By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi, New Age Islam
15 February 2020
Patience is one of the most emphatic moral and spiritual values taught by Islam. This is the value that each practicing Muslim should affirm in his life. The greater he is patient in hours of affliction, the better blessings he shall achieve. Allah Almighty says, “Surely those who are patient shall receive their rewards in full without reckoning” (39:10). The Prophet (peace be upon him) is reported to have said, “Whoever persists in being patient, Allah will make him patient. Nobody can be given a blessing better and greater than patience” (Sahih Bukhari).
Through several verses of the Quran and Ahadith, Islam teaches Muslims to adopt the path of patience in hours of afflictions, promising them great rewards, benefits and closeness of Allah. Allah says, “Surely Allah is with those who are patient (Sabiroon)” (8:46). This verse creates ray of hope and surety in our hearts which eagerly seek to fulfill the spiritual desire for meeting Allah Almighty and attaining His closeness. In this connection, what we need to do is simply face all destructive forms of affliction with patience and perseverance. No matter whatever the affliction we are confronted with, we should be faithful and patient.
Having patience is not a difficult task, provided we get to experience spiritual feeling and enlightenment of the Quranic verse “And be patient. Surely Allah is with those who are patient”. The preposition ‘with’ in the verse assures us that we will achieve closeness with our True Lord of the worlds by walking on the path of patience. It is this divine blessing that enables us to face affliction very easily.
Affliction is bound to befall us in this world. The only thing we need to get ready for is patience. Allah Almighty says, “And We will test you with something of fear and hunger, and loss of wealth, lives and fruits; but give glad tidings to the patient, those who, when affliction befalls them, say ‘Surely to Allah we belong, and to Him shall we return. It is these upon whom the blessings and mercy come from their Lord, and it is these who are rightly guided” (2:155-157)
This verse comes to teach Muslims to have patience when suffering diverse forms of affliction which will be imposed on them as a trial. The tests by means of which God Almighty intend to bless the believers and shower His mercy upon them, as stated in this verse, are (1) Fear that may be related to any sort of diverse dangers coming from the enemies or natural disaster, (2) Hunger that signifies shortage of food in any ways, for example, the enemies might leave them stranded without food or provision, (3) Loss of wealth and property by any means, for example, the enemies might repeatedly raid the Muslims and inflict heavy losses on them, (4) Loss of lives, that is, the violent war inflicted by the enemies may also cause loss of life, (5) Loss of fruits, as the enemies will not only cause loss of life and property but will also extend to inflicting loss of crops or the fruits of labour received by any sources. All these losses coming together constitute a heavy burden and affliction, but if the Muslims bear them all with complete restraint, patience, fortitude and perseverance, they will indeed attain great rewards from Allah Almighty.
The part of the verse “….Surely to Allah we belong and to Him we shall return” includes a formula which every Muslim is directed to utter when he is afflicted with any calamities and afflictions relating to life, land and property. There also lies the spiritual truth that we should not take these worldly things to the extent that we lose our energy of patience and perseverance. Since we come from God, we will have to go back to Him and be accountable for our deeds. Therefore every affliction that befalls us should, instead of depressing us, spur us to make yet greater efforts to win better results in life, and that is the purpose should be achieved by way of patience.
We Muslims should take the teachings of patience encouraged by the Quranic verses and Ahadith as a great counseling and warning. Thus it is our religious duty to tightly hold patience in hours of loss, grief and affliction in order that we succeed in consolidating our relation with our Creator and make Him the centre of our heartfelt thoughts and actions.
A regular Columnist with NewAgeIslam.com, Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi Dehlvi is an Alim and Fazil (Classical Islamic scholar), with a Sufi-Sunni background and English-Arabic-Urdu Translator. He has also done B.A (Hons.) in Arabic, M.A. in Arabic and M.A in English from JMI, New Delhi. He is Interested in Islamic Sciences; Theology, Jurisprudence, Tafsir, Hadith and Islamic mysticism (Tasawwuf).
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