O you who believe, seek help in steadfastness and prayer. Allah is with the steadfast. (Surat al-Baqara, 153)
For these reasons, Allah declares that the faithful should race each other to acquire this morality:
"O you who believe, persevere in patience and constancy, vie in such perseverance;strengt hen each other, and heed Allah, so that hopefully you will be successful" (Surah Al 'Imran, 200).
Allah, Who has defined the best way of life for people and the most appropriate moral conduct for their nature, announces in "We send down in the Qur'an that which is a healing and a mercy to the believers" (Surat al-Isra', 82) that patience is a mercy for the faithful.
People can gain Allah's approval and love by fully applying the Qur'an's truths in their lives. Allah requires the faithful to adhere to the Qur'an's morality as long as they are alive, without showing any weakness. To carry out this task successfully, the faithful must acquire the supreme characteristic of patience, which is the result of faith. Those who learn the secret of patience can demonstrate the required steadfastness in every act and prayer.
Attaining this secret is extremely easy. Allah manifests His attribute "Al-Sabur" (The Patient) on those who believe in Him and helps perfect the determination in their hearts.
The real source of this lifelong true patience is the believers' faith in Allah. They know that Allah encompasses all things in His knowledge, that everything occurs only with His permission, and that He hides thousands of blessings and benefits behind all events. In addition, they do not forget that Allah is the Friend, Guardian, and Helper of the faithful. Thus, although it may not seem so at first glance, all events are arranged to somehow benefit the believers. For this reason, patience is not a moral characteristic that makes life difficult for the faithful; rather, it is a form of worship that they accept wholeheartedly and with joy. Here is one point of difference between true patience and the view of patience as commonly understood in society.
Many people do not know the true meaning of patience, how truly patient people are required to behave, or how important this is in Allah's sight. They regard patience more as holding up one's head when faced with difficulties and problems, either overcoming or enduring them. Thus, they consider patience as the ability to withstand something, up to a certain point, and that an occasional loss of patience is quite normal. Moreover, according to this non-Qur'anic understanding, it is utterly futile to show patience in a matter from which no concrete benefit can be derived. And so when faced with such a situation, they give way to frustration and believe that being patient is useless.
The Qur'anic concept of true patience is quite different from this understanding of endurance. In the first place, people experience patience as the instruction of Allah and so can neither exhaust nor lose it. They carry out this form of worship joyfully and fervently and expect no concrete benefit in exchange for it, because they are patient solely to earn Allah's approval. What matters for them is the knowledge that they will earn His approval with their superior morality. For them, such a reward is enough.
Furthermore, the patience recommended by the Qur'an is not a moral characteristic employed only in times of hardship. True patience is shown in fully applying all of the Qur'an's teachings, in being scrupulous in guarding against all behavior that Allah warns against, and in being determined to live according to the Qur'an's morality as long as one is alive and with no thought of deviating from it, regardless of circumstances.
In "But, in your Lord's sight, right actions that are lasting bring a better reward and are a better basis for hope" (Surat al-Kahf, 46), Allah points out that proper behavior carried on with determination is regarded with approval and invites the faithful to be patient under all circumstances.
Therefore be patient with a beautiful patience. (Surat al-Ma'arij, 5)
Only the faithful understand the true nature of patience and live in the manner of which Allah approves, for they have accepted the Qur'an as their guide. And, only the Qur'an explains the real meaning of patience and the type of patience that is acceptable to Allah. For this reason, the only people capable of being "patient with a beautiful patience" are those who follow the Qur'an.
The source of their patience is their faith in Allah and their submission to Him. Like all of their other characteristics, patience emerges only through a true understanding of faith, because to believe is to understand that there is no deity but Allah, that He encompasses all things in His knowledge, that only Allah has the power to determine one's destiny, and that nobody can enjoy gain or suffer loss without His willing it.
