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Sunday, March 22, 2009

patience of believer

For a believer, the scope of patience is not limited to enduring difficulties and problems with calmness. In the light of the verse,[You who believe, be steadfast; be supreme in steadfastness…] (Aal `Imran 3:200),
throughout his life, he shows an undeviating commitment to meticulously
fulfilling all the commands of the Qur’an, to avoiding what is
unlawful, to displaying moral perfection in every situation, without
becoming daunted or losing heart.

In short, he resolutely shows
the patience and good manners prescribed by the religion. That is
because one can develop these noble character traits only if one makes
a steady effort. It is the people of faith who exhibit patience when
making such efforts. As the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be
upon him) informed Muslims in the following hadith, they know that
patience is a gift for them from Allah: “No-one can be given a better
and more abundant gift than patience” (Bukhari and Muslim). That
is why patience permeates the entire life of a man of faith and
manifests itself in all his acts and attitudes. A believer shows
profound patience in compliance with the command of our Lord, [So be
patient with gracious patience] (Al-Ma`arij 70:5).
He shows patience in humility and becomes the most humble person; he
shows patience in spending for the cause of Allah and becomes the most
generous person; he shows patience in not preferring his own self and
becomes the most self-sacrificing person… The
following example in the Qur’an about the patience evinced in
displaying moral perfection will give us a better understanding of this
concept: [A
good action and a bad action are not the same. Requite the bad with
something better and, if there is enmity between you and someone else,
he will become like a bosom friend. None will attain this attribute
save those who are truly steadfast. None will attain it save those who
have great good fortune] (Fussilat 41:34-35).
the verse points out, Allah commands man to respond to an evil act in
the best manner possible and stresses that only those who are patient
can be successful in doing so. This example clearly shows that if moral
perfection is to be displayed, it is important to be patient. Never
feeling frustrated in the face of events that are seemingly negative is
another attribute of a believer. Alternatively, when he has a blessing
bestowed upon him he never becomes spoiled. An
individual can be very generous, self-sacrificing and very humble at
certain times of his life. Or, he may remain strong in the face of
hardships. However, failure to demonstrate these favorable character
traits under certain conditions, and thus having some limits or weak
points, may invalidate one’s preceding efforts to conducting oneself
correctly. One must incorporate all these values in one's character.
These qualities must be far from being imitative, fake, shallow or
temporary; they must be components of an established Qur’anic
structure. Allah also states that consistently displayed good values
that have become an integral part of one’s character are worthy in
Allah’s sight:[… But, in your Lord’s sight, right actions which are lasting bring a better reward and are a better basis for hope of salvation.] (Al-Kahf 18:46)
is one of the most important signs of a believer’s sincerity and
efforts to draw near to Allah: one can only show patience in relation
with his sincerity and closeness to Allah. Believers who are committed
to displaying these traits compete with other believers in being
patient. If making a sacrifice is in question, they conduct themselves
most correctly and bring all their material and physical resources into
play. Attention is drawn to this trait in a verse which reads:[…those who are steadfast in seeking the face of their Lord…] (Ar-Ra`d 13:22).
Encountering a difficulty, such people turn to Allah without harboring
any feelings of distress or uncertainty in their hearts. This was also
expressed by the Prophet: “Wondrous
are the believer’s affairs. For him there is good in all his affairs,
and this is so only for the believer. When something pleasing happens
to him, he is grateful, and that is good for him; and when something
displeasing happens to him, he is patient, and that is good for him”
(Muslim). People
often misinterpret patience and think of it as “putting up with
something.” This is but a distant connotation of patience experienced
and felt by a believer, since “putting up with something” is an
obligatory form of endurance shown in the face of a distressing and
painful situation.
patience shown for the cause of Allah, however, is not a source of
distress, but a great cause of pleasure and happiness. A man of
perfected faith shows patience in order to earn the approval of Allah,
and thus does not become depressed. On the contrary, with the hope of
receiving the blessings and rewards Allah promises in return for his
patience, he derives great pleasure from it. Allah informs us in the
Qur’an that patience is distressing for disbelievers: [Seek help in steadfastness and prayer. But that is a very hard thing, except for the humble] (Al-Baqarah 2:45). The
patience of a believer is so profound that his patience and imploration
never wavers, even though he cannot eliminate a problem or attain his
wishes until death overtakes him. He knows that Allah keeps everything
under His control and that he will earn great rewards in return for his
patience. For this reason, he is content with Allah no matter what
situations he encounters, he believes in His eternal compassion and
mercy, and puts his trust in Him. If Allah does not answer his call
immediately, he certainly knows a greater goodness and beauty are
hidden in this. He never forgets that Allah answers all prayers and
gives an excellent reward to those who are patient. And His promise is

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