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PART 3

6 Verses on Patience & Dawah

6 Verses on Patience & Dawah

In parts one and two, we discussed the concept of dawah and the challenges the da`iyah faces in its cause. We categorized them into three categories: challenges from within, people’s resistance, and people’s opposition.

It was quite obvious that it is not easy to overcome those challenges except with great and continuous effort. The most important quality one needs to succeed in such a long and difficult task is Sabr, translated here as patience and elaborated on more in part 1 of this article. In this part of the article, we will reflect on how one can develop patience in the cause of dawah.

How to Develop Patience

In order to develop this section, the author went through the numerous verses in the Quran that command patience especially in the context of dawah. Every verse adds a perspective and gives tips on how patience can be developed and utilized in various dawah situations.

It is advised that the reader should always pay attention to the context in which the order “be patient” is mentioned in the Quran. This will result in valuable lessons and give the reader a plan to develop patience and perseverance. The readers are advised to go through those verses themselves and reflect on them. However, below are some examples.

1. {And be patient, and your patience is not but through Allah} (An-Nahl 16:127) 

This verse is a fundamental one: no one can do anything without the help and support of Allah the Almighty. Here the order comes with the prescription.

Seeking such a valuable quality from Allah requires an utmost submission to him combined with utmost obedience.

It requires long sessions of supplication and a state of constant remembrance. {It is You whom we worship, and it is You whom we ask for support} (Al-Fatihah 1:5) is central to our prayer, and to our life as well. The most beautiful supplication is what was reported in the Quran in a couple of incidents: {Our Lord! Pour forth on us patience …} (Al-Baqarah 2:250, Al-A`raf 7:126)

2. {Be patient over what they say and remember Our servant, Dawud …} (Saad 38:17) 

Another tip Allah subhahu wa ta`ala gave to His Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) is to take him back in time and remind him with people like him. In this verse above, Allah reminded him with Dawud (peace and blessings be upon him).

It is not a surprise that a large portion of the Quran is about history, one that is relevant to our experience, a lens through which we can see the future, and guidance to our footsteps.

When Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) was offended by a man of his time, he said, “May Allah have mercy on Moses, he was harmed more than this and he was patient.” (Al-Bukhari)

So, patience can be developed by us going through history especially that mentioned in the Qur’an. It will be a source of strength to us. We will leave it to the reflection of the reader to answer the following question; Why did Allah choose Dawud (peace and blessings be upon him) to remind the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) with?

3. {… So be patient; indeed, the [best] outcome is for the righteous} (Hud 11:49) 

We cannot talk about patience in the context of dawah without mentioning Allah’s first Messenger to humanity; that is Prophet Noah (peace and blessings be upon him).

Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala told us he spent close to a thousand years calling his people to Allah. His experience with his people was so difficult and his story is related to the prophet in almost all occasions.

In one of the Surahs that was revealed to the Prophet at one of the most difficult times –that is Surat Hud, Allah mentioned the story of Noah in detail. The conclusion of his story was yet another order to the Prophet,  {… so be patient,} yet with the following conclusion, {… the best outcome is for the righteous.}

The verse states what we can learn from all the stories of the noble prophets and messengers: the final outcome is for the righteous. it is certainly a great motivation and a source of patience to know that the end is guaranteed.

4. {You are not obligated except to relate the message …} (Ash-Shura 42:48) 

As mentioned in part one of this article, one of the challenges the da`iyah will face is the lack of response from those whom he calls to Allah. This lack of response was a source of worry and trouble to the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). He used to feel very sorry for his people and to grieve that they are not accepting his message. Allah subhanahu wa ta`alacomforted him:

{It may be that you are going to kill yourself with grief that they do not become believers.} (Ash-Shu`ara’ 26:3)

This verse and many others state that the Prophet’s job, and hence all the da`iyahs’, is to relate the message and not to guarantee acceptance. This idea makes the da`iyahs’ focus only on relating the message leaving the result to Allah. The da`iyahs’, then, feels the sense of accomplishment despite the result and will continue the cause of dawah with perseverance despite the outcome.

5. {So, be patient over what they say and glorify the Praises of your Lord …} (Taha 20:130, Qaf 50:39) 

Patience is a quality that needs to be nurtured. Glorifying Allah and praising him in the heart, expressing that by the tongue, and showing it in practice is a great source of patience.

It is as if Allah wants to take you from focusing on the important job of dawah, to a way more important job that dawah itself is a small part of; that is glorifying Allah and praising Him. It always amazes me to read the request Moses (peace and blessings be upon him) made to Allah to strengthen him with his brother, Harun (peace and blessings be upon him) saying {... to glorify You a lot. and to remember (and mention) you a lot.} (Taha 20:33-34)

6. {And keep yourself patiently with those who call on their Lord …} (Al-Kahf 18:28) 

If anyone is needless of good company, it would have been the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). Yet, he was ordered by Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala to keep himself patiently with those who call upon Allah day and night. And he was prohibited to take his eyes away from them.

Keeping yourself with a group of people whose main priority is Allah Almighty and whose main focus is to obey Him is a great source of patience.

See what Moses (peace and blessings be upon him) said when asking for the support of his brother: {increase my strength with him} (Taha 20:31)?

There is nothing more supportive to the da`iyah after a long day of challenge than someone batting his back saying: “take it easy O Messenger of Allah! Allah will fulfill His Promise to you!” as Abu Bakr said to the Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him)

The Best Example

As always, the one who demonstrated the highest quality of Sabr was Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him). His people ignored him, turned away from him, ridiculed him, insulted him, harmed him physically, tortured his Companions before him, plotted to kill him, drove him out of his town, and sent an army after another to fight him and finish him.

He continued in the way of dawah until Allah Almighty granted him victory. The victory of a messenger is not necessarily that his message is embraced by the people. Rather, it is that his message reaches the heart and the minds of the people. The real victory of a messenger is to die as “the Messenger of Allah” and to be resurrected as “the Messenger of Allah” even if he comes alone.


About Dr. Wael Hamza

Wael Hamza is a Muslim writer, thinker and an active figure in MAS (Muslim American Society ), U.S.A.

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