similar to the effective remedy that treats the ailments of one’s body and health.

7- Anticipating the compensation from Allah: Allah has promised to compensate His servants for giving up what is forbidden, and for restraining their desires. They are entitled to weigh each of them against one another and choose the one having preference, so as to be content.

8- Seeking Allah’s aid: The Glorious Qur’an, in more than one Ayah, speaks about the happy persons whom Allah will aid and support. Allah, Most High, says,

{For Allah is with those who patiently persevere}
(Al-Baqarah: 153)

{For Allah is with those who restrain them selves, and those who do good.}
(An-Nahl: 128)

{For verily Allah is with those who do right.}
(Al-‘Ankabut: 69)

Allah’s aid is better for man in this world and in the Hereafter. Eternal success and happiness is so much more desirable a short joy in the brief period of our lives.

9- Worrying about unexpected death: Always in the back of man’s mind is the fear of death, which can take him by surprise at any time. The time of death is unknown for anyone. At the moment of death, the sinful man regrets for his negligence and disobedience. We will not appreciate this fully until our lives are over and it is too late.

10- Making distinction between the real affliction and the well-being: Experiencing tribulation is often related to sins and their consequences while well-being comes from obedience to Allah as a reward and a mercy. Earlier scholars have said, “When we see people in great difficulty, we should ask Allah for well-being. When people try to evade performing their obligations to Allah, become wilfully disobedient and negligent in remembering Allah, then affliction follows.

11- Training one’s self to overcome whims and evil desires: Training is necessary to develop the incentive to fight against negative desires until the sweetness of victory is felt, which in turn strengthens resolution. Experiencing and overcoming hardship is a part of this development. If man withdraws from this battle of the desires, his religion would weaken, and his desires would flourish. If a man can accustom himself to oppose his desires, he would subdue them.

12- Combating the evil inspirations: If man finds his desires overcoming him, he should strongly combat them.
He should neither accommodate nor encourage them, for they grow into wishful thinking. Unless man curbs his inclinations, they turn into aspirations, then worries and anxieties, and finally they become resolutions that are united with intentions and actions. It is therefore easier to dispel the first inclination than to ward off its consequences.

13- Steering clear of relations and means that entice man to incline to his desires. It is not intended that man should have no desires, but that he should turn them into something beneficial and employ them in carrying out Allah’s commands.
In that way, he would be saved from evil, which is the consequence of the disobedience to Allah. If he fails to do this, he would be utterly destroyed.
Every effort and intention must be dedicated to Allah. If man makes it a habit to act for Allah’s sake, he would find it most difficult to serve anything else. On the other hand, he who gives himself uo to his whims finds it most difficult to serve Allah sincerely.

14- Pondering on Allah’s signs, over which He has invited humans to meditate. These are Allah’s miracles, which He has manifested to us. When man’s heart becomes in tune with these wonderful signs, it shuns evil temptations. We wonder at the foolishness of the one who incurs the wrath of Allah and is indifferent to His scriptures and His Messengers. All in all, such a man has given himself up to Satan.

15- Thinking over this world, its transience and its inevitable end. As a result, we find only the malicious and the hard-hearted who find contentment in preparing for their eternal life with the vilest of what the world has to offer. If man only knew the reality of this world and what it contains, he would know that there is little here to benefit him. Violent grief follows those who seek only the world without thought of the Hereafter. Imagine! How could you strive for a profit that only brings chastisement?
16- Persisting on invoking Allah, Who captures all hearts, ordains all affairs, and to whom everything returns. In doing so , man’s invocation is ought to be answered, particularly when his supplication meets with a time in which Allah promises to answer the call of His servants.
Let man never feel distressed due to his outward condition, because Allah tests him in compliance with “none is like unto Him, both in His Deeds and His Attributes. Allah deprives to bestow, afflicts a disease to prescribe its remedy, and takes lives to resurrect them. It was said,
“Oh ye, Adam! Never be disheartened of My saying: ‘Get out of the garden,’ as I have created it for you and you will be accommodated therein once more.”

