Patience

Mustapha MEGAWER
“NOBODY CAN BE GIVEN A BLESSING BETTER AND GREATER THAN PATIENCE.” (Bukhari)

One of the pillars of faith is the belief in preordainment. The believer should believe that what has befallen him was not going to miss him and what has missed him was not going to befall him. This belief helps the believer to be pleased with whatever befalls him, because he has a firm belief that what befell him is an act of God that no creature could evade.

Allah Almighty said in the Holy Quran, “And certainly, we shall test you with something of fear, hunger, loss of wealth, lives and fruits, but give glad tidings to those who show steadfastness.” (Surah 2: 155)

Allah Almighty said in the Holy Quran, “O you who believe! Seek help in patience and prayer, truly Allah is with those who show steadfastness.” (Surah 2: 153)

Allah Almighty said in the Holy Quran, “And surely, we shall try you until we test those who strive hard (for the cause of Allah) and those who show steadfastness and we shall test your facts, the one who is liar and the one who is truthful.” (Surah 47: 31)

Narrated Ata Ibn Abi-Rabah, that Ibn Abbas (May Allah Be Pleased With Them) said to him “shall I show you a woman of the people of paradise?”
Ata Ibn Abi-Rabah said yes and then Ibn Abbas said “this black lady came to the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) and said I get attacks of epilepsy and my body becomes uncovered please invoke Allah for me.”

The Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) said (to her) “if you wish be patient and you will have (enter) paradise, but if you wish, I will invoke Allah to cure you.”

She said “I will remain patient” and she added “but I become uncovered so please invoke Allah for me that I not be uncovered” so the Prophet (PBUH) invoked Allah for her (Bukhari).

Narrated Abu Sa’eed Al Khudri and Abu Huraira (May Allah Be Pleased With Them) the Prophet (PBUH) said “no fatigue, no disease, no sorrow, no sadness, no hurt, no distress befalls a muslim, even if it were prick he receives from a thorn but that Allah expiates some of his sins from it.” (Bukhari)

Narrated Khabbab ibn Al-Aratt we complained to Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) of the persecution “inflicted on us by the infidels while he was sitting in the shade of the Ka’aba we said to him would you seek help from Allah for us? Would you pray to Allah for us? The Prophet (PBUH) said that of the nations before you a (believing) man would be put in a ditch that was dug for him and saw would be put over his head and he would be cut into two pieces, and yet that (torture) would not make him give up his religion.
His body would be combed with iron combs that would remove his flesh from the bones or nerves.

“Yet that would not make him abandon his religion, by Allah this religion (ie Islam) will prevail until a traveller from Sana’a (in Yemen) to Hadhramawt will fear none but Allah or a wolf guarding his sheep – but you (people) are hasty.” (Bukhari)

Narrated Abu-Huraira that the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said that affliction still visits the believing man and woman in their sons and properties until they meet Allah sinless. (Al Termizi)

In another narration the Prophet (PBUH) said “the people who are tested the most severely are the prophets then the righteous, then the next best and the next best.” (Al Tabarani)

According to another Hadith “a man will be tested according to his level of religious commitment the stronger his religious commitment the more severe will be his test.” (Imam Ahmad).

Thus, believing in preordainment is a prerequisite for patience. The Prophets (Peace Be Upon Them) are the models in this matter and we are required to imitate them.

The Noble Quran mentioned them with reverence for the noble characteristics that they had, patience is one of these noble characteristics.

The story of the sickness of Prophet Ayoub (Job) (Peace Be Upon Him) testifies to eighteen years of patience during which the sick Prophet (PBUH) bore what mountains could not bear.

Says Al Beshr a Quranic commentator that the greatest patience is like the patience of the Prophet Ayoub (PBUH). Prophet Ayoub (PBUH) has become the best example of patience in every language, religion and culture.

The Messenger of Allah Ayoub (PBUH) had plenty of livestock, crops, many children and beautiful houses. Prophet Ayoub (PBUH) was tested in these things losing everything he had, these tests afflicted his body, wealth and children until there was no part of his body that was healthy except his heart. Prophet Ayoub (PBUH) had nothing left in this world which he could use to help him deal with his sickness or the predicament he was in, his flesh began to fall off and his companions deserted him. Prophet Ayoub (PBUH) ended up being thrown into the city dump where he stayed all his time shunned by relatives and strangers alike. Prophet Ayoub’s (PBUH) life was filled with disease, sadness and loneliness.

