Patience literally means to restrain, tolerate, persevere and captivate.
Importance of Patience
The importance of patience can be understood by the fact that Allah Almighty mentions it seventy times in Holy Quran. Allah says:
وَ اسۡتَعِیۡنُوۡا بِالصَّبۡرِ وَ الصَّلٰوۃِ ؕ وَ اِنَّہَا لَکَبِیۡرَۃٌ اِلَّا عَلَی الۡخٰشِعِیۡنَ ﴿ۙ۴۵﴾
Meaning: And seek (Allah’s) help through patience and prayer. But this is no doubt hard except for the humble (whose hearts have been softened with the Love of Allah and gripped with His Fear). (2:45)
Patience And Salat Are Two Major Weapons Of Every True Believer
Patience and salat are two major weapons of every true believer. Salat is a medium of communication between Allah and his slave and a source of Divine help. Likewise, firmness of character and perseverance in faith are the ultimate outcomes of patience. Allah almighty advises every true Muslim to adopt the habit of patience and salat during hardships and pains because as much as a person keeps himself busy in invocation (dhikr), he remains safe from other difficulties.
The following Quranic verses testify to this truth. Allah says:
یٰۤاَیُّہَا الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوا اسۡتَعِیۡنُوۡا بِالصَّبۡرِ وَ الصَّلٰوۃِ ؕ اِنَّ اللّٰہَ مَعَ الصّٰبِرِیۡنَ ﴿ ۱۵۳﴾
Meaning: O believers! Always seek help (from Me) through patience and prayer. Certainly, Allah is (always) with those who observe patience. (2:153)
On another occasion He says:
وَ لَنَبۡلُوَنَّکُمۡ بِشَیۡءٍ مِّنَ الۡخَوۡفِ وَ الۡجُوۡعِ وَ نَقۡصٍ مِّنَ الۡاَمۡوَالِ وَ الۡاَنۡفُسِ وَ الثَّمَرٰتِ ؕ وَ بَشِّرِ الصّٰبِرِیۡنَ ﴿۱۵۵﴾ۙ
Meaning: And We will most certainly test you somewhat by means of fear and hunger and certain loss of wealth and lives and fruits. And, (O Beloved) give glad tidings to those who observe patience. (2:155)
Al-Shafi writes in the explanation of this verse:
Fear here refers to the fear of Allah, hunger and thirst means fasting in the holy month of Ramadan, decrease in wealth means donations and charity, loss of life indicates death due to illness and loss of fruits imply death of children as they are the fruit of heart.
Children Are The Fruit Of Heart
Prophet Mohammad says:
- When the child of a slave (of Allah) dies, Allah says to the angels:
“Have you taken the fruits of his work?”
So He says:
“What did My slave say?”
“He praised you and said:
اِنَّا لِلّٰہِ وَ اِنَّاۤ اِلَیۡہِ رٰجِعُوۡنَ ﴿۱۵۶﴾ؕ
Meaning: Indeed, to Allah we belong and to Him we shall return. (2:156)”
So Allah says:
“Build a house in Paradise for My slave, and name it ‘the house of praise’.” (Musnad Ahmed 9404)
Forgiveness Is For Those Who Remain Steadfast
Allah says in sura Hud:
اِلَّا الَّذِیۡنَ صَبَرُوۡا وَ عَمِلُوا الصّٰلِحٰتِ ؕ اُولٰٓئِکَ لَہُمۡ مَّغۡفِرَۃٌ وَّ اَجۡرٌ کَبِیۡرٌ ﴿۱۱﴾
Meaning: Except for those, who remain steadfast and continue doing pious deeds. For them is forgiveness and great reward. (11:11)
Who will be at loss?
Allah says in sura Al-Asr:
وَ الۡعَصۡرِ ۙ﴿۱﴾اِنَّ الۡاِنۡسَانَ لَفِیۡ خُسۡرٍ ۙ﴿۲﴾اِلَّا الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا وَ عَمِلُوا الصّٰلِحٰتِ وَ تَوَاصَوۡا بِالۡحَقِّ ۬ۙ وَ تَوَاصَوۡا بِالصَّبۡرِ ٪﴿۳﴾
Meaning: By the passing time (whose rotation bears witness to the affairs of mankind). Indeed, man is at a loss (for he is losing his valuable lifetime). Except for those, who believe and do good deeds and exhort one another to truth and patience (in the face of hardships and afflictions that are faced whilst preaching the religion of truth). (103:1-3)
Era means rotation of days and nights and their interchange. It becomes dark during night and everything becomes bright during the daytime. Furthermore, sometimes days are longer than nights and vice versa. It is the rotation of era which stands as an evidence of omnipotence of Allah Almighty. That is why Allah takes its vow. The men who have spent their whole life in running after worldly desires are definitely at loss because life was given to them for the purpose of gnosis of Allah. So, when they return back without gnosis they have to bear the misery of esoteric blindness and punishment for sins in the form of hell-fire. But those who had not wasted their live will be at peace.
