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How to Battle Difficulties with Patience

Questioner

Anonymous

Reply Date

Jan 11, 2017

Question

As-Salamu 'Alaykum. I'm Ahmed from Italy. I'm a new Muslim, but indeed, I consider myself a born Muslim because my lifestyle was characterized by chastity even before my reversion to Islam. In order to talk about my issues, I have to tell some things about my life. 1, I was born with a problem in my liver, but alhamduillah, I'm able to fast and it doesn't cause me many problems in general. 2, When I was 4 years old, my father left the family. I remember that day like it was yesterday. I wanted to hug him, but he refused me and pushed me away. Therefore, my childhood was full of pain and sadness; I saw my mum crying every day. At school, students were extremely evil and abusive towards me; they blew out cigarettes in my hand, or in the bathroom they abused me by trying to take my clothes off. They took my dignity away. 3, Even if I was Christian, I always believed in God. I've never had a good friend or a fiancée; I never kissed a girl. I returned to Islam more than five months ago after seeing the light of the Quran, and now I have more friends even if they are not so many. My problem is that one month ago, my brother tried to kill himself. I thought I could save him and conduct him to Islam, but I failed. He is fine, alhamduillah, but his mind is not. He is like a stranger in this world. My mum suffers and cries too much because of that. Her tears bring back the bad childhood I had and the abuse I got at school. Yesterday, I thought just for a minute that Allah (SWT) left me alone and He doesn't care about me, but then immediately I realized that what I thought wasn't right at all. However, a brother and a sister in Islam started to blame me for my thought, and made me feel so guilty. I feel like I was a murder, or someone who raped. I'm here to ask you how to have more patience. I just need to have more patience. May Allah (SWT) bless you for the work you do.

Counselor

Answer


How to Battle Difficulties with Patience?

Answer:

As-Salaamu ‘Alaikum dear brother,

Patience, as you have correctly identified, is something that we all need, but we hardly have. In all circumstances, we must certainly have patience, but patience does not come without the complete belief and trust in Allah (swt). This is because it is our complete faith and trust in Allah (swt), and in His decree and ability to change and improve our circumstances that render us patient in difficult times. Without complete faith and trust, we cannot be hopeful of a good future. I once read a quote,

“Walk by faith, not by sight.” (Anonymous)

To elaborate, this means that even if you do not see a pathway lit, and question its existence because it is not visible to the eye, have faith that there is nonetheless a pathway for you to walk upon.

I believe this quote applies to every single one of us who are victims of pessimistic thoughts. We believe that if we do not see the light at the end of the tunnel, or if we do not see any positivity, we are doomed. However, this is certainly not the case. Allah (swt) tests us all in different ways, and each test is designed to bring us closer to Him.

Allah (swt) says in the Quran,

“And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth and lives and fruits, but give good tidings to the patient,…” (2:155)

No matter how hard it gets, you must always remember that Allah (swt) is there, watching. Going through hardships certainly does not qualify you as someone who is less religious, or someone who is facing a punishment. In fact, the Prophet Muhammed (saw) faced some of the hardest circumstances both physically and emotionally during his lifetime. Did that mean that Allah (swt) was not there for him and had turned His back on him? Of course not!

Nouman Ali Khan, a well-known Islamic Speaker, once said,

“When you’re going through something hard and you start wondering where Allah (swt) is, just remember, the Teacher is always quiet during a test.”

Patience is also strengthened by counting Allah’s (swt) blessings and practicing gratitude. If you have food in your fridge, clothes to cover you and a roof over your head, you are richer than more than 50% of the world. Therefore, dear brother, count the small things in life; they make the biggest difference.

The Messenger of Allah (saw) said:

“Happiness is due to him who is guided to Islam and possesses provision that suffices him for his day and remains content.” (At- Tirmidhi)

It is not only the contingent blessings we should consider. Think about your past before Islam. You mentioned you always guarded your chastity and prevented yourself from doing what is Islamically considered haram. This in itself is a blessing from Allah (swt).

From the question you wrote, I can also infer that your impatience is also giving route to depression, which is stemming from you past experiences as a child.

Allah (swt) says in the Quran,

“Verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest.” (13:28)

True sadness and despair tend to deviate us from believing in the power of Allah (swt). So, remember Allah (swt) often. Your degree of happiness depends on your level of connection with Allah (swt).

You need to try your best to forget your past, and be grateful of your present and hopeful for your future.

The Prophet (saw) said that Allah (swt) said,

“I am near to the thought of My servant as he thinks about Me, and I am with him as he remembers Me. And if he remembers Me in his heart, I also remember him in My heart, and if he remembers Me in assembly I remember him in assembly, better than his (remembrance), and if he draws near Me by the span of a palm, I draw near him by the cubit, and if he draws near me by the cubit I draw near him by the space (covered by) two hands. And if he walks towards Me, I rush towards him.” (Muslim)

So, in sha Allah, if you sincerely try to get closer to Allah (swt), he will approach you at a greater speed.

To start off on your path to finding Allah (swt):

  • Say Astaghfirullah (may Allah [swt] forgive me) a lot to erase your sins.
  • Say Alhamdulillah so Allah (swt) will give you more and for what He (swt) has given you Allah (swt) possess great power. He (swt) is the Creator and the one who reigns over everything. So please, do not despair.
  • Look outside your window and say Subhan-Allah about His beautiful creations.

In addition, self-blame is not the best route to finding a solution to any problem. Self-blame never brings about a solution, but makes the circumstances and the situations worst. The best is to approach the problems constructively and with emotional and mental stability, and most importantly, with full belief. Approaching any situation in such a manner will ensure the best outcomes, in sha’ Allah.

I am not quite sure what you meant when you mentioned that the brother and sister started blaming you for your thought about Allah (swt) not being close to you. What exactly are they blaming you for? Are they saying that you are not close to Allah (swt) yourself? Or are they blaming you for the sadness you feel? In either way, do not take their blame to heart. People come and go and so do their words, thoughts, and opinions. What matters most is your mental, emotional and spiritual condition, along with your physical health. For as long as you are on the right path, always striving to please Allah (swt), then rest assured that what others say never matters.

Also, impatience brings about stress, leading to depression and eventually health issues. Therefore, it is of utmost importance that you yourself are physically intact while trying to restore your brother’s and mother’s emotional state. You should regularly exercise, practice heavy breathing and get involved in destressing activities such as sports, volunteering, attending Islamic gatherings, or even weekly gatherings with friends.

Lastly, I believe that if you haven’t already, you should seek medical and professional intervention for your brother’s condition. It is absolutely necessary that you get him to see a psychologist or a medical doctor.

Consistent crying and feeling sad is also not a healthy for your mother. You need to get her to relax as well. In sha’ Allah, everything will be well with you and your family again. Please have hope, trust and full faith in Allah (swt). He (swt) is the one is the All-Hearer and Seer.

Salam,

***

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About Madiha Sadaf

Madiha Sadaf in an undergraduate student at the University of Ottawa, enrolled in BSc. with Major in Biology and Psychology with Minor in Health Social Sciences.

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