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Happiness Awaits the Patient

(Part 1)

This article is from Reading Islam’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.

Do you ever feel frustrated when someone tells you “sabr” (patience), or “just be patient”?

I realize it is easier said than done, but it is not impossible.

There are many virtues to being patient. It not only helps you to gain the respect of people, and of yourself, but it brings you closer to Allah, and is the source of many blessings.

The believers are tested, and their sins punished, but we must always have patience, because we can’t see the rainbow until we endure the storm first.

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With reminders from the Quran and Sunnah, I hope to share some reasons to have patience that will be beneficial for those who are struggling with anything in this two part series.

The nafs (desires) are hard to control, but once you conquer your nafs (inner self), nothing can stop you, because Allah loves the patient, supports them, and will reward them.

Gain a noble-worthy position, by being grateful for the cards that you have been dealt with in life. Say “Alhamdulilah” for everything – the good and the bad, because when you are afflicted with something, it can be an expiation of your sins to purify you in this world, rather the punishment in the hereafter – so be thankful for that!

“There is no trouble that comes to a believer except that it obliterates from his sins, even if it is the pricking of a thorn.” (Muslim)

When the Prophet Muhammad went to the city of Ta’if, the people witnessed his extreme patience with what he endured there. The Prophet had gone there to spread the message of Islam, and he approached the town leaders inviting them to Islam. Not only did they reject his call, but they rejected it in a manner that they even had the children harass him by throwing stones at him, and chased him out of the city. He was so badly injured that his shoes filled with blood. He was then visited by the angel Jibril who said to him:

O Muhammad! Order what you wish. If you like, I will let Al-Akh-Shabain (i.e. two mountains) fall on them.”

Instead, he declined this offer and said:

“No but I hope that Allah will let them beget children who will worship Allah Alone, and will worship none besides Him.” (Al-Bukhari)

What an amazing display of patience! Can you imagine that? Would you have been able to handle such a situation in that way?

The Believer & Tests of Patience

“The example of a believer is that of a fresh tender plant; from whatever direction the wind comes, it bends it, but when the wind becomes quiet, it becomes straight again.

Similarly, a believer is afflicted with calamities (but he remains patient till Allah removes his difficulties.) And an impious wicked person is like a pine tree which keeps hard and straight till Allah cuts (breaks) it down when He wishes.” (Al-Bukhari)

Patience in Struggles to Practice the Deen

Anytime you are faced with difficulties in practicing the deen, consider it only a test.

Whether you are being testing with heat while wearing hijab, or struggles finding a job because of your beard, or you lost your wealth while making hijrah for the sake of Allah or other things, be sure that Allah loves you.

It is when we never face struggles, that we should take a deeper look at ourselves. Do not be angry with Allah for any trials you encounter, because even our trials are a blessing in disguise, and showing ungratefulness can welcome his wrath.

Patience When Facing a Crisis

Death of a loved one, financial ruin, tragic accidents, debilitating illnesses, divorce, loss of a home, terminal illnesses, etc. can really play havoc on one’s patience, but remember:

“The greatest reward comes with the greatest trial. When Allah loves a people He tests them. Whoever accepts that wins His pleasure but whoever is discontent with that earns His wrath.” (Ibn Majah)

When Abu Salama died, Umm Salama said, while grief stricken (as advised to say):

“We belong to Allah and to Him shall we return; O Allah, reward me for my affliction and give me something better than it in exchange for it.” (Muslim)

After having recited those words, she later found herself married to the Prophet Muhammad!

Patience with Your Job and Finances

If you don’t have the position or desired salary you want, if you have patience, and do good work, you will be rewarded. Be patient with what Allah blesses you with, and with what He doesn’t, because it is good for you, although you may not know why.

Maybe you are denied what you want because Allah has better plans for you. It may be that if you had a promotion, that you would have to work with someone that would cause you problems, or maybe a better position will open up for you. You never know!

If you are living an extravagant lifestyle and then lost everything in a flash, such as in a natural disaster, would you resort to drastic measures to restore it which may be sinful, or remain patient, doing good and still remaining faithful? Allah says in the Quran in 12:90, to keep your obedience to Him, by avoiding sins and evil deeds and performing good deeds, and remain patient, and your efforts will not be lost.

The story of Prophet Ayyub teaches us this. He had health, wealth, power, strength, and family, and then Allah removed it all from him, except his wife. He suffered in this manner for over a decade, and because of his patience and steadfastness during this time of loss, Allah restored it back to him with more.

Allah has promised to test mankind, and that there would be three glad tidings to those who are patient:

{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, Who, when disaster strikes them, say, “Indeed we belong to Allah , and indeed to Him we will return. Those are the ones upon whom are blessings from their Lord and mercy. And it is those who are the [rightly] guided.} (2:155-157)

Patience when Angry

Everyone gets angry over something from time to time. That is life.

One form of anger is being angry with Allah, which is dangerous and can even lead to kufr. This is when someone becomes angry with Allah because Allah didn’t decree for him/her something he/she wants.

HappinessAwaits-the-Patient-Part-1_1Nouman Ali Khan once said:

“When calamity hits, we start feeling like Allah owes us something. Allah owes us nothing. We owe everything to Allah!”

Are you, or do you know someone that has the “all or nothing” type of personality? This type of mentality is what leads many people into kufr when they are angry, because when they face the slightest problem, they lose patience, and give up on everything. They even accuse Allah of not being merciful or loving.

If a person only loves Allah when times are good, while having patience, he will have some of both the dunya and the hereafter, but those that reject Him at the first indication of something they don’t like, they will not have anything in either the dunya or the hereafter.

Allah tells us that we would find these people and describes them to us, and how they will be dealt with:

{And among mankind is he who worships Allah as it were, upon the very edge (i.e. in doubt); if good befalls him, he is content therewith; but if a trial befalls him, he turns back on his face (i.e. reverts back to disbelief after embracing Islam). He loses both this world and the Hereafter. That is the evident loss.} (22:11)

Your tongue is a weapon, and if you don’t exert patience, you can cause some serious damage with it. Another form of anger is using your tongue improperly when angry. You may find yourself cursing, or making a dua’ against a person for their destruction or ruin.

The other form of anger is physically expressing it. This can include battling out physically with someone, to lesser forms by ripping clothing, pulling hair, throwing things, etc. Is this how we display patience? No. Would you act like that if it was your own mother that made you angry? Or your local Imam? Probably not!

Have taqwa and patience, because Allah sees and knows everything!

About Shannon Abulnasr
Shannon Abulnasr: An American convert sister who accepted Islam in 2006, and since has dedicated her efforts as an advocate supporting new Muslims after their shahadah. You can read her reversion story here and visit her website created for new Muslims and non-Muslims.