Patience Leaves No Space For Satan To Intervene
Saeed ibn al-Musayyab narrated that:
- While Prophet Mohammad was sitting with some of his companions, a man reviled Abu Bakr and insulted him. However, Abu Bakr remained silent. He insulted him twice, but Abu Bakr controlled himself. He insulted him thrice and Abu Bakr took revenge on him. Then the Holy Prophet got up.
Abu Bakr said:
“Were you angry with me, Messenger of Allah?”
“An angel came down from Heaven and he was rejecting what he had said to you. When you took revenge, a devil came down. I was not going to sit when the devil came down.” (Sunnan Abu Dawood 4896)
These Hadith prove that if someone talks ill about one then one should remain patient. So that the other person would realize his mistake and it will leave no space for Satan to intervene. Hence, the matter will be ended in short period of time. On the other hand, Allah Almighty will bestow him with his countless blessings.
Patience Is A Pillar Of Islam
According to a narrative, Ali ibn Abi Talib considers patience as one of the pillar of Islam. He says:
- Islam is based on four pillars;
- Jihad (Struggle to stop someone from violating religious or moral laws)
He said on another occasion:
- Patience in relation to faith is like the head in relation to the body; as there is no body without a head, there is no faith without patience.
Patience is that part of religious obligation with which a person is exalted to higher spiritual rank and dignity. That is why, one should not be impatient because there are explicit orders of Allah about it as it is a source Divine closeness and gnosis as well.
Ibn Abbas narrated that Prophet Mohammad says:
- The person, who has following four things, will found benevolence in this world and the hereafter. Those four thing are:
- Grateful inward
- A tongue which remains busy in invocation (dhikr)
- A body, which bear pains with patience
- A life partner who do not embezzle her life as well as the property of her husband.
There comes a time in everyone’s life when things happen against his will. That is the time when actually patience is required for spiritual elevation.
Patience Is A Characteristic Of True Believers
It is narrated from Abu Hurairah that Holy Prophet says:
- When one of you sees a person who has grown in wealth and physical form (and you feel covetousness, avarice or grievance) then you should see a person who is less than that, so that covetousness and avarice is replaced by patience and gratitude. It is a distinct characteristic of believers that they show patience in suffering and difficulties, they surrender themselves to Allah, trust Him and seek His help only. They submit themselves to Divine will and do not have any grievance for Allah in their inwards.
Patience Is The Way Of Prophets
For those who remain steadfast, Allah promises that there is a great reward for such people. That is why we should not feel bad during hardships. Allah made all His beloved prophets face trials. For example, He ordered Prophet Abraham to jump into fire and asked Prophet Ishmael to sacrifice his life. These orders were to test their steadfastness. Prophet Job also got the title of ‘The righteous servant of Allah’ due to his patience and steadfastness.
In sura Al-Ahqaf Allah declares patience as the way of Prophets. He says:
فَاصۡبِرۡ کَمَا صَبَرَ اُولُوا الۡعَزۡمِ مِنَ الرُّسُلِ وَ لَا تَسۡتَعۡجِلۡ لَّہُمۡ ﴿٪۳۵﴾
Meaning: (O Beloved!) so be steadfast as (other) Messengers were with unwavering determination. (46:35)
Patience and the Holy Prophet
The whole life of the Holy Prophet is composed of trials. Although he was born and brought up as an orphan; lost all loved ones at a very young age; faced extreme hostility after proclamation of prophethood but his temperament and nature did not become negative in the least. He continued to work on the mission Allah had chosen him for, with firmness and patience. He tolerated all the difficulties with patience and sincerity to raise the flag of Islam at the highest possible level and to destroy the infidels.
When Prophet Mohammad proclaimed prophethood, the pagans tormented him through various methods. They made fun of him. Some called him a magician and some a soothsayer (God forbid). But the Holy Prophet did not abandon patience nor did he turn away from the propagation of Islam.
Sad Incident At The Holy Kaa’ba
- It was narrated by Amr bin Maimun that Abdullah revealed:
Prophet Mohammad was praying at Kaa’ba and a group of the nobles of Quraish were sitting there. They had just slaughtered a camel and one of them said:
‘Which of you will take these bloody camel intestines and wait until he prostrates, then put them on his back?’