One reason why the believers can show patience is because their faith enables them to appreciate Allah's might and glory. Those who know that Allah has boundless wisdom and boundless knowledge also know that only He can determine what will be the finest life for them. They know that Allah possesses all knowledge about all creatures and events in the past, present, and future, whereas people have only a limited intelligence that is prone to making mistakes in determining what is good and what is bad. In most cases, a seemingly unfavorable event may bring many benefits, although people may well be totally unaware of this. Allah points out this important truth: "It may be that you hate something when it is good for you, and it may be that you love something when it is bad for you. Allah knows, and you do not know" (Surat al-Baqara, 216).
Thus, knowing that only Allah possesses this knowledge and wisdom, the believers put their trust in Him, fully aware that whatever He wills is always beneficial, even though the benefit may not be immediately apparent. Therefore, they display true patience. In other words, one characteristic of those who have true patience is that they are people who have grasped and embraced the nature of destiny.
The Qur'an states that the faithful are patient and put their trust in Allah, as follows:Those who are steadfast and put their trust in their Lord. (Surat an-Nahl: 42)
Another reason why the believers exhibit such a patient determination throughout their lives is their strong fear and consciousness of Allah. Just as they know that Allah has a boundless love and mercy for His servants, they also know that the punishment of Hell is eternal. Allah warns those who consider themselves too great to worship Him and who turn their faces away from Him of the torment to come. As the faithful are aware of this warning, they take pains to avoid it by being extremely careful and patient in implementing all of Allah's instructions and prohibitions. They channel their fear and consciousness of Allah into living the Qur'an's morality throughout their lives.
Awareness of this world's true face also ensures that the faithful will continue to be patient. As is stated in "We will test you until We know those of you who strive hard [for the cause of Allah] and those who are steadfast, and test what is reported of you" (Surah Muhammad, 31), Allah makes a distinction between those who show patience in their worship of Him and those who manifest their resistance by becoming impatient. As a result, He will give those who worship Him in this life noble residences as hospitality in the next, while punishing those who deny Him with an eternal, inescapable Hell.
The believers' true patience, however, is very different from mere endurance. They are aware that Allah creates whatever happens to them for a reason, and that therefore it contains some hidden benefit. Knowing that Allah has determined the best possible destiny for them, they meet everything with pleasure and an open heart. Allah tells the faithful to adopt this attitude in the following verse: "Those who are steadfast and put their trust in their Lord" (Surat al-'Ankabut, 59).
No matter what the circumstances, the faithful do not complain or whine. In addition, Allah points out that His creation of difficulty together with ease is His immutable law: "For truly with hardship comes ease; truly with hardship comes ease" (Surat al-Inshirah, 5-6).
As this verse indicates, even if the faithful are faced with pressure, they fear only Allah and show their patience by not abandoning their faith. Allah has declared that He will test His servants with fear to separate the true believers from those who have weak-or no-faith. In exchange for this, He gives the following good news to those who remain patient in their faith:
We will test you with a certain amount of fear and hunger and the loss of wealth, life, and fruits. But give good news to the steadfast. (Surat al-Baqara, 155)
The faithful display great patience when facing any difficulty, when carrying out fully the Qur'an's teachings, and by demonstrating the most steadfast morality under all circumstances. One reason why they can display this moral excellence at all times is because they understand that their most important task is to carry out Allah's commands. Thus they adhere joyfully and willingly to the Qur'an's morality. And, as a result, the knowledge that they will gain Allah's love, mercy, and assistance ensures that they will easily overcome any difficulty and will show patience at all times.
In one verse, Allah invites His servants to patience with the expression "be patient for your Lord." This ensures that they will adhere to His morality willingly no matter what may occur. Another reason for their display of wholehearted patience is that Allah informs us of His "love of the patient" (Surah Al 'Imran, 146).
Moreover, Allah has revealed "Peace be upon you because of your steadfastness! How wonderful is the Ultimate Abode!" (Surat ar-Ra'd, 24) to let the patient know that they will receive a fine reward on the Day of Judgment.
All of these blessings ensure that the faithful will live in patience with great joy and desire.