17- Realizing that man faces two enticing tendencies; good and evil. In fact, his tribulation lies between them. He is either attracted to the supreme companion, Allah, to be a resident of the uppermost Heaven, or he is reduced to the lowest status in the company of the dwellers of Hell. By responding to either one, man reaps its consequences. Whenever he wants to know to which category he belongs, let him consider the whereabouts of his spirit in this world. Upon death, man’s spirit descends to the Supreme Lord, to Whom it was already attached to by nature. This is natural for him, to enjoy the company of his beloved Lord.
Everyone yearns for what he aspires for. Allah, Most High, says,

{Everyone acts according to his own disposition.}
(17: 84)

Accordingly, the pious people seek and hold fast to Allah, Most High, while the wicked follow their own desires.

18- Admitting that evacuation of one’s land is necessary for receiving the showers of mercy. Unless man frees his heart from desires and evil inclinations, he will never attain Divine Mercy. Hence, when man purges his heart from desires and evil inclinations and sows in it the seeds of Divine Remembrance, contemplation, love and sincere Devotion. This is when he obtains Allah’s mercy, and waits for its shower, so to speak, in due course. He becomes eligible to enjoy their fruit. Just as rain is strongly hoped for, so the answering of our prayer is earnestly expected in the recommended times for supplication. The hearts expect help from Allah, especially when resolutions come together, hearts support one another, and the congregation becomes as massive as the Day of Arafa and the Prayers for rain (Istisqaa’) as well as the Friday prayer.
In fact, Allah has appointed these means for obtaining goodness and mercy; just as causes naturally lead to their effects. However, these spiritual causes are even more effective than material worldly ones in yielding their fruits. But man, due to his ignorance and inequity, is so often overtaken by the worldly, rather than the wholesome spiritual aspects. (1)

If man forsakes his desires and reforms his heart, he will behold fascinating wonders. Allah’s Grace and Bounty is withheld because of man’s inner corruption.
When the impediments of the heart are removed, Allah’s Grace and Bounty rushes to man from every side. It is like a great river that irrigates every land through which it passes. Likewise, one who neglects the heart may be compared to a landowner who complains of drought while the river is near form him.

1. These spiritual aspects are called the ‘Unseen” for they are not visible to the naked eye. (translator)

19- Understanding that Allah has created him for an eternal life, for honor without disgrace, for affluence without destitution, for pleasure devoid of pain, for security purged from fear, and for integrity freed from deficiency. However, in this world, Allah has tested man with a life that ends with death, honor that is often followed by disgrace, and security that is often overtaken by fear and anxiety. Everything, in the life of this world, is detected and rapidly repelled by its opposite.
Consequently, most humans err when they seek improperly for bounty, dominance and glory, and in this way man is removed from his high position. Additionally, despite man’s efforts, too often he never achieves his aspirations and even if they are realized, are only fleeting pleasures. All of Allah’s Messengers have been sent only with the call for eternal salvation and entry into the supreme kingdom. A man, who responds positively to their call, enjoys the best of this world and the next and his life will be more pleasant than that of kings.
Renouncing worldly pleasures is a means to power. Due to this, Satan is envious of the believer. As a result, he does his utmost to prevent him from reaching his end.
When man controls his temper and desires, yields to religious incentive, he finds the true kingdom; for then he attains freedom. On the other hand, a king who gives himself up to his desires and temper becomes their servant, driven by both. Only the fool mistakenly concentrates on outward sovereignty, while its reality is servitude. The lust that begins with pleasure ends up with grief.

20- Keeping in mind the fact that a mere knowledge of the above-mentioned is insufficient to obtain this end. Man must do his utmost to put them into practice. To achieve this goal, man is required to forsake his customary practices, which are at odds with self-development and success. In fact, desires and prosperity hardly ever come together. The messenger (pbuh) is reported to have said,

“Let him who hears of the Anti-Christ remain aloof.” (1)
Thus, nothing helps more to get rid of evil than to ward off its means and its most likely whereabouts.
1. Abu Dawud (4319) and Hakim (4/531).

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