The one who was most doomed got up and took the bloody camel intestines, waited until he prostrated himself, and put it on his back. Fatimah bint Mohammad, who was a young girl, was told about that, and she came running and took it off his back. When he had finished praying he said:
‘O Allah! Punish the Quraish, three times, O Allah, punish Abu Jahl bin Hisham, Shaibah bin Rabi’ah, Utbah bin Rabi’ah, Uqbah bin Abi Mu’ait’ until he had listed seven men from Quraish.
By the One Who revealed the Book to him, I saw them dead on the day of Badr (their corpses) in a single dry well. (Sunnan Nisai 308)
Atrocities Of Relatives
Abu Lahab was the paternal uncle of the Holy Prophet. However, when Holy Prophet began to propagate Islam, he and his wife Umm-e-Jamil turned against Prophet Mohammad. Abu Lahab used to say, “O People! This is a madman. Do not pay heed to his words.” His wife would lay thorns in the way of Prophet Mohammad and many times, the Prophet’s sacred feet became bloody. Despite everything, the Holy Prophet tolerated this suffering with great patience and never cursed anyone.
Social Boycott Of Banu Hashim
When the enemies of truth saw that despite all their measures, the light of righteousness was spreading around, they closed all the transactions and friendly relations with them during Muharram on the seventh year of Prophethood. The entire family of Banu Hashim except Abu Lahab remained in the valley of Abi Talib with Prophet Mohammad for three years as a result of the boycott. During that time, they underwent such hardships that it’s very thought causes goosebumps. But even on this occasion, Prophet Mohammad fought the situation with superb patience, self-control and stability. The Holy Prophet and his loyal companions faced all the difficulties in this path with exemplary patience.
The sacred life Holy Prophet is the living example of patience and steadfastness that proves as a leading rule in present dark age.
Allah will pay recompense for all righteous deeds
Allah is directs one to have patience by elucidating the reality of this world and the hereafter. He says:
مَا عِنۡدَکُمۡ یَنۡفَدُ وَ مَا عِنۡدَ اللّٰہِ بَاقٍ ؕ وَ لَنَجۡزِیَنَّ الَّذِیۡنَ صَبَرُوۡۤا اَجۡرَہُمۡ بِاَحۡسَنِ مَا کَانُوۡا یَعۡمَلُوۡنَ ﴿۹۶﴾
Meaning: The (riches) that you possess will be no more and what is with Allah will last. And those who remain steadfast, We shall certainly pay their recompense for their righteous deeds which they used to do. (Al-Nahal-96)
It is as clear as a day that all those who will remain steadfast in keeping up their promise to Allah and will bear difficulties and hardships with patience, their reward will not be wasted. They will definitely get recompense for their righteous deeds.
Double Reward For Steadfastness
اُولٰٓئِکَ یُؤۡتَوۡنَ اَجۡرَہُمۡ مَّرَّتَیۡنِ بِمَا صَبَرُوۡا وَ یَدۡرَءُوۡنَ بِالۡحَسَنَۃِ السَّیِّئَۃَ وَ مِمَّا رَزَقۡنٰہُمۡ یُنۡفِقُوۡنَ ﴿۵۴﴾
Meaning: It is these people who will be given their reward twice because they remained steadfast and they repelled evil by means of good, and spent in Our way out of the bounty We bestowed upon them. (Al-Qasas-54)
- He says on another occasion:
قُلۡ یٰعِبَادِ الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوا اتَّقُوۡا رَبَّکُمۡ ؕ لِلَّذِیۡنَ اَحۡسَنُوۡا فِیۡ ہٰذِہِ الدُّنۡیَا حَسَنَۃٌ ؕ وَ اَرۡضُ اللّٰہِ وَاسِعَۃٌ ؕ اِنَّمَا یُوَفَّی الصّٰبِرُوۡنَ اَجۡرَہُمۡ بِغَیۡرِ حِسَابٍ ﴿۱۰﴾
Meaning: (O Beloved,) say (on My behalf), ‘O My servants, you who have believed, adopt God wariness; it is for the men of spiritual excellence in this world that there is excellent reward. And Allah’s earth is vast. So the steadfast will certainly be given their reward without measure. (Al-Zumar-10)
Reward Of Patience Is Heaven
- Abu Huraira narrated a Qudsi Hadith whereby the Prophet revealed that Allah Almighty says, “If I make someone blind and he remains patient during this trial expecting a reward from Me, I will reward him with nothing less than heaven.”
- Abu Usama narrates the tradition that Prophet Mohammad said, “Allah says that if the son of Adam shows patience and hopes for reward at the beginning of a trauma, then I would not chose anything other than paradise as a reward.”
