Patience - A Gift from Allah


Patience – A Gift from Allah


By Rashad Abdul Muhaimin


Allah, Most High Says;

O you who believe! Endure and be patient…[3:200]

Allah, the Almighty commands those who possess eemaan to endure that which befalls them and He commands that they remain patient. It is indeed a difficult task to do when the calamity strikes but Allah, in His wisdom has provided guidance to this community wherein we may grow in the practice of patience. Everyday, we encounter things that test our patience, from the smallest annoyances to great difficulty. However, it is those who believe and have patience that Allah has favored not only in times of difficulty but in times of ease as well. And know that sabr (patience) is indeed a gift from Allah and He grants it to those who practice patience. The Prophet صلىالله عليه وسلم said;

‘Whoever is patient, Allah will give him (more) patience, and no one is granted a gift better and more comprehensive than patience.’ [Bukhari and Muslim]

When the calamity befalls someone, what better characteristic can one have other than being patient and remaining firm in faith? We all are tried. People have always been tested with hardship and difficulty. The generations of the past endured much more hardship than we can ever imagine, yet they were successful because of their patience, which was directly connected to their high level of eemaan. Allah says;

And certainly, We shall test you with something of fear, hunger, loss of wealth, lives and fruits, but give glad tidings to As-Saabireen (the patient ones, etc.). [2:155]

It is our eemaan that is being put through the test. When we are in need of sustenance for ourselves and our families, it is a trial of faith that we remain patient and confident that Allah is the Provider of sustenance. When we lose loved ones, it is a test of our eemaan that we can say and believe with firm conviction as Allah says in the Qur’an;

Who, when afflicted with calamity, say: "Truly! To Allah we belong and truly, to Him we shall return." [2:156]

The wealth, fruits, families, etc. in reality do not belong to us but they belong to Allah the Creator. However, Allah says that there are glad tidings for those who have patience. There is a reward in being patient with what Allah tests us with. As the Prophet صلىالله عليه وسلم said;

‘How wonderful the case of the believer; there is good for him in everything and this is not the case with anyone except a believer. If prosperity attends him, he expresses gratitude to Allah and that is good for him; and if adversity befalls him, he endures it patiently and that is better for him.’ [Muslim]

So glad tidings to the patient ones! Allah out of His mercy rewards as-Saabireen.

With regard to the death of a dear one, Allah is ever appreciative of the patience of His slaves. The Prophet صلىالله عليه وسلم has said in a Hadeeth Qudsee that Allah, the Almighty Himself has said;

‘I have no reward other than Paradise for a believing slave of Mine who remains patient for My sake when I take away his beloved one from among the inhabitants of the world.’ [Bukhari]

Yet, as humans, we have the tendency to be impatient instead of patient in the face of difficulty. Allah mentions this about us in the Qur’an when He says;

Man is a creature of haste…[21:37]

This is only amplified by this high-speed Internet, microwave T.V. dinner, drive-thru society which creates in us more haste and removes us far from the practice of patience. So when the trial strikes us and we are helpless, waiting on the help of Allah, we may fall into despair because we are not a people who practice patience. We may begin to wonder if what Allah says in the Qur’an is true about His Mercy, His Help, His Compassion, etc. The disease of doubt now has an opening to penetrate and invade the heart of the believer. But as Allah says in His Book about us as well as those generations past;

Or think you that you will enter Paradise without such (trials) as came to those who passed away before you? They were afflicted with severe poverty and ailments and were so shaken that even the Messenger and those who believed along with him said, "When (will come) the Help of Allah?" Yes! Certainly, the Help of Allah is near! [2:214]

Yet, when we have become impatient with our circumstances, we may become deluded into believing that we are due some special treatment according to our wishes and not the Will of Allah the Most High. The Prophet صلىالله عليه وسلم reiterated this when He صلىالله عليه وسلم was asked by one of his companions to beseech Allah for help and safety from the persecution of the Quraish. He صلىالله عليه وسلم mentioned that from among the people of the past, a man would be seized and held in a pit dug for him and he would be sawed in two halves from his head, all the way down and his flesh would be torn away from his bones with an iron comb; but in spite of this, he did not turn away from his faith. And He صلىالله عليه وسلم said that Allah will grant success to this Ummah but that you (meaning his companions) are in too much of a hurry. [Bukhari]

Allah has given us words of encouragement that we can reflect on and take comfort in when we find ourselves afflicted with something. Whatever our situation is, Allah is able to do all things. It is our duty to believe in Him and have the proper taqwa necessary to achieve success. If we do this, Allah will make a way out for us no matter what our circumstances are and grant us our necessities. Allah says;

And whosoever fears Allah and keeps his duty to Him, He will make a way for him to get out (from every difficulty).And He will provide him from (sources) he never could imagine. And whosoever puts his trust in Allah, then He will suffice him. Verily, Allah will accomplish his purpose. Indeed Allah has set a measure for all things. [65:2-3]

Imam ash-Shawkani (May Allah have mercy upon him) comments on this verse by saying that what is implied is that whoever fulfills the requirements of taqwa – that is fearing the punishment of Allah by obeying His commands and avoiding His prohibitions and staying within the bounds that Allah has set for His slaves, then He (Allah) will make for him a makhraj (a way out) of what befalls him from severe afflictions. Imam ash-Shawkani also quotes the statement of the early scholar of tafseer, Al-Kalbi;

‘Whoever has taqwa of Allah and has patience in the face of the calamity, Allah will make a way out for him from the hellfire to the Paradise.’

And the statement of Al-Hasan Al-Basree;

‘Allah will make a way out for him from the forbidden things.’

And from the explanation of Abul-‘Aaliyah;

‘A way out from everything that is oppressive.’

And Sahl ibn ‘Abdillah explains;

‘Whoever has taqwa of Allah in following the Sunnah, Allah will make a way out for him from the affliction of the people of innovation, and He will provide him with Paradise from sources he never could perceive.’  [Fathul-Qadeer]

It is also encouraging to know that the Prophet صلىالله عليه وسلم explained to us the benefit of enduring the situations that we face because this is a means for us to have our sins removed from us. He صلىالله عليه وسلم said;

‘Never a believer is stricken with a discomfort, an illness, an anxiety, a grief or mental worry or even the pricking of a thorn that his sins are not expiated for him.’ [Bukhari and Muslim]

And the statement of the Prophet صلىالله عليه وسلم;

‘Anyone for whom Allah intends good, He makes him to suffer from some affliction.’ [Bukhari]

And know that Allah promises ease with the difficulty as in his two statements from Suratul-SharH;

So verily, with the hardship, there is relief, Verily, with the hardship, there is relief. [94:5-6]

The scholars of tafseer have pointed out that Allah mentions al-‘usr (the difficulty, hardship) in the singular, definite form and that He mentions yusraa (the ease, relief) in the non-specific, indefinite form meaning that the difficulty is singular and the relief, which is numerous will out-number it and over-come it. Ibn Katheer mentions in his tafseer that Al-Hasan Al-Basree said that it was said; ‘One difficulty will never over-come two forms of relief…’; and what Qataadah mentioned about the statement of the Prophet صلىالله عليه وسلم when He said; ‘Never will one difficulty overcome two forms of ease.’ (Meaning the relief in this world and in the hereafter)[Narrated by Ibn Jareer]

We ask that Allah grant us this special gift of patience and make us of those patient ones whom He has mentioned in His statement;

Truly! Allah is with As-Saabireen[2:153]