Friday, 4 February 2011

Persevering with patience

بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّ حِيْمِ

As believers we must always bear in mind that, when dealing with others we must show some level of patience. When Allah gave the command to all present to prostrate before Hazrat Adam (as) Satan refused. At that moment Allah could have taken Satan to task for disobeying, however He gave him an opportunity to explain his defiant action.

When Allah made it known to Satan that he was wrong he made a dua to Allah and he was given respite. Look at the patience Allah showed to this rebellious creature. And He is The Lord and Master of every single thing.

Allah gave us many lessons in the Qur’an about the importance of demonstrating patience. One of the most popular and potent lesson is the life of Joseph (as). From the beginning, both Joseph (as) and Jacob (as) knew what the end could have possibly been and yet still they bore the trials with patience and submitted humbly to Allah .

When Jacob (as) learnt of the loss of his treasured son he said; “Sabrun Jameelun” – “(for me) patience is most fitting: it is Allah (alone) Whose help can be sought.”

It is difficult to restrain oneself at times because, sometimes emotion takes precedent over the action of the brain. There are certain cells located in the heart that are responsible for the emotional reaction humans demonstrate. So, sometimes before you think you may act instead. These actions originate from the heart.

Allah wants us to establish restraint in all situations. This can only be done if one has complete faith and trust in Him. If you know that Allah loves you, and whatever He allows to happen to you is because of a specific reason then you will understand that in the end He will never let you down. It is out of love that He is allowing certain things to happen. Always remember that Allah knows best and our knowledge is limited.

Demonstrating patience is easier said than done. For example if one looks at the life of Hazrat Umar (ra), you’ll see there were times where he reacted out of haste and after regretted it. Try to culture the emotive responses by refraining from acting in haste.

The brothers of Joseph (as) acted in haste; they didn’t show patience and they acted for themselves. They failed to remember that Allah is All Knowing and All Seeing; as He says in Surah Al An'am;

‘and with Him are the keys of the Ghaib (all that is hidden), none knows them but He and He knows whatever there is in (or on) the earth and in the sea; not a leaf falls, but He knows it. There is not a grain in the darkness of the earth nor anything fresh or dry, but is written in a clear Record’. (6:59)

If something is going to happen to you Allah knows about it and He sees how you are responding. So be careful when something causes you to become emotional. Stay silent because per chance you may act in haste and in a displeasing manner.

Prophet Muhammad (saw) is the best of all creation and look at the discipline and patience he demonstrated, to his family, Companions and non-Muslims. Take for the example the hadith narrated by Hadrat Abdullah bin Abil Hammad (ra). He narrated: “before his Prophet hood I bought something from the Holy Prophet (saw). As my money fell short I requested him to wait at the spot and promised to come back in a while. But the matter slipped out of my mind somehow and after three days when I returned to the spot I found the Holy Prophet still waiting there. He only said, “You put me to great trouble. I have been waiting for you here for three days”.

Look at the patience and calmness he demonstrated. This is our leader and exemplar. When you look at his life you can’t help but wonder how refined and perfect he cultured his personality. It’s difficult to fathom.

Patience is something that Allah recommends for us in Surah Luqman;

‘and bear with patient constancy whatever betide thee’. (31:17)

If we, as Muslims, demonstrate patience when dealing with others you will see a huge difference. We know we are the best of people but we have to show this to others, Muslims and non-Muslims alike. And look at what Allah says about those who preserve with patience;

“Surely the patiently enduring will be paid their wages in full without reckoning”. (39:10)

Sabrun Jameelun is easy to translate in English but difficult to infuse it into our actions. It’s something that will take time and effort.

One of the hallmarks of impatience is ignorance and Allah has told us how to deal with such people;

‘and the slaves of the Most Beneficent (Allah) are those who walk on the earth in humility and sedateness, and when the ignorant address them, they say 'Peace'. (25:63)

Put your faith and trust in your Loving, Merciful Lord; especially when the trials come your way. He allows everything to happen, the good and the perceived bad, and there’s reason and wisdom behind it. Make the effort and let Allah take care of the rest.

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