- Anas ibn Malik said that he heard the Holy Prophet say that Allah says, “When I put My slave in a trial due to his two beloved things i.e. his eyes and he shows patience, then I bestow him with heaven in return.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, vol 3, Hadith 631)
- Sohaib narrated that Prophet Mohammad says:
“The matter of a believer is also exceptional. There is uprightness for him in every matter and in every situation. Moreover, if he gets pain and distress but bears it and took it as the decision of his merciful Allah. Then it will become a source of Divine blessing and benevolence for him.”
Reward of Good Doers is also Good
The Holy Prophet says:
- Allah will gather every creature on the Day of Resurrection, then an announcer will announce that “Where are the virtuous?”
Some people will stand and start moving to heaven swiftly. The angels will meet and inquire them:
“We see you moving speedily towards Paradise. Who are you?”
They will say:
“We are virtuous.”
The angels will say:
“What is your virtue?”
They will say:
“When we were oppressed, we used to be patient, when we were treated badly, we used to forgive.”
The angels will say:
“Enter the Heaven. As the reward of good doers is very good.”
Then the announcer will announce:
“Where are the people of patience?”
Some people will stand and start moving to heaven speedily. The angels will meet and ask them:
“We see you moving speedily towards heaven. Who are you?”
They will say:
“We are the people of patience.”
The angels would ask:
“What was your patience?
They will say:
“We used to be patient in obeying Allah and for disobeying Allah.”
The angels will say:
“Enter Heaven that the reward of the good doers is very good.”
Patience & the Saints
No doubt Saints have rightly said that patience is worship that is equivalent to thousands of worships. If someone practices patience then he would reach the highest spiritual ranks.
Ali Ibn Abi Talib Quote
Ali Ibn Abi Talib says:
- “Life consists of two days, one is in your favour and the other is not. So when it is for you don’t be proud or reckless, and when it is against you be patient, for both days are test for you.”
Faqr is a path of seeking Allah. So the seeker of Allah has to walk on it through patience. Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen beautifully explains the importance of patience for a seeker of Allah in following words:
- Have patience in bad times and be grateful to Allah in good times.
- Learn to have patience. Allah knows everything; He knows what you went through. Have faith that time will change because change is the principle of universe.
- All the troubles and grief is converted into blessings for the seeker of Allah (talib-e-maula) because he shows patience against them in Allah’s love.
It is not patience that a man helplessly undergoes endurance just like an ineffectual person. In fact, patience means that a person should be so prudent and proactive that he could see the results of any matter and he should have trust upon Allah.
What is patience?
Patience is that when you look at the thorns, you should see the flowers as well. When you see darkness of the night, then you should look at the dawn light. Ardent lovers of Allah do not abandon patience because they are confident that the first moon has to spend some time to change into full moon.
In short, a man should always keep patience and in any case, he should not complain to Allah.
Allah Almighty says:
اِنَّ مَعَ الۡعُسۡرِ یُسۡرًا ؕ﴿۶﴾
Meaning: Verily, with hardship (too) there is ease. (Al-Inshirah: 6)
So every difficulty will pass away. The unique trait of the seeker of Allah is that he thanks Allah all the time and Allah after seeing his steadfastness and stability, solves his problem.
How could we gain patience?
Patience and endurance are exalted characteristics of Prophets and Fakirs. These attributes can be gained only in the sacred company of Fakirs. Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen Sultan Mohammad Najib-ur-Rehman is the present Shaikh of Sarwari Qadri Order and the reviver of the millennium. A large number of seekers have transformed in his sacred company and adored with commendable qualities. Before that they were absorbed in worldly affairs and sensual desires. They are surprisingly astonished that how come a man’s esoteric and exoteric self has changed to this extent. Moreover, they are thankful to Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen who has made them seekers of Allah and helps them pass through the way of Faqr successfully.
Open invitation for all seekers of Allah and for all those who have an urge to acquire esoteric noble traits, to join Tehreek Dawat-e-Faqr and gain spiritual beneficence of Sultan-ul-Ashiqeen.
May we become an embodiment of the exalted characteristics of Prophets and Fakirs. May Allah make us such a seeker who would show patience in any sort of difficulty and trial and always be thankful to Allah. Ameen
This article was published in Mahnama Sultan-ul-Faqr Lahore (monthly Urdu magazine of Tehreek Dawat-e-Faqr) titled as صبر in the issue of July 2019. It was originally written by Miss Noreen Abdul Ghafoor Sarwari Qadri and translated in English by Faiza Gulzar Sarwari Qadri. If you wish to read it in Urdu then please visit the link https://www.mahnama-sultan-ul-faqr-lahore.com/july-2019-sabar/