------ and reap the reward at last
PATIENCE BY KHAWAR KHAN ACHAKZAI
Muslims the world over are in trouble. Be it the individual life of a Muslim brother or the Ummah as a whole, life seems more or less gloomy. But even in the times of tribulations a Muslim is not supposed to lose hope in Allah. A believer is never expected to be hopeless as Allah mentions in the Quran:
“Verily, with every difficulty there is relief.”(94:5.6)
In these verses Allah promises relief with every difficulty. So when an affliction befalls a Muslim he should be patient for the relief to follow. One may wonder that instead of being among the best of the creation i.e. the humans and then best among all the men i.e. the Muslims, why is it that we always have to face the difficulties of this world. The answer lies in Quran: “Be sure that we shall test you with something of fear and hunger some loss in lives or the goods or the fruits(of your toil) but give glad tidings to those who patiently persevere” (2:155)
Allah reminds us that all the people were tried and tested in life and calls upon the Muslims to bear this test with perseverance and patience. Furthermore Allah says,
“And we shall try you until we test those among you who strive their utmost and perseverance in patience and we shall try your reported mettle” (47:31)
Muslims in general have to undergo so many trials. The men in some places are not allowed to pray or exercise other religious duties. Anyone sporting beard is always under suspicion; women in the West are looked down upon if they do hijab. Also the atrocities on Muslims are not hidden from anybody. A Muslim is always a soft target for the authorities.
As far as personal life is concerned, at work we are sometimes denied a promotion, treated unfairly, or even fired. At home, our children may be a test for us especially in this world of violence, drugs, and video games. Some of us may go through a divorce. Others may find that they have an illness that is very challenging. Dear members of our family or friends may die. Often, it is very trying on us, and many of us fall into despair. It is important during these times not to lose hope, but rather have patience.
The Prophet (PBUH) said: “God is with the ones who are patient”. It is only by being patient that Allah is able to test our faith and devotion to Islam.
The Qur’an defines patience as one of the paths that lead people from darkness to light and as an attribute of morality that is superior to and very different from the daily behaviour of many people. True patience is a moral characteristic of a Muslim displayed in the phase of difficulty and in every moment of life. Moreover, it requires the demonstration of determination and consistency during times of ease and hardship, and is a lifelong endeavour that never goes astray, even for a moment.
The messenger of Allah said: “Whenever Allah intends to do good to a servant, He hastens to punish him in this world. And whenever Allaah intends evil for a servant, He postpones the punishment until the Day of Judgment.”
Shaykhul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah said, “The occurrence of afflictions are actually a form of blessing, since they are an expiation for sins committed and they call for a person to have sabr – for which he is duly rewarded. Likewise they cause the person to turn to Allah in repentance, being humble and submissive before Him, whilst at the same time turning away from hoping in any of the creation.”, as Allah says in the Quran:
“And be steadfast in patience, for verily Allah will not suffer the reward of the righteous to perish.”(11:115)
Thus, the afflictions which befall a person are actually the cause of Allah washing away his previous sins and this surely is among the blessings of Allah. Hence these afflictions are the source of bounty and mercy provided that the person does not lose hope and become rebellious to Allah. For this the affliction will become a source of greater evil for them. Indeed, there are people who – when afflicted with a trial or a affliction; such as poverty, illness or starvation – feel a sense of ingratitude and disbelief. They even abandon certain obligations or commit certain prohibited acts – all of which is extremely harmful to one’s religion and incites the wrath of Allah. So whosoever is afflicted with a calamity and is provided with sabr, then this sabr is a blessing for the person and a mercy for him, since his sins are expiated due to it. Allah praises such people as:
“They are those on whom are the blessings and praises from their Lord and His mercy. They are the ones who are guided.” (2:157)
Hence such people are sure to receive three of the rewards:
1. Blessings from Allah. The patient person is blessed by Allah
2. Mercy of Allah. When Allah gives someone His Mercy, He will let him enter paradise with His Mercy.
3. Guidance of Allah. A patient person will be guided by Allah in this world until he meets Him on the Day of Judgment.
Allah tells us that He loves those who are patient, and that is the greatest encouragement. Allah says: “And Allah loves As-Saabiroon (the patient)” (3:146)
God gives the most striking examples of patience in the lives of the Prophets, because they showed patience while teaching God’s religion and leading a moral life. They never deviated from their devotion to God, and were patient people who sought only God’s approval. The Quran says: “How many of the Prophets fought (in God’s way), and with them (fought) large bands of godly men? But they never lost heart if they met with disaster in God’s way, nor did they weaken (in will) or give in. And God loves those who are fi and steadfast.”
Patience is the foundation of the believer’s faith which has no other foundation. The one who has no patience has no faith, and if he has any, then it is only a little faith and it is very weak.
(Feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Lastupdate on : Sun, 10 Jan 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 10 Jan 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 11 Jan 2010 00:00:00 IST
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