With the exception of his wife (May Allah Be Pleased With Her) who retained her devotion to him because of her faith in Allah and his Messenger. She used to work for people as a paid servant, and she fed and served Prophet Ayoub for eighteen years.

She said to Prophet Ayoub (PBUH) one day “Ayoub you are a Prophet and if you invoke Allah, Allah will accept your prayer. Why do not you pray to Allah and ask him to remove your affliction and to alleviate your grief.” Prophet Ayoub (PBUH) replied “I was healthy for all most of my life. I feel shy to ask Allah to remove my affliction after such a period of prosperity.”

The people whispered among themselves when they ever passed by Prophet Ayoub. They said if Allah loved the Prophet He would not afflict him with all these afflictions.

Anas bin Malik narrated that Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) said that “Allah’s Prophet Ayoub (PBUH) suffered for eighteen years from his affliction and was shunned by relatives and strangers alike.”

There were two men close to Prophet Ayoub who used to visit him every morning and every evening one day one of them said to the other “by Allah Ayoub committed a great sin which nobody in the world ever committed” His companion said to him “why are you saying that?” He replied that “for eighteen years Prophet Ayoub has been suffering.”

Notwithstanding Prophet Ayoub’s (PBUH) sufferings his patience exceeded his affliction. Prophet Ayoub (PBUH) is a model of faith and an ideal example of patience, he continued to have patience and to praise Allah.

Prophet Ayoub (PBUH) praised Allah for the days of health and for the days of suffering “I praised you the Lord of Lords who bestowed his Kindness upon me and gave me wealth and children ………… O Lord, you gave me wealth and children and there was no one standing at my door complaining of some wrong I had done to him, you know that, I used to have a bed prepared for me, but I forsook it and said to myself: you were not created to lie on a comfortable bed.”

Prophet Ayoub (PBUH) continued to have patience. Allah the Almighty praised him, his worshipper in the glorious Quran. Allah the Almighty said about Prophet Ayoub (PBUH) “We found him long suffering to affliction and unwearied in the face of difficulties. How excellent a worshipper he was and how in lowliest plight did he always repentant stand.”

So Prophet Ayoub (PBUH) is the best example of patience in accepting the decrees of Allah the Almighty, and bearing the trails with which Allah tests us his servants.

One day his wife (May Allah Be Pleased With Her) brought him food and Prophet Ayoub (PBUH) swore not to eat unless she told him from where she got the money to buy the food. She uncovered her hair then the Prophet (PBUH) saw that his wife had cut her hair and sold it to buy him food.

Then the Prophet broke out in tears and prostrated to Allah and cried:

“Verily, distress has seized me, and You are the Most Merciful of all those who show mercy so We answered his call, and We removed his distress that was on him, and We restored his family to (that he had lost), and the like thereof along with them, – as a mercy from Ourselves and a Reminder for all who worship Us.” (Surah 21: 83-84)

“Verily Satan has touched me with distress (by losing my health) and torment (by losing my wealth)! (Allah said to him): ‘Strike the ground with your foot: This is a spring of water to wash in, cool and a (refreshing) drink.’ And We gave him (back) his family, and along with them the like thereof, as a Mercy from Us, and a Reminder for those who understand.” (Surah 38: 43-44)

“We found him long suffering to affliction and unwearied in the face of difficulties and hardships. How excellent a worshipper he was and how in lowliest plight did he always repentant stand.” (Surah 38:44)

Moustafa Megawer
Malta

SOURCES

The Holy Quran

HADITH
Al Tabarani
Al Termizi
Bukhari
Imam Ahmed

OTHER SOURCES
Tifsir Ibn Kathir
Riyadis Saliheen
Stories of the Prophets (Ahmed Bahgat)
Al Qada We Al Qadar (Muhammad Al Jibali)
Don’t be sad (‘Aaidh Ibn Aldullah Al Qarni)

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