THE PROPHET’S (saws) PATIENCE
Throughout the period of his mission, the Prophet Muhammad (saas) experienced all manner of difficulty. Deniers and polytheists, from among his own people, insulted him most terribly, even calling him a magician or a madman. Others wanted to kill him and even schemed to do so. Despite all that, the Prophet (saas) tried to teach people of all backgrounds and cultures about the Qur'an, and therefore about proper morality and good behavior.
As Allah revealed in the verses of the Qur'an, some people had not the slightest idea of the basics of good manners, for which reason it never entered their minds that they might appall someone who possessed superior morality. The Prophet (saas) displayed the greatest patience in this circumstances, turning to Allah and asking for His help in all situations and encouraging believers to patience and submission.
In many verses in the Qur'an, Allah advises the Prophet (saas) to be patient despite the words of unbelievers:
So be patient in the face of what they say and glorify your Lord with praise before the rising of the sun and before it sets. (Surah Qaf: 39)
Do not be grieved by what they say. All might belongs to Allah. He is the All-Hearing, the All-Knowing. (Surah Yunus: 65)
Perhaps you are leaving aside part of what has been revealed to you and your breast is constricted by this because they say, "Why has treasure not been sent down to him or an angel not accompanied him?" You are only a warner and Allah is Guardian over all things. (Surah Hud: 12)
Believers must remember the kind of things Allah's Messenger (saas) was patient for, and take him as a model when dealing with their own difficulties. Those who despair at the slightest problem, who are unable to bear the smallest objection, who stop preaching the religion of Allah, or who lose hope when their business dealings go wrong, must be aware that such behavior is incompatible with Allah's holy book and the sayings and deeds of the Prophet (saas). Believers must always be patient, take Allah as their helper and give thanks to Him, adopt the superior morality of the Prophet (saas), and hope for the mercy, compassion and Paradise of our Lord.
There were people with varying characters and ideas that surrounded the Prophet (saas). Throughout his life, however, he showed an interest in each and every one, warned them about their mistakes and failings, and tried to educate them in all matters, from cleanliness to matters of faith. That compassionate, tolerant, understanding and patient attitude of his was the means by which many peoples' hearts warmed to Islam and developed a genuine love for the Prophet (saas). Allah describes this pleasing attitude adopted by the Prophet (saas) towards those around him in the Qur'an:
It is a mercy from Allah that you were gentle with them. If you had been rough or hard of heart, they would have scattered from around you. So pardon them and ask forgiveness for them… (Surah Al ‘Imran: 159)
In another verse, Allah told the Prophet (saas) how he should behave towards those around him:
We know best what they say. You are not a dictator over them. So remind, with the Qur'an, whoever fears My Threat. (Surah Qaf: 45)
The Prophet (saas) never pressured those around him to accept the religion, nor imposed conditions on them. Instead he always used the pleasantest ways to tell them about it.
He always supported the community of the faithful with his strong conscience, and was a benefactor to them at all times. On account of these traits, the Prophet (saas) is described in many verses as "your companion." (Surah Saba': 46: Surat an-Najm: 2, Surat at-Takwir: 22).
Those believers who were able to comprehend the conscientiousness of the Prophet (saas) regarded him as closer to them than all others, and humbled themselves towards him. In one verse, Allah states:
The Prophet has closer ties to the believers than their own selves, and his wives are their mothers… (Surat al-Ahzab: 6) Imam Ghazali, the great Islamic scholar, summed up the Prophet (saas)'s treatment of those around him in light of the information found in the hadiths:
"... Everyone thought that the Prophet honoured him more. Whoever came to him could see his face.
... He used to call his companions by their surnames with honour and he used to give one surname who had no surname.
... He was very affectionate and kind in dealing with the people.... Nobody could speak loudly in his assembly." The Prophet (saas)'s human love, kind thought and compassion, which turned those around him to true religion and warmed their hearts to faith, is that superior morality which all Muslims should seek to reproduce.
May Allah(swt) help us be Patient in Life and guide us to the straight path .